There are tons of different brands and makes of refrigerators on the market.
The problem is that most refrigerators are expensive.
When shopping, you may wonder what makes refrigerators more expensive than TVs or other appliances.
Here are 10 reasons why refrigerators are so expensive.
Why Are Refrigerators So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Plumbing Costs
When comparing refrigerators with ice makers to refrigerators without ice makers, you’ll find that fridges with ice makers are more expensive.
That’s because they need additional manufacturing.
Ice makers need plumbing.
They use flexible tubing to connect to your home’s water.
When you want ice, water pours through the fridge and freezes.
It deposits the ice into your glass.
Since it requires plumbing, a special appliance plumber needs to work on the refrigerator.
That means an extra cost goes into its manufacture, which the customer will see reflected in the fridge’s price.
It also requires more parts than a fridge without an ice maker.
It’s a more complex appliance that takes extra time to construct.
All those details reflect in the higher price point.
2. Built-In Options
If you want a built-in fridge, then you can expect to pay a high price.
That’s because built-in fridges are custom-made for your home.
It requires the services of a contractor.
The contractor will plan out and measure the dimensions of your kitchen.
The goal is to create an area where the fridge can fit seamlessly with your cupboards and cabinets.
It looks as though it’s part of the wall.
The construction of the fridge is part of the construction or renovation of the kitchen.
You’ll need to work with the contractor, plumber, and manufacturer to create a piece that matches your kitchen perfectly.
Each worker is an additional cost.
Built-in fridges also use custom doors.
These doors need to match the appearance of the rest of your cupboards and cabinets to create a seamless finish.
Custom doors are also expensive.
Freestanding and other fridges are cheaper because they’re built in volume.
They are produced in large quantities.
Built-in fridges require manufacturers to spend extra time on a single piece.
They may need to order new equipment or stop manufacturing other pieces to use the equipment to make the custom piece.
As a result, they will need to increase the price to make up for the lack of efficiency.
Most built-in fridges also use high-quality or high-end materials in their construction.
Those are expensive.
Built-in fridges are significantly more expensive than freestanding or mass-produced fridges.
3. Energy-Saving Capabilities
Makers of expensive fridges use better materials and processes to make their refrigerators more energy efficient.
This is important when you want to buy a new fridge.
A refrigerator is one of the biggest draws on your electric bill.
It uses electricity constantly to keep itself cool.
More expensive fridges can do this better because they invest in materials that are better at insulating the frigid temperatures.
They also install technologies that help the fridge generate colder air faster and longer.
The result is a refrigerator that is more expensive, but it also costs less to run.
Cheaper fridges use standard technology and low-cost materials.
They’ll still keep your food cold and safe to eat, but they won’t be as energy-efficient.
4. Separated Compressors
Some high-end refrigerators will use two compressors to cool them.
One compressor will cool the freezer while another compressor will cool the fridge.
It makes keeping the fridge cool a lot more efficient.
It also makes the appliance more expensive.
That’s because the manufacturer makes two separate compressors instead of one.
Lower-end fridges use a single compressor to keep them cool.
While it’s cheaper, the fridge runs less efficiently.
Compressors require special parts during their manufacture.
It only makes sense that a fridge that uses two compressors will be more expensive than a fridge that uses one.
5. Halogen Lightbulbs
Another reason some refrigerators are expensive is that they use halogen lightbulbs.
These are different from incandescent lightbulbs which lower-end fridges use.
Halogen lightbulbs are of higher quality than incandescent lightbulbs.
They can last for 2,500 hours as opposed to 1,000 hours.
Halogen lightbulbs give off white light rather than orange light.
Incandescent lightbulbs tend to give off shades of orange light.
Since they’re higher quality, halogen lightbulbs are more expensive to use in fridges.
That cost adds to the overall price of the fridge.
6. Electric Wiring
Older fridges only needed electrical wiring to power them.
These days, fridges require more electrical wiring to count for all the smart technology added to them.
Manufacturers use a specialized electrician for their wiring and smart technology.
The cost of that person’s services and the materials for the wiring add to the cost.
Fridges that don’t use smart technology are cheaper.
7. High-End Drawers
Most refrigerators have some type of drawer system.
The drawer not only helps keep some food separate from others, but it also offers some form of humidity control.
Humidity control is important because it helps reduce the rate of deterioration for certain types of food.
Vegetables, for example, need to maintain a certain level of humidity to stay fresh.
Too much humidity, on the other hand, can cause the vegetables to rot faster.
Expensive refrigerators use a high-end drawer system.
Their drawers use high-quality materials that help preserve certain levels of humidity within them.
They also seal better with the rest of the fridge to ensure air doesn’t escape the drawer.
Since they use high-quality materials, they’re more expensive.
The fridge, as a result, costs more.
Certain brands are more expensive than others.
Two different brands can have exactly the same features.
The only difference is the brand name.
One brand may be more expensive than another simply because it has established itself as a brand name known for high-quality products.
Lesser-known brand names may be cheaper because they haven’t proven themselves on the market yet.
When shopping for a fridge, you should consider whether the price comes from the materials and features or it comes from the brand name.
Another reason that fridges are expensive is the features they include.
In a time when fridges are being loaded with smart features, they’re becoming increasingly expensive.
Many consumers expect fridges to pair with their smart home devices.
Some want them to have TV screens that allow them to follow with recipes.
Others want touchscreens that tell them details about the contents inside of the fridge or that allow them to write down recipes and ingredients.
The more features that a fridge has, the more expensive it’s going to be.
The size of the fridge can also influence its price.
Smaller fridges are cheaper.
They require fewer materials and time to make.
Even a small fridge can be expensive if it comes loaded with extra features, however.
Larger fridges are more expensive because they need more materials to make.
They also need larger compressors to keep it cool.
A fridge that has four-door storage is going to be more expensive than a fridge that has a single door or two doors.
How Can You Save Money On A Refrigerator?
Now that you know the underlying reasons a refrigerator is so expensive, you can come up with a strategy to avoid those high costs.
Here are a few tips to help you save money on a refrigerator.
1. Buy Small
Before you buy your fridge, consider how much space and storage capacity you actually need.
You can save money by not overpaying for a fridge with space that you don’t use.
Take the time to measure the space in you which you want to place the fridge.
Then consider how much storage you actually need for your food.
You can save on space by only filling it with the food that you need for that week.
Try to focus on purchasing fresh food rather than frozen foods to further create space.
Buying a small fridge can save you a good deal of money compared to buying a large one.
2. Shop Last Year’s Models
One trade secret to save money is to never purchase new refrigerator models when they first come out in the market.
They’ve valued at their top price.
A better method is to buy a refrigerator that came out the previous year or a few years prior.
These carry a reduced price because the seller needs to open up their inventory space for the new models.
They lower the price to encourage customers to buy them and get them off of the floor.
You can save a significant amount of money by waiting to buy a fridge until a newer model comes out.
The year-old model often has some of the same features as the new refrigerator, so you’re not missing out too much on what the brand-new fridge offers.
3. Forget The Smart Tech
Several fridges use touchscreens and other smart technologies to make their fridges fancier.
You don’t need them.
If you want a basic fridge that keeps your food cold or frozen, then you don’t need a smart fridge.
A standard fridge is far cheaper than a smart fridge.
It requires less work at the factory which decreases its price.
You’ll also save money on your internet bill.
Smart fridges need to connect to your WiFi in order to work.
Because the fridge is always on, then it’s always using your WiFi to update itself.
Those with data caps may find an extra charge on their monthly internet bill if they exceed the data cap.
Smart fridges are expensive and are more expensive to own.
If you want to save money, then buy a standard fridge without smart technology.
4. Compare Stainless Steel And White Finishes
In most cases, solid white fridges are cheaper than stainless steel finishes.
However, in some cases, you may find that stainless steel finishes are actually cheaper than solid white finishes.
As more stainless steel products come on the market, it becomes more affordable.
When you’re shopping for a refrigerator, take the time to check the prices between the stainless steel fridge and the white fridges.
It may surprise you to discover which one is cheaper.
5. Buy Freestanding Fridges
If you want the cheapest fridge, then you need to choose the freestanding fridges over built-in ones or counter-depth ones.
Freestanding fridges are mass-produced with few customizations made on them.
Because they’re produced at a high volume, they’re more affordable.
Built-in fridges are the most expensive fridges.
They’re custom-built to specific requirements.
Since they require additional labor and materials, the price of the fridge increases.
Counter-depth fridges are also more expensive than freestanding fridges.
They’re built at a specific height and depth.
Although they may use fewer materials than a freestanding fridge, they’re not built to the same volume.
Manufacturers need to spend more time building it to the specific depth needed.
If you want to save money, then a freestanding fridge is the most affordable option.
6. Look For Sales
During the holidays, you’ll find amazing sales on refrigerators.
You can save even more money by looking for older models.
Even outside of the holidays, stores run deals designed to clear up their inventory space for new arrivals.
If you can wait for those sales, then you can save a lot of money on a great refrigerator.
7. Check Local Marketplaces
Big-name stores aren’t the only places where you can find fridges.
Whenever someone moves, they’re more likely to leave their fridge behind.
Estate sales are one of the best places to look for a new fridge.
You’ll be able to find a few appliances at a great price.
You can also find affordable fridges on a marketplace like Facebook Marketplace.
These fridges come from their original owners, so you can always try to negotiate the price down further.
Keep in mind that the owner may have several interested parties.
Offering too low may make you miss out on an opportunity.
8. Visit A Surplus Store
Certain surplus stores also carry fridges at a great price.
Sometimes you can find a gem among them like a fridge that comes with smart technology.
In most cases, you’ll find older models that no one wants anymore.
It may not be the prettiest fridge, but it will get the job done.
9. Ask Friends
If your friends plan on moving, then it’s a great time to ask if they intend on taking their fridge with them.
If they don’t, then you can negotiate a price with them.
Some friends may offer to give it to you for free, but you should try to give them a little something.
If your friends aren’t moving, then they might know someone who is.
They can make a connection that can land you a great deal on a fridge.
10. Choose Unknown Brands
A definite way to keep the price of your refrigerator down is to choose a generic brand.
You can avoid paying the price of a brand name by going with lesser-known brands.
While they likely have some inflation based on their name, it’s going to be significantly less than big-name brands.
You can find generic brands online or at smaller stores.
Even larger stores sometimes carry generic brands for those who are budget-savvy.
Are Expensive Refrigerators Worth It?
You may wonder if the higher price tag is worth it.
Clearly, since the brand is still in business, people are buying their products.
Here’s why expensive refrigerators may be worth the extra money for your needs.
1. More Storage
Most expensive fridges come with extra storage.
They tend to be larger and include more shelving on the doors.
That can make a real difference when you’re trying to fit all your groceries inside of a small fridge.
It also helps separate certain foods from each other.
You’ll want to store your onions away from the rest of your food, for example, to keep everything from tasting like onions.
If you don’t use your fridge that much, then extra storage may not be worth it to you.
2. Better Cooling
Expensive fridges are also better at cooling.
The higher price allows them to utilize better technology inside of the fridge.
That allows it to cool the inner chamber efficiently and uniformly.
That’s important if you want to keep your milk or other food from spoiling.
Your food will last longer and stay fresh.
However, no matter what kind of fridge you buy, its ultimate purpose is keeping things cold.
If you don’t care if your food is undergoing uniform cooling, then an expensive fridge may not be worth it.
3. More Features
Certain features like touchscreens and smart functions can make your life a little bit easier.
Those features can tell you whether something is beginning to rot inside of the fridge or not.
It can also tell you the temperature of the fridge or freezer.
You can even upload recipes, shopping lists, and other helpful notes to the screen for the entire family to see.
Smart features can make owning a refrigerator more convenient.
If all you’re using it for is to keep your food cold, however, then it may not be worth the price.
There are several reasons a refrigerator is so expensive.
It has to do with how complex the fridge is to manufacture.
The more complex it is, the heftier the price tag.
However, more complex fridges are also able to do a lot more.
Consider the reasons above and follow the tips to help drive down the price of your dream refrigerator.