Unlike most other big-ticket transactions, a lot can go wrong with appliance
purchases. Many local stores, particularly the big chains, were rated quite
low for the advice provided by their salespeople. And according to the
ratings by local consumers, the problems persist, with frequent delivery
delays and improper and sloppy installation work. Fortunately, several
area retailers do well by their customers the vast majority of the time.
Dont assume that a sale priceeven a heavily discounted sale priceis
a good price. The sale prices offered by many local stores and on most
websites probably arent special prices at all. Unfortunately, at most
stores these sales never end. A nine-month-long investigation by CHECKBOOKs
mystery shoppers (see our Sale Fail article) found that many stores
use deceptive practices, especially when selling appliances. Even if the
sign says Save 60%, its probably meaningless and probably not a good
The only way to get the best price is to shop around. Fortunately, for
appliances its very easy to compare prices from salespeople at appliance
stores. To get the best prices you should call or email and at least mention
that youre price-shopping several stores. By initiating a competitive
bidding process, youll make sure you get the best possible price.
By asking stores to bid for their business, our mystery shoppers found
big savings. For example, the highest price quoted by local retailers for
a Frigidaire refrigerator (model FGHB2866PF) was $2,684; the lowest price
was $1,875a tidy savings of $809. For a GE dishwasher (model ADT521PGFBS),
prices ranged from $515 to $1,289, a difference of $774. Table 2 shows
the range of prices you can expect when you shop around.
When comparing prices, take into account fees for delivery, hauling away
old appliances, and installation. If you know your installation will be
complicated or unusual, hire a top-rated plumber
for the job.
You dont have to pay more to get good service. Highly rated stores were
just as likely to quote low prices as their low-rated competitors. And
dont assume youll get low prices by buying from the big chains or even
online: We often found lower prices elsewhere.
Pay by credit card. If you have a problem, you can protest the charge with
your card issuer.
Skip the extended warranties pushed by most stores. These offers are great
deals for the stores that sell them but awful deals for the customers who
Our article on appliance repair explains why you might want to repair
rather than replace an old appliance. But once you decide its time to
buy a new refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, or other large appliance,
get ready. Unfortunately, many buyers find selecting the right appliance,
plus getting it delivered and properly installed, to be a time-consuming,
aggravating experience. Equally unfortunate, many stores use fake sale
prices to mislead their customers into believing theyre getting special
deals when, in fact, theyre actually paying too much. Fortunately, some
area stores usually serve their customers well, and by using our simple
shopping tips youll pay the lowest prices.
We wont offer advice on appliance brands and models and their almost endless
array of features. A few excellent sources provide that type of buying
Consumer Reports regularly evaluates appliances on a range of quality issues,
including reliability, and offers sage advice on the pros and cons of configurations,
designs, features, and options.
The U.S. Department of Energys Energy Star program (www.energystar.gov
provides lists and energy-usage data on certified appliances (see below
for a discussion of choosing appliances based on energy-cost savings).
Salespeople can also be fantastic sources of buying advicebut only at
stores that employ knowledgeable, helpful staff. Unfortunately, as our
Ratings Tables report, this is an aspect of service for which many
storesparticularly big national and local chainsrated low on our consumer
surveys. (Our surveys of area consumerswho are primarily CHECKBOOK and
Consumer Reports subscribersand other research methods are described
here.) At the time of our last full, published
article, Costco was rated superior for advice by only 26 percent of
its surveyed customers; Frys Electronics by only 31 percent; Home Depot
by 34 percent; Best Buy by 36 percent; Lowes by 41 percent; and Sears
by 45 percent. But our Ratings Tables also reveal local stores with
personnel who offer fantastic buying advice: some of the listed retailers
were rated superior for advice by at least 80 percent of their surveyed
Finding a store that provides helpful advice is only half the battle. You
also want a store that makes sure the entire transaction is seamless, from
selection to delivery and installation.
Unlike buying most other big-ticket items, a lot can go wrong with appliance
purchases. If your fancy new camera doesnt work, you can just return it
and get a replacement. But you cant easily tote your new defective refrigerator
back to the store, plus most consumers need help with delivery and installation.
Unfortunately, the customer reviews we receive from surveyed appliance
purchasers indicate that delivery and installation are the most problematic
parts of many transactions. Delivery crews too often damage floors and
doorways, and workers frequently cause water damage and even floods by
improperly installing dishwashers and clothes washers. Screw-ups in the
installation of gas appliances are common and nerve-wracking.
Fortunately, some area stores do have competent installers. And aside from
relying on a stores employeesor, more commonly, its subcontractorsfor
installation, you have other options for getting the work done.
If you need to buy appliances as part of a larger remodeling job, your
contractor can (and probably should) arrange for delivery and handle the
installation. If your contractor is responsible for these tasks, you can
hold a single company accountable for making sure appliances arrive on
time, get delivered without damaging your home, fit the allotted space,
are installed correctly, and operate properly. This arrangement lets you
focus on getting the best price (see below), rather than worrying about
the kind of service the store will provide. Keep in mind, however, that
asking a remodeling company to manage delivery and installation is different
from letting it buy the appliance, too. Nearly all remodelers will provide
that service; in fact, some insist on purchasing it themselves. But they
wont necessarily look for and find the best price; and even when they
do, many will mark it up.
Another option is to install the appliance yourself. While some stores
fold installation costs into their listed appliance prices or delivery
fees, most charge extra. And even stores that charge a single package price
normally offer a discount if they handle installation.
If youre thinking about going it alone, be aware that not all appliances
are created equal. For some, theres very little to do. After youve wrestled
in a several-hundred-pound refrigerator, its easy enough to plug it in
and connect a water supply line for the icemaker. Ditto for an electric
clothes dryer connected to a functioning circuit; connect the cord and
its ready to roll. But installing a dishwasher or a washing machine can
be fairly complicated, even if youre reasonably handy.
Most consumers do opt to pay appliance stores to take care of delivery
and installation. If you go this route, make sure you understand exactly
what stores will and wont do. Some wont touch gas lines; others wont
hook up water supply or discharge lines, meaning youll have to hire a
plumber to perform those tasks.
If you arent relying on a remodeling contractor to manage delivery and
install the appliance, youre better off finding a store that employs reliable
installers and have it do the installation, rather than separately hiring
a plumber to do the job. That way you get to deal with a single company
responsible for providing the appliance, delivering it, installing it,
and hauling away your old unit. You save time (by not waiting around for
a store to deliver and then for a plumber to show up), and if something
goes wrong you wont have to referee a store-vs.-plumber dispute over who
The ratings shown on our Ratings Tables for our survey questions on
promptness, reliability, and overall quality will help you identify stores
that deliver on time and make things right when theres a problem.
You want sound buying advice, careful and prompt delivery, and a trouble-free
installationbut you dont want to pay a steep price for them. Fortunately,
you dont have to. We find that highly rated stores often quote prices
as low as, or even lower than, their low-rated competitors.
To compare prices, our researcherswithout revealing their affiliation
with CHECKBOOKcalled the retailers listed on our Ratings Tables for
price quotes for 26 appliance models. We used these prices to calculate
the price comparison scores reported on Table 1. These scores show how
each retailers prices compare to the average price for all surveyed companies.
The scores are adjusted so that the average price comparison score is $100.
Prices for a retailer with a score of $105, then, were five percent higher
than the average; prices for a retailer with a score of $95 were five percent
lower than the average.
|Martin & Harris Appliances
|Millbrae Furniture & Appliance
|University Electric Home Appliance Ctr
|Western Appliance TV & Stereo
|C G Appliance Express
|Czyz's Direct Appliance
|Tee Vax Home Appliance Center
|Monark Premium Appliance
|Airport Home Appliance
|Bay Appliance & Service
|Contra Costa Appliance & Kitchen Center
|Atherton Appliance & Kitchens
|BSC Culinary Resource
|1 See text for description of our price comparison score and research methods. For each company, the price comparison score is intended to suggest the price a customer might expect to pay for appliances that would cost $100 at the "average" company. The score is based on prices quoted to CHECKBOOK telephone shoppers who shopped for 26 appliances, including delivery, haul-away of old appliances, installation, and any needed installation kits.
Note that we included stores quoted fees to deliver and install each appliance
we shopped, to haul away an old appliance, and for any needed parts or
installation kits. If a store told our shoppers it does not provide installation
services for the type of appliance we shopped, we added our estimate of
the average price charged by reasonably priced local plumbers to do the
Table 2 lists the lowest and highest prices quoted by local stores (including
national chains) for each appliance model (again, including costs for delivery,
haul-away, and installation) and the prices of several large chains. We
also list the lowest price we could find at online-only stores.
|LG LMXS30776S refrigerator in stainless steel
|LG LRG3085ST gas range in stainless steel
|LG LDF7774ST dishwasher in stainless steel
|Maytag MFT2776DEM refrigerator in stainless steel
|Maytag MGR8850DS gas range in stainless steel
|Maytag MDB8969SDM dishwasher in stainless steel
|Frigidaire FGHB2866PF refrigerator in stainless steel
|Frigidaire FGGF3054MF gas range in stainless steel
|Frigidaire FGID2474QF dishwasher in stainless steel
|GE GFWR2705HMC clothes washer in metallic carbon
|GE GFDR275EHMC clothes dryer in metallic carbon
|Whirlpool Duet WFW81HEDW clothes washer in white
|Whirlpool Duet WFW81HEDW clothes dryer in white
|Samsung WA48H7400AW clothes washer in white
|Samsung DV48H7400EW clothes dryer in white
|Maytag Maxima MHW7100DW clothes washer in white
|Maytag Maxima MED7100DW clothes dryer in white
|GE GSS25GGHBB refrigerator in black
|GE JB650DFBB electric range in black
|GE ADT521PGFBS dishwasher in black
|Whirlpool WRS576FIDB refrigerator in black
|Whirlpool WFE540H0EB electric range in black
|Whirlpool WDF760SADB dishwasher in black
|Frigidaire FGHS2631PE refrigerator in black
|Frigidaire FFEF3018LB electric range in black
|Frigidaire FGID2466QB dishwasher in black
1 Some prices rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Refrigerator prices include icemakers. All prices include delivery, haul-away of old appliance, installation, and required parts for installation. If a store told our shoppers it does not provide installation services for the type of appliance we shopped, we added our estimate of the average price charged by reasonably priced local plumbers to do the work. See article text for additional details on how our shoppers collected these prices.
Here is a rundown of what we found:
Dont assume sale prices are low prices.
The sale prices youll find at many local stores and on most websites probably
arent special prices at all. Unfortunately, at most stores these sales
A nine-month-long investigation by CHECKBOOKs mystery shoppers (see our
Sale Fail article) found that many stores use deceptive practices,
especially when selling appliances. We found that the sale prices at many
well-known storeseven heavily discounted sale pricesare more often than
not the usual prices. Sadly, even if the sign says Save 60%, its probably
meaningless and probably not a good deal.
Although general price competition for appliances is less pronounced than
for many other products, its still worth your time to shop around.
The price comparison scores reported on Table 1 range from $92 to $113,
which indicate far less variation among stores average prices than for
other types of local service providers we cover.
But, as Table 2 reveals, when looking at price differences for individual
models, considerable savings are possible. For example, the highest price
quoted by local retailers for a Frigidaire refrigerator (model FGHB2866PF)
was $2,684; the lowest price was $1,875a tidy savings of $809. For a GE
dishwasher (model ADT521PGFBS), prices ranged from $515 to $1,289, a difference
Because it is easy to obtain price quotes from salespeople at appliance
stores and company websites, consumers willing to make four or five phone
calls could save several hundred dollars. And if you are replacing all
the appliances in your kitchen, its well worth the time to shop around.
You dont have to pay more for superior service.
Begin shopping with stores that receive high scores from area consumers.
For each appliance model we priced, we received at least one low price
quote from a top-rated store. In fact, stores that rate high on service
were as likely to quote low prices as stores that rate low for service.
Dont assume online-only retailers are less expensive than local stores.
Table 2 reports the lowest prices we could find at online-only stores for
the appliance models we shopped (plus delivery fees and estimated installation
Although we often found low prices online, you cant count on the Internet
to deliver the best appliance deals. Our shoppers often found better dealssometimes
much better dealsat local retailers.
Even if you dont want to buy online, make sure youre paying a low price
by comparing the prices at local stores to prices from online sellersbut
dont bother checking prices at Amazon.com. Our shoppers attempted to use
Amazon to shop for appliances but gave up in frustration after sifting
through page after page of separate listings for the same appliance models.
Among online-only stores we shopped, we found that AppliancesConnection.com
most often offered low prices.
If youre considering an online appliance purchase, see the next section
of this article for additional advice.
Big chains dont necessarily offer the lowest prices.
Among local stores and chains, Atom Appliance and Costcos price comparison
scores ($92) are the lowestbut just barely. Several other retailersBest
Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Martin & Harris Appliances, Pacific Sales, Millbrae
Furniture & Appliance, and University Electric Home Appliance Centerachieved
price comparison scores of $96 or lower.
Call or email stores to get price quotes.
A bad-for-consumers policy of appliance manufacturers (and manufacturers
of many other big-ticket items) is the use of minimum advertised prices,
or MAP. Designed to boost profits for both manufacturers and large retailers
by squelching price competition, these policies require retailers to advertise
product prices at or above preset minimums. Because of MAP, you wont obtain
the best prices on most major brands of appliances from sales circulars
But MAP policies dont apply to prices quoted to customers in person, over
the phone, or via email, and storesparticularly independent storesoften
quote appliance prices less than MAP to close a deal.
When calling or emailing stores, mention that youre contacting multiple
stores for price quotes. The best strategy is to initiate a competitive
The only way to get the lowest possible price is to make salespeople offer
their best prices upfrontwhich they do only if they know you will buy
elsewhere for a better price. At independent stores, our shoppers found
that informing sales staff that they were getting price quotes from multiple
stores often spurred discounts, waivers of delivery and installation fees,
or both. Getting big chains to be flexible took considerably more effort,
but when our shoppers waited and waited and waited on hold to speak with
appliance-department sales managers, they sometimes secured better deals.
Our view is that the best approach is to solicit competitive bids. To do
this, call four or five of the retailers listed on our Ratings Tables
(starting with those highly rated for quality) and ask to speak to someone
with authority to provide discounted pricing. Tell that person the makes
and model numbers of the appliances you want, explain that you are calling
multiple companies to solicit bids, make it clear that you will ask each
store only once for its best priceand will buy from the store that offers
the best deal.
Dont be shy about using this method. Be polite, businesslike, and let
stores know that you get competitive bids whenever you make major purchases.
Most appliance salespeople are accustomed to providing discounted pricing
As we stress below, if you need delivery and installation services, nail
down prices for that work along with prices for the appliances.
If the store with the lowest price isnt the one you prefer, because of
convenience or service quality, call the store you prefer and ask it to
match the low price.
When comparing prices, take into account fees for delivery, haul-away,
Some stores include fees for delivery, hauling away old appliances, and
installation in the price of the appliance; some charge a flat fee for
delivery and installation; and some charge separate fees for each service.
Some retailers charge considerably steep fees for these services, quickly
turning a seemingly good deal into a not-so-good one. For example, some
stores quoted our shoppers prices of $250 or more to install dishwashers
and $200 or more to install gas ranges.
To avoid add-on-fee surprises, ask for separate prices for each of the
services you needthen youll know whether it could cost less to have an
independent pro do the work instead. And if you dont need delivery or
installation mention it, so the store can adjust its prices accordingly.
Determine what the store will and wont do when installing appliances.
Some appliance stores have employees (or, more commonly, subcontractors)
who can perform any type of appliance installation; but some companies
wont install dishwashers, and others wont connect appliances to gas lines.
Some delivery personnel wont do anything but move appliances into place
and plug them in.
If you buy from a store that doesnt provide full installation services,
and you arent comfortable with doing it yourself or with the help of a
friend, youll have to hire a plumber or appliance repair service. Most
reasonably priced plumbers charge around $100 to $150 to hook up clothes
washers, gas stoves, or dishwashers. When comparing appliance prices, take
these expenses into account.
Many consumers prefer to deal with stores that offer complete installation
services, and with good reason. Our view is that its better to have a
single vendor responsible for making sure the appliance arrives in good
condition and is properly installed. If something goes wrong, this arrangement
eliminates disputes between store and plumber over who is at fault.
If you know your installation will be difficult or unusual, hire a trusted
plumber to do the work.
Some installations are complicated. To replace dishwashers, countertops
may have to be removed. If youre replacing an electric appliance with
a gas model, or vice-versa, gas lines must be run or removed. If you are
replacing very old appliances, you may need to install new pipe and connections.
Most plumbers can handle all these jobs. And if youre adding an electric
clothes dryer to a new space or to an old room that isnt wired adequately,
an electrician will be able to install a new circuit and connect the appliance
Ask about installation kits.
Extra parts must be purchased to install many appliances. When shopping
for the appliance, ask stores about prices for any additional parts needed
to install the unit (often called installation kits).
If a contractor is handling your appliance purchases, make sure you are
getting a good deal.
When pricing remodeling jobs, general contractors usually work out an appliance
budget (often called an allowance) with their customers, and then use that
allowance to select models to purchase and install. We have no problem
with an arrangement like this, but check prices yourself to make sure you
cant do significantly better. If you do find opportunities for big savings,
ask the contractor to buy from the low-priced retailerand adjust your
contract price accordingly. You may, in fact, discover that you are indeed
able to find substantially lower prices on many appliances, in part because,
when calculating budgets and bids for customers, some remodelers mark up
the prices they pay their retail and wholesale sources, often by a lot.
As noted above, buying appliances online often doesnt produce savings,
particularly when you add installation fees. Buying appliances online presents
several other disadvantages, as well.
Longer delivery times. Even though local stores might take several days
to deliver appliances, many deliver faster than online vendors.
Rejecting defective products can be more difficult when dealing with out-of-town
Web-based retailers. Delivery personnel for online stores likely arent
trained to spot problemsand probably wont be able to seek a remedy directly
from the retailer. If you discover a problem after youve accepted delivery,
it could be difficult to arrange for pickup of the defective product and
delivery of a replacement. Worse, if you dont discover a problem until
youve hired someone to install the appliance, youll have to pay the independent
pro a second time to come out to install the replacement unit.
Similarly, if a freight carrier has delivered an item that arrives damaged,
you wont know whether the carrier caused the damage or if it happened
before the carrier received the item. If neither the store nor the delivery
company accepts responsibility, youll have to try forcing one or the other
to make amends.
In a worst-case scenario, youll have to file the lawsuit inand possibly
travel tothe location of the Web-based store.
If you do buy online anyway, keep the following suggestions in mind:
Check appliances for visible damage before you accept delivery.
Pay by credit card. If there is a problem, you can dispute the transaction
with your credit card issuer.
Check retailers online reviews. Although we have concerns over the reliability
of the ratings for online stores posted on Google and other comparison-pricing
websites, with this much money at stake some information is better than
No matter where you buy an appliance, the following tips will help you
avoid the most common appliance-buying pitfalls:
Get all terms in writing. You should receive an invoice or contract that
lists the stores name, address, and phone number; salespersons name;
your name and address; appliance brand and model number; price for each
appliance; itemized prices for delivery, hauling away old appliances, and
installation, including a detailed description of what work the stores
installers will do; deposit paid; terms for refunds and exchanges; and
expected delivery date.
Avoid leaving a large deposit. Its reasonable for a store to require a
small upfront deposit as compensation in case you cancel the order. But
making a large deposit deprives you of the leverage you may need to make
sure all goes as planned.
Pay by credit card. If you have a problem, you can protest the charge with
your credit card issuer.
Measure. Twice. Dont wait until your new appliance arrives to find that
it wont fit through any of your doors, up a stairwell, or in the allotted
Check right away for visible defects. Reject delivery of an appliance that
arrives with scratches, dents, and other damage. If the problem is limited
to cosmetic damage, and you need a working appliance while you await a
defect-free replacement, call the store manager and ask if you can keep
the damaged unit while you wait for a replacement. If you do receive a
replacement unit, get the terms of the arrangement in writingincluding
expected delivery datebefore the stores installers leave.
After installation, check that the appliance works. Before the installers
leave, make sure burners burn, the oven bakes and broils, the fridge cools,
the icemaker makes ice, the washer washes, and the dryer dries. Check carefully
for water leaks. If anything is amiss, demand a replacement or remedy.
If you notice a problem after the stores installers leave, inform the
store as soon as possibleand push it to provide a replacement unit, rather
than forcing you to seek repairs under the manufacturers warranty.
Check that washing machines are level. Leveling a washer is one detail
some delivery personnel dont bother to do well. An improperly leveled
clothes washer can have a shorter operating life and, worse, cause a flood
if the unit pulls too far away from the water supply or drainage hoses.
The best way to check is to throw in a blanket or a few towels to create
a slightly unbalanced load. Start the washer, letting it fill about halfway
with water to get the load wet, and then switch it to its spin cycle. If
it does a two-step across the floor, it needs to be re-leveled.
Check gas appliances for leaks. Ask store installers to show you how they
test for leaks, and then watch them do it. Even if you dont know how to
check to make sure the work is done right, the installers wont know you
Confirm that anti-tipping devices for ovens are installed. This precaution
is especially important if you have small children.
Replace flimsy hoses with more reliable options. The rubber water-supply
hoses that typically come with clothes washers and dishwashers can fail.
Replace them with stainless steel hoseseither when the appliance is installed
or the next time you need repairs or plumbing work. Its an easy job you
can do yourself. Also, if your refrigerators icemaker uses a rubber or
plastic water-supply line, replace it with a copper version.
Read the instruction manual. You never knowyou might learn something useful.
If youre a regular CHECKBOOK reader, you already know where we stand on
extended warranties (also referred to as protection plans or extended
The key point is that extended warranties are insurance policies. But unlike
auto, homeowners, health, and life insurance, they insure against relatively
small lossespotential repair or replacement costsand pay out in claims
only a small portion of what they take in. Most new appliances are very
reliable, and those that do break down are likely to do so right away,
while still covered by the manufacturers warranty. And keep in mind that
many credit cards double the length of manufacturers warranties when you
charge the purchase.
Extended warranties are a good deal for the stores that sell them, and
the companies that administer them and pay the claimsbut a bad deal for
consumers. On average, more than half the price of extended warranties
goes to the retailers, much of the rest stays with the companies that back
and administer them, and less than 20 cents of every dollar taken in actually
gets paid out in claims.
Because retailers make so little on the sale of appliances themselves,
its hardly surprising that appliance buyers have to virtually fight their
way out of the store to avoid buying an extended warranty. Many retailers
count on the sale of extended warranties for mostor even allof their
If you are still thinking about buying an extended warranty, shop around.
You dont have to buy one at the time you purchase the appliance, nor do
you have to buy it from the store that sells you the appliance.
Is your refrigerator running? is no longer the question. Instead, its
How much energy is it using?
Old appliances, particularly refrigerators and freezers, suck so much power
off the grid that states and utility companies often offer consumers incentives
to replace them. For example, at the time of this writing PG&E was offering
customers $50 for each old refrigerator and freezer they recycle plus rebates
to customers who purchase eligible Energy Star-certified refrigerators
($75 rebate) and clothes washers ($50 to $150 rebate).
But even after adding up any rebates you can get, from a pragmatic money-saving
perspective the expense of exchanging old appliances for new ones is seldom
covered by the energy savings you get. If you replace an old, inefficient
clothes washer with an Energy Star-certified model, you could save $40
to $50 per year in energy and water savingswhich means a new model that
cost $750 would have to be used a long time for utility-bill savings to
cover its cost. And Energy Star-certified dishwashers tend to save only
about $10 to $20 a year more on electricity and water than non-certified
models. But if your current refrigerator was manufactured more than 15
years ago, investing in a new model makes sense. According to Energy Star
estimates, here are the annual energy savings from upgrading a top-freezer-model
refrigerator to a new certified unit:
Made before 1980 $277
Made 19801989 $200
Made 19901992 $135
Made 19932000 $69
Made 20012008 $20
On the other hand, if your existing appliance needs repair, determine the
cost of replacement minus expected energy savings versus the cost of the
repair. Calculations on the Energy Star website (www.energystar.gov
let you compare annual operating costs of efficient and inefficient appliances
according to how much you use them and how long you expect the new unit
to last, among other variables.
Of course, many consumers might want to switch to energy-efficient appliances
to minimize the amount of energy their homes use and reduce their contribution
The following tips from Energy Star will minimize electricity usage, regardless
of your refrigerators age:
Set the temperature of your refrigerator at 35° F and freezer at 0° F.
If possible, position your refrigerator in a cool place, away from your
oven and dishwasher, and out of the sunlight.
To allow air circulation, leave a two- or three-inch space between the
back of your refrigerator and the wall.
Make sure to maintain an airtight seal when you close refrigerator and
freezer doors. When seals wear out, replace them.
Minimize the amount of time the refrigerator door is open.