Replacing Your Refrigerator: 5 Things to Do on the Big Day

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

After all the research, shopping, and deliberating, you might think your fridge-related work is done by the time it arrives at your doorstep. Well, not quite.

There are a few things you should do when your fridge arrives. We spoke with Christian Boscherini, of Smeg USA, to help you prepare for that fateful delivery day.

1. Inspect, inspect, inspect!

Just like with any major delivery, you’ll want to be certain you don’t have any missing pieces or issues before signing for the delivery. “Refuse the shipment if it’s in any way damaged,” Boscherini says. It’s important you do this on the spot, otherwise it’ll be hard to prove that you didn’t damage the appliance yourself after the delivery folks left.

2. Make sure you have an extension cord.

Ask the manufacturer or store how long the fridge’s cord is. If the cord length is a problem, given the distance from the outlet, you’ll need to have an extension cord. Ask the same pro to suggest a specific cord, as you might need something special to handle the amount of amps your fridge will draw.

3. Air it out.

Once the machine is in place and plugged in, you might want to leave the door open for a little bit while it cools down (before you put any food inside, of course). Leaving the door open will help to get rid of the “new car smell” that usually accompanies any new appliances. “The materials of the refrigerator are sterilized and clean, but the harmless smell may bother you,” adds Boscherini.

4. Set the dial.

Check the settings for the fridge and freezer (you should find the dials for both in the fridge somewhere). “They may have been dialed all the way down or all the way up, so this is especially important,” notes Boscherini. “You could end up with frozen food or, worse, spoiled food.” It could take up to 24 hours for the compartments to hit their respective temperatures, so don’t grocery shop until the next day.

5. Adjust the shelves.

There are limitless configurations for all those shelves and baskets that come with your fridge. Think about how and where you like to store things and map out a plan that makes sense for you and your family. Maybe you guys drink a lot of homemade iced tea and your pitchers happen to be exceptionally tall? Make sure there’s room for the pitchers to stand up. Maybe you don’t love stacking stuff and you want to keep shelves closer together? It’s all entirely up to you!

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