The Best Time to Buy a Refrigerator

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The Spruce / Lecia Landis

For a sweet deal on a new refrigerator, the best time to buy is May.

Why You'll Save the Most in May

New refrigerator models hit stores in the summer, which means last year's models have to go. Start with the clearance price; then, negotiate down from there. Most stores will be willing to haggle.

Need to Replace Your Refrigerator Sooner?

Large appliances also go on sale on holiday weekends. Check newspaper circulars, marketing emails from retailers, and e-commerce websites on the days leading into a holiday weekend for the best deals. The Fourth of July, President's Day and Memorial Day are all good times to shop for a refrigerator.

Energy-Efficiency and Cost-Consciousness Go Hand-in-Hand

The cost of your new refrigerator isn't simply the price you pay the day you make your purchase. It also includes the cost of the electricity to run it. For the deepest savings on your monthly power bill, consider buying a unit with Energy Star certification. This ensures that your new fridge meets certain energy efficiency targets. The most efficient units combine Energy Star with a CEE Tier certification. CEE is a nonprofit consortium of energy efficiency program administrators, such as your local gas or electric utility, that promotes the manufacture and purchase of energy-efficient products and services. When shopping, take time to compare Energy Guide labels to see which refrigerators on your short list cost the least to operate. 

Limit the Bells and Whistles

Appliance salespeople are often paid on commission, so it's in their best interest to get you to spend more on fancier models and special features that you may not need. They may try to entice you with a "quick cool" compartment and built-in wine rack, but if you don't see yourself using these features often, they probably aren't worth the extra money. The same may be true of water and ice dispensers. A filtered water pitcher in the fridge and an old-fashioned ice cube tray in the freezer are inexpensive and functional alternatives. Certain finishes, such as chrome, can also add to the price tag without adding much value. Enhanced air circulation, humidity control, odor control and digital temperature monitoring are other additions you can likely do without. Keep the frills to a minimum to save money on your purchase, and there will be fewer things to break down the road.

Keep It Clean

Believe it or not, keeping your refrigerator tidy does more than keep it smelling fresh. Regular cleaning also improves air circulation and makes it easier to find things, so, you don't have to keep the door open for an extended period of time. Getting rid of old food goes along with cleaning.

Vacuum your refrigerator coils every few months to keep your refrigerator running efficiently and extend the life of the motor. 

Extended Service Contracts and Warranties

Another way for salespeople to pad their paychecks is to sell you additional service contracts and warranties. But will an extra upfront expense save you money in the long run? It's impossible to say. If you're considering an extended warranty, be sure to read through the paperwork and ask plenty of questions, so you're clear on what it does and does not cover.