Discover cool and innovative features to consider when picking out the hardest working appliance in the kitchen.

Your refrigerator is the hardest working appliance in your kitchen. Why? Because it runs 24 hours a day and it's used by every member of the family. Hi! I'm Lacey Howard and when you're shopping for this hardworking appliance, let me show you all the cool features you should consider. The key question you need to ask yourself is where do you want your freezer? There's a configuration for every preference. Top-mount refrigerators are the most common and bestsellers. Top-mount refers to the freezer placement on the fridge. Bottom-mounts cost more for the same capacity as top-mounts, but they are slightly more energy efficient. Side-by-sides are generally wider and dedicate a higher proportion of space to the freezer. French door refrigerators sometimes called three-door refrigerators have 2 doors on top and a drawer-style freezer below. Four-door refrigerators have 4 separate compartments. Refrigerators have capacities of 18 to 26 cubic feet. You want to choose a model based on your kitchen's available space and your family's needs. First, carefully measure the available space. Always measure width, height, and depth. Be sure to allow for the swing of the doors. Second, allow enough storage for everyone in your family now and in the future. Remember a refrigerator can easily last 15 years. To calculate the storage capacity you'll need figure 12 cubic feet for 2 people. For each additional person, add another 2 cubic feet of storage. And if you store a lot of leftovers or frozen food, you'll want to add more cubic feet to either the fridge or the freezer. You should also know upfront whether you want a free-standing or a built-in fridge. Free-standing refrigerators are 24 to 36 inches wide and come in standard counter depths. Built in refrigerators sit flush with cabinets. They're also more expensive. Expect to find great features in refrigerators. Some of the most useful features include ice makers that provide regular and shaved ice, water dispensers, wine and beverage racks, alarms and sensors that monitor food spoilage ,temperature and humidity control, thawing or quick-chill drawers, multiple temperature or humidity zones to extend food freshness, on door message or entertainment technology. To maximize your refrigerator storage and convenience, look for versatile shelving and racks. Choose options that are easy to adjust. Great innovation including cool out shelves with strong easy-glide extension, gallon-size door compartments, shelves with a lip that contain spills. You can still choose a fridge with textured white, black, or cream metal exterior but many other colors are available in some models. Stainless steel and polished aluminum are popular options. Glass doors allow you to see fridge contents and fit well in more industrial spaces. Retro style refrigerators have vintage looks with modern efficiency. Also you can work with a carpenter to add front panel inserts that match your surrounding cabinets. Like all your appliances, your refrigerator impacts your utility bill. In fact, your refrigerator uses the most energy of any household appliance, but once with the energy star rating, they surpass federal standards for efficiency by 10 to 15 percent. In general, top- and bottom-mounts are more efficient than side-by-sides. If you have a large family or enjoy entertaining, you may want to consider additional refrigeration appliances for your kitchen. Think about a wine cooler or refrigerated drawers where they might be used most. And that's how you keep it cool in any kitchen.