Here’s a fun game to play: Count how many times you go to your refrigerator in a typical day. Is it ten times? Twenty? Do you know what you want every time you open that door or are you more of a gazer, hoping to be inspired by something for your next snack? No matter how you slice it, our refrigerators are the most used appliance in our home. You can go for a day or two without cooking or doing laundry but that icebox is always running. That also means it won’t last forever.

Sadly, like our cars, sooner or later that fridge is going to grind to a halt. Is there anything sadder than reaching for your pint of Ben & Jerry’s only to discover it has become ice cream soup? Before buying your next fridge, keep these four items in mind:

Measure First

There is nothing wrong with getting a bigger fridge for you and your family. What would be horrible if that fridge got delivered and it didn’t fit in your kitchen. Measure that space from top to bottom to back. And measure the front door and stairs, too. Also, consider swinging open the door.

Freezer On Top Or Bottom Or Side?

There was a time when the only freezer option you had with your refrigerator was to have it on top. Now you can buy units with a side-by-side freezer or freezer on the bottom. If you’re looking at a freezer on the bottom, then you want a drawer that is easy to pull out. It will also help to have baskets to help sort your food and keep it organized. Nobody likes a sloppy freezer. Although it might look cooler, sometimes having the bottom freezer makes it harder to find what you’re looking for at a glance.

As for the side-by-side freezer, this is the one that gives you the easiest access. The one drawback is that the shelves are very narrow. It would be hard keeping the Thanksgiving turkey frozen in this type of freezer.

Cubic Size

Refrigerators are measured in cubic feet. However, that doesn’t take into account the shelves or drawers. Still, the more cubics, the more space you’ll have. According to the Best Buy buying guide (and who should know better?), the “typical family of four will need at least 20 cu. ft. and likely more.” Although the fridges in the store might all look the same size, a few extra cubics could make a world of difference.

Splurge For The Extras

If you’re going to own this fridge for the next ten to fifteen years, then you owe it to yourself to splurge for a few extras. At the very least, you should have an ice maker and water dispenser. Trust me, this is a game changer. There are also refrigerators digital temperature controls. Finally, you can get a fridge with a built-in television screen. Not a big fan of that one because it takes up too much precious refrigerator magnet space.