why are fridges expensive

Why are refrigerators so expensive

Refrigerators generally don’t deviate from their general functionality and purpose, so, why are refrigerators so expensive? Let’s take a look at this question and get to the bottom of the reason why these necessary home appliances can be so expensive.

To answer this question in short, a lot goes into the research and development of a refrigerator. Modern fridges have a lot of features and improvements which include energy-saving, smart features as well as high-end finishes which make them pricey for the end-user.

Other specialized units such as built-in refrigerators are high-end limited units that cater to a high-end market. Let’s take a closer look at what all this means in the rest of this article.

Research and Development

The refrigerator has really come a long way from the very first model. A lot has gone into it to make it a lot more energy-efficient as well as environmentally friendly.

Alternative gases had to be developed and adopted as the ones being used in older units were harmful to the ozone layer.

The energy which a refrigerator uses is quite substantial as it is one of if not the only home appliance which is continually running. In fact, a refrigerator consumes more energy than any other appliance in the home.

Over the years, vast improvements have been made in this field which has allowed modern refrigerators to consume much less energy. All this research and development takes years to complete at a great cost. This cost is then passed down to the consumer.


Modern refrigerators also have a lot of technology. A number of them have moved from dial controls to digital panels. We now have smart refrigerators that have artificial intelligence and can synchronize with other devices and appliances in a smart home setup.

Other add-ons such as water dispensers and ice makers also play a part when it comes to the price of a refrigerator.

The price difference between these types of refrigerators and the “regular Joes” may not necessarily be justified by the price difference. It becomes more of a matter of prestige than anything else.


The type of finishing that your fridge has also played a huge part in the final price. A stainless steel or mirror finish will definitely push the price upwards.

These types of refrigerators are bound to be a lot more expensive than your regular refrigerator. It makes sense that the factors just described should make refrigerators more expensive. How about your regular refrigerator without all the bells and whistles? What makes them so expensive?


One of the things that determine the final price of a refrigerator is its weight. This is due to the fact that it is more expensive to ship a fridge because it is bulky and weighs a lot.

Moving a refrigerator will be a lot more expensive than moving a TV across the same distance. This then means that the longer the distance that a refrigerator is moved from the manufacturing point to the point of sale, the more expensive it will be after factoring in the cost of delivery.

Though we pretty much can travel from point A to point B in a 1989 Honda Civic, not everyone is willing to do it in that manner especially if they can afford a better looking, more comfortable vehicle with all the bells and whistles. This is also true in the world of refrigerators.

There are the everyday Hondas that get the job done the there are the super and hypercar equivalents that those with higher taste and deeper pockets opt for.

This is the world of the built-in refrigerator. These units are designed to blend in with the kitchen. As the name implies, they are actually built into the existing architecture of the kitchen. There are different types which cater to different needs.

Basic Built-In

The first of these is the basic built-in refrigerators. They are installed into spaces specifically made for them. When installed, they sit flush with the cabinetry of the kitchen.

The finish for these types of built-in refrigerators is usually something like stainless steel or other matching tones. It is easy to distinguish the fridge from the rest of the room through the end product is a completely seamless look and feel.


An overlay built-in fridge uses the doors that match the cabinetry of the room. This type of fridge comes with doors designed to be overlaid with wooden cabinet doors or other matching finishes.

It does not sit flush with the surrounding cabinetry. The doors will protrude outward slightly where the fridge will be. To the casual onlooker, there won’t be any difference between the fridge and the rest of the kitchen.

Why are built refrigerators so expensive?

So, why in the world are built in refrigerators so expensive? If it isn’t already obvious to you, allow us to enlighten you a bit.


The first reason is prestige. Just like the well to do among us who would rather travel in a Rolls Royce to the same destination that your Honda Civic can take you, it’s mainly about prestige.

Having a kitchen that is designed down to every detail is worth every extra dollar that they pay for it. In fact, a built-in fridge can cost as much as twice the price of a similar mass-produced model. Built-in fridges are limited making them scarce which drives their prices up. When you have a built-in fridge, you are one of a few people who have it.

Custom Doors

No 2 built-in refrigerators are going to be the same. They may have the same internal components but each one is going to be fitted in a unique kitchen matching its particular look and general feel.

For that reason, each fridge has to have custom doors made for it. This takes specialized skills pushing the cost of the product up.

2 compressors

Built-in fridges also have two separate compressors for the different compartments of the fridge. The freezer and cooler are served by independent compressors which also prevents a common problem of odors being shared between the two compartments.

Installed by professionals

The installation of a refrigerator has to be done by a trained professional. This is yet another reason why a fridge is expensive. Better tech Overall, the tech in a built-in fridge is better than in the standard fridges.

Things like the controls, lighting, and other aspects are of a higher standard.


Generally speaking, a lot goes into the manufacture and distribution of a fridge which greatly impacts the price of that fridge. If you also consider that there are different tiers of refrigerators, you will come out with a lot more reasons that refrigerators are so expensive.

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