Need an extra fridge? Here’s a buying guide

If your refrigerator or freezer is bursting with food now that you’re parsing out your trips to the grocery store and overstocking the essentials, you might need to add a second fridge to your household.

Here are five things to consider before you buy.

1. Why do you need a second refrigerator? If it’s simply to store extra food during the pandemic, consider whether you will use the new fridge once stocking up is no longer necessary. Also, do you really need more refrigerator space, or is it the freezer that’s overflowing; maybe you need a stand-alone freezer instead of another full refrigerator/freezer unit? Determine what you need so you can buy a second unit that will solve your problem.

2. Which features is your current refrigerator missing that you wish it had? An ice maker? Double doors? More freezer space? Compartments designed for soda cans? Sliding shelves? An internet connection? The newest models have bells and whistles you never dreamed would be part of a refrigerator.

3. Where will you put it? The garage is the worst place for a refrigerator unless the space is both heated and air conditioned. Look for a location that’s large enough and is convenient to the kitchen. Measure the space. Consider if there’s enough room to open French doors, a right-opening door or a left-opening door. And consider whether the fridge you have room for is really big enough for your overflow food. If it’s not, why buy one at all?

4. Look for a model with an Energy Star label, which will use around 9 percent less energy than one without the label. In most homes, the refrigerator uses more energy than any other appliance except the air conditioner. If you’re bringing a second one into your home, buy one that’s energy efficient.

5. Consider buying a used refrigerator. Pre-owned models can cost less than half the price of a new one. Look for one that’s relatively new, works properly and will fit your space and your needs.