Since you’re looking for a refrigerator with a built-in ice and water dispenser, you are probably interested in popping over to your fridge and having a glass of great-tasting water with ice. Where staying hydrated is the goal, a refrigerator with in-the-door dispensers is hardly beatable.
With the point of these bells and whistles being made, you still have to rethink because buying a 32 inch wide refrigerator with water and ice dispenser requires certain considerations from your end including measurements, especially the width.
The width of a refrigerator is merely linked to your concern for the space the appliance might take up as you place it in your kitchen. But we’ll talk about that later in this article. First up, we’ll discuss whether you should buy a fridge with or without an ice and water dispenser.
3 Benefits of a Refrigerator with Water and Ice Dispenser
Fridges are primarily viewed as a dedicated storage option for fresh food and other items. There are practical benefits associated with having a built-in ice/ water dispenser. Let’s see if and how they matter.
Convenience and Usability
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, an average family in America uses 300+ gallons of water. Needless to say, a portion of this includes drinking water. As the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that men and women need to drink 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters of fluid a day.
If half of the recommended amount of intake comes from refrigerators, you can easily imagine how much you need to rely on these appliances. Here comes the matter of convenience. A simple push of the specific button gets you clean, filtered, cold water in seconds. That is how fridges with ice and water dispensers make life easy.
Besides, some families entertain more guests or go through more ice and water than others. These features definitely make sense for them. You can also choose between crushed or cubed ice, depending on how you want your drink. At least, you won’t be spending minutes filling up the small ice cube trays everyday.
Improved Water Quality
Most refrigerators use filters with activated carbon as the filtration medium in which there is activated charcoal that removes benzene, chlorine, radon, various organic and man-made chemicals while improving the taste of the water by removing odors.
Built-in filters do a fairly good job although they might not be as effective as a typical unit in a dedicated water filter. Most models come with replaceable water filters. In addition, some models have a sensor mount on their doors to alert owners of the necessity of replacing the existing water filter.
Chance to Go Green with Reduced Dependency on Plastic Bottles
Since the refrigerator is doing all the cooling and providing, you don’t need to keep plastic bottles full of water inside to use them when needed. This makes you a friend to the environment as you’re using less plastic.
By avoiding these harmful bottles, you’re also averting the risk of chemicals from plastic being leached out into your drinking water, which could be detrimental to your health. You can get a way to keep yourself from being exposed to the harmful substances that come with plastic.
Factors to Consider Before Making a Purchase
Despite the above advantages, there’ll always be a few downsides with these features. So, you need to be sure of these considerations if you are going with the choice in discussion.
Reduced Storage Space
The housing for the water and ice dispenser has to go somewhere. It’s often located in the freezer door or top shelf, so that means a bit less space for your frozen foods.
Increased Upfront, Maintenance, and Repair Cost
Maybe, you’ve had neighbors or friends talking you out of paying for a model with an in-the-door water dispenser. They are only trying to be reasonable by bringing the purchase price to your attention.
A refrigerator that costs a thousand bucks but doesn’t have these features costs around $200 less than the one that includes a dispenser. Then, there are thoughts about the replacements and energy expenses.
With your consistent dependency on the ice and water dispenser, the filter keeps working throughout the year. It means that you have to swap out at least one clean filter every six months. Forgetting about this schedule or not doing it at all, you’ll only risk losing the benefits that filter provides.
The average cost of a filter is $30 which adds an extra $60 to your annual expenses for the refrigerator. With such a unit, your fridge uses more energy, and you’ll see at least $20 bucks being added to the annual utility bills.
The story still has another chapter. In-the-door dispensers are not among the most durable components or parts of a refrigerator. They may break down more frequently than you are willing to accept. Again, through-the-door units may also malfunction as your kids might not help mishandling it and breaking the parts.
Since you don’t want to tinker with the unit, you can call a professional repairman. Remember that the cost might be anywhere between $150 and $500. However, these built-in dispensers are still worth your money, particularly if you dwell in some place where it is always challenging to find water that is free of odors.
One More Consideration You Want to Take Seriously
At this stage, you already have enough to determine if the advantages outweigh the downsides. If you’re still sticking to our discussion, we’re assuming that you want to have one of the refrigerators with water and ice dispensers. So, here is one more consideration for you.
The location of the dispenser is important, and there are interior and exterior fridge dispensers, each having their advantages and disadvantages. An interior dispenser sits at the very top inside the fridge, which requires you to open the door. An external dispenser is typically mounted inside a contoured opening on the exterior wall.
Although no major differences lie within them, they still differ from each other in terms of accessibility and appearance. Let’s see which type you should choose and why.
You have to open the door every time you want to access the unit and get water. It may not be so cool, but the dispenser being within the appliance prevents the likelihood of water spills on the main unit’s surface. It also helps you keep the appliance away from water stains. These are some obvious benefits.
- With the dispenser inside, your refrigerator offers a solid front look that increases the overall aesthetics.
- You can fill containers that are larger than glasses because the dispenser is not confined within just a few inches.
Those who need fresh, cool water several times throughout the day can use the advantage of having the dispenser outside the appliance because opening the door 10-20 times a day is not a very good practice. Moreover, the look of the appliance may not be at its very best. An external water/ ice dispenser offers the following benefits.
- You won’t be interfering with the internal temperatures because the door doesn’t need to be opened at all if you only need water or ice.
- Many refrigerators come with two ice makers, especially the ones with dispensers located outside the doors.
- An exterior dispenser uses less energy than an interior one.
You see the choice of the dispenser’s location cannot be without their merits or demerits. In the end, you need to count on your personal preferences while deciding on the location.
Why Choose a 32 inch wide refrigerator with water and ice dispenser?
Now you know what to consider before purchasing a refrigerator with an ice/ water dispenser, we have another fundamental matter – the width of the appliance. As the title suggests, we’ll be talking about 32-inch wide fridges. What is the specialty?
A 32-inch wide refrigerator with water and ice dispenser may not be the best example of a compact appliance, but the overall dimensions are important, especially the width and height that matter when you place your appliance in the kitchen or dining space.
Typically, 32-inch refrigerators come with variable lengths from 27 inches to 39 inches and capacity from 16 cu. ft. to 23 cu. ft.
Let’s compare 32-inch fridges with their smaller counterparts, mini refrigerators. A mini fridge that can be 17-inch to 19-inch wide with the depth being from 18 inches to 20 inches and capacity from 1.7 cu. ft. to 4.5 cu. ft.
Typically, 32-inch models take up double the space mini refrigerators do, but the payoffs are significant if you consider the capacities, smart functions, and features like water dispensers and ice makers. We guess this is the point where you might be interested in some of the choices. Let’s get to it.
32″ Refrigerators with Water and Ice Dispensers: 5 Models
We’ve researched and found the following refrigerators that meet the above conditions. They are from different manufacturers, but each has its selling points to grab your attention.
Samsung RF23M8070SG 23 Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator
This counter-depth refrigerator comes with a patented technology called ‘Twin Cooling Plus’ that incorporates separate controls for the freezer and fridge units. The Ice Max compartment stores as much as 2.7 lbs. The ice and water dispenser is located on the outer part to let you have ice/ water instantly without opening the door.
The appliance has 23 cu. ft. of storage capacity. Besides seven bins including gallon bins, there are two humidity-controlled crispers, 3 fixed, one foldable, and one side-in spill-proof shelves. Looking inside, you can benefit from the LED lighting setup.
The FlexZone Drawer features up to four temperature settings along with a Smart Divider that is adjustable. It allows you to switch the temperatures between the freezer and the refrigerator units almost effortlessly. The built-in autofill pitcher refills with clean, filtered water automatically, giving you the chance to add a favorite flavor.
Fisher Paykel RF172GDUX1 32″ French Door Refrigerator
This 32 inch wide refrigerator with water and ice dispenser uses durable stainless steel for its exteriors and solid glass for its interior shelves. The LED lighting arrangement consists of high-quality materials as well.
A smart technology known as ‘ActiveSmart™ Foodcare’ is the biggest selling point of the RF172GDUX1. The appliance is able to sense how you adjust the temperatures, humidity, and airflow throughout the day and then apply the best settings automatically to make life easier.
The water dispenser is quickly accessible. Its slimline design features angled delivery of water to allow the user to have any shape of container filled without worrying about losing additional storage space. The ice maker has a freezer bin to which it delivers ice using only a little energy.
Total capacity of the appliance is 16 cu. ft. including the 10.6 cu. ft. refrigerator unit. There are eight door shelves (6 adjustable and 2 covered), four glass shelves (cantilevered), two bins for fruits and vegetables, four bottle holders (stackable). Should you need to remove all these storage options for cleaning them, use the full-extension runners that let you do it in seconds.
Fisher Paykel RF170ADUSX4N 31″ French Door Refrigerator
The same ActiveSmart Foodcare technology has been added to the long list of features of this model. Its slimline dispenser lets you use jugs, bottles, or containers of any size and get cold, filtered water quickly. The smart ice maker does a fair job of making ice consistently.
The stainless-steel exterior coupled with the EZKleen feature doesn’t allow permanent stains or dirty marks. The fingerprint-resistant coating comes handy as you wipe clean the external parts. The glass shelves are spill-proof and capture any leaks or drips easily.
Total capacity of the appliance is 16.9 cu. ft. including the 12.1 cu. ft. refrigerator. Storage options include eight door shelves including six adjustable and two covered ones, two dedicated bins for fruits and vegetables, and four stackable bottle holders.
Since vegetables and fruits often need different temperatures, you can benefit from the adjustable settings. In addition, the humidity-controlled slide-in bins provide a microclimate to keep the food fresh while retaining the nutrients.
This appliance may not be the best machine in terms of energy efficiency, but it doesn’t consume much energy either. Its annual consumption is 585kWh. The defrosting and cooling functions work only during the hours of need. So, the food receives what it requires to stay fresh, and you don’t have to pay extra bills.
Fisher Paykel RF170ADUSX4 31″ ActiveSmart French Door Refrigerator
Compared to the RF170ADUSX4N, this model is as close as it gets. Its doors close and open with soft pulls and pushes. Having six door shelves and three glass shelves all of which are adjustable, the appliance provides 16.9 cu. ft. of total storage including 12.1 cu. Ft. for the refrigerator and 4.8 cu. ft. for the freezer.
The slim water dispenser caters to your needs for cool, fresh water. The ice maker works automatically without you requiring to refill the ice trays. The door alarm automatically alerts you of any instance where you might have left the door open.
The Quick Freeze adds to your convenience as you need the food to be chilled fast. Unlike the above Fisher model, it doesn’t come with the Energy Star certification, but its annual consumption is about the same, costing you $70 per year on utility bills.
The touchpad controls make everyday operation simple. The freestanding model has two fixed hinges which require gentle actions from your part to open or close the doors. Here comes another important part – the warranty (2 years on labor and 5 years on the parts).
GE GYE18JMLES Side Refrigerator
This side-by-side refrigerator is an Energy Star certified appliance with contoured doors with hidden hinges and fingerprint-resistant slate. Its temperature management system incorporates a ‘Multi Flow Air System’ and several electronic sensors. The Turbo Cool and Freeze settings provide cold air to the interiors to ensure optimal temperatures for food.
An ice and water dispenser has been mounted on the exterior part where you’ll see a temperature display to know what exactly to use for cool water and crushed/ cubed ice.
The filtration system relies on an advanced technology to make the ice and water free of trace pharmaceuticals like atenolol, ibuprofen, trimethoprim, and progesterone. Using the premium MWF Filter, this GE model can remove up to 20 different contaminants that are detrimental to human health.
The fridge has external controls, door alarm, and child lock that enable users to ensure efficient usage and safety. The full-width, humidity-controlled crispers provide the food and condiments with the right environment.
This is all we wanted to inform you of a 32 inch wide refrigerator with water and ice dispenser. You know that buying a large appliance like fridges involves many more factors other than just the width or dispensers. So, feel free to ask any question about refrigerators, and we’ll try to satisfy your curiosity.