We look at the pros and cons of buying a refrigerator with a water dispenser and ice maker.
It’s really nice to pop over to the fridge and get a glass of water with ice right out of the door dispensers. But are refrigerators with these features right for everyone? Not necessarily. If you’re in the market for a new fridge, it makes sense to mull over the pros and cons of these features. No worries, we’ve done the work for you.INFOGRAPHIC: Common Refrigerator and Freezer Problems
Here’s a quick list of things to think about when considering buying a new fridge.
A fridge with a water and ice dispenser is right for you if:
Convenience trumps all.
It’s so easy to get clean, cold, filtered water with the push of a button. It’ll help you and your family stay hydrated throughout the day.
Plus, you often get a choice between cubed and crushed ice. No more filling up those annoying ice cube trays!
You’re willing to give up some storage space.
The housing for the water and ice dispenser has to go somewhere. It’s often located in the freezer door or top shelf, so that means a bit less space for your frozen foods.
Great-tasting water is a priority.
Your water and ice will taste great because the water is filtered. Many models feature brands of filters that are easily replaceable, and oftentimes there’s a sensor in the door that lets you know when it’s time to do that. You hardly have to think about it — the fridge does all the work for you. Replace it at least two times a year, and you’re good to go.
You’re sure you’ll remember to change the filter.
Sure, you’re supposed to swap out a clean filter a couple of times a year. But when was the last time you did so? That’s what we thought. If your filter’s no longer doing its job, you’re losing all of the benefits. Set a calendar reminder to swap out your filter and make it a priority to commit to cleaner water.
You’re eager to go green and use less plastic bottles.
There are so many plastic bottles in U.S. landfills that they’d stretch to the moon and back 10 times if laid end to end. Plus, there’s even evidence now that drinking water (or soda for that matter) from plastic bottles isn’t great for your health. Chemicals in the plastic can leach out into the water, and down the hatch they go when you take a sip. Why expose yourself (and the Earth) to that when you’ve got fresh, filtered water at the ready?
The cost is worth it.
A model with a dispenser feature typically costs more than models without, including the additional price to install, and there’s a small added cost in the energy it takes to run the dispenser. Additionally, the more features in any given appliance, the greater the chance there is for a snafu.
Bottom line: A dispenser for water and ice is a great feature to have, especially if clean and good-tasting water isn’t available in your area.