What are your experiences? I’m leaning towards spending more on my next fridge.
If you enjoy eating and cooking, or just food generally, if there is one thing that is worth splurging on, it is the refrigerator.
Just think about all the times you use it, touch it, and think about it.
A stovetop is nice, but there are foods you eat and make that do not require heat (like raw fruits and vegetables) but do require a fridge.
A sink is also critical, but again there are things you can eat and make that do not necessarily require water or washing, say, for example, leftovers from the previous night or dinner out, or just ice cream.
Invest in a fridge you like and love, and the ROI will be nearly unmatched.
As to what brand to buy. Go less on brand image and reputation (although it does matter b/c a Subzero is going to be better than a basic GE), and more on the availability of service and service techs in your area. Because that’s what really matters when something breaks – you need whoever is going to service your unit (under the OEM warranty) to be easily available and around.
I’m not ready to spend the $10,000 that a Sub Zero costs in Canada, but I’m looking at some Bosch & Miele models that cost 2-3 times more than a new model of the Kenmore I’m replacing would cost.
Yeah, whichever model you decide on, besides the features and specs, just make sure you can get it serviced in/around your area easily.
That’s really key and something lots of people overlook when remodeling their kitchen with new appliances.
I didn’t take height or width of our doors into our house into consideration last time, and the new fridge wouldn’t fit through our front door, even though it would fit fine in the space inside the kitchen. The fridge came through our sliding door, instead, less than an inch to spare.
Lot’s of good info/advice here, But it is a looong thread.
If SubZero is out of your price range, I’d recommend Frigidaire/Electrolux for reliability and performance. Avoid the bells and whistles of brands like Samsung and LG… it is just more to fail and pricier to fix.
I have had 5 Frigidaire appliances over the last 20+ years, and the only failure I have had was a door switch on the washer which was easily replaced with a new part bought online.
Other GE, Maytag, whirlpool devices haven’t come close.
We have been lucky. Close to 25 years with a 1970 Kenmore, around 12 with an Amana, around 13 with this Kenmore. The fridge itself works fine. The mechanism in the French Door broke away from the plastic of the door. Going back to a standard model with one door, and bottom freezer.
Have close to 25 years on a Kenmore microwave. Not sure who built it but it’s still going strong.
Agree that it is worth splashing out on a good fridge. Think about what features you would like. I like an ice cube machine for example, and a wine rack. My parents bought a replacement Samsung for their 20 year old, still working and no big issues during that time, Samsung last year, and it does a great job.
Interesting. We had the LG fridges at our last two homes. Never an issue. One for 6 years and the other for 4 years and both are apparently still going strong for the current owners! FWIW, we’ve also been an exclusive LG washer / dryer family at our last 3 homes and have never had an issue.
My only experience with a Samsung fridge was a two week stay with friends during the CalDor fire evac. We did a lot of cooking and I found the interior of it poorly designed and constructed (especially given what they paid for it).
Don’t know the model, but it had a stainless exterior with two side by side fridge doors and a large freezer drawer below. Main shelving was difficult to adjust, and some of the shelves in the doors were separating due to a very goofy, irreparable, unadjustable mount design. The ice maker took up a huge amount of space in the freezer drawer, with a lot of wasted space above the ice tray that could not be used for anything due to the design
If you want to invest in a premium fridge, it’s a good idea to find a way to talk to the repair guy, he will give you invaluable advice, like which fridge in terms of brands have which type of problems or advantages etc. Also important is the place of fabrication. The repair guy told me electric coming from Eastern Europe or Ireland is far better than those made in Vietnam under the same brand. Some fridges have very thick wall, due to the newer norm of ecology, leaving you lesser space inside. The repair guy told me one should just avoid Samsung fridge due to its tendency of out of service just after a year or 2. (The Samsung at my friend’s place is hot when you touched it at the side)
I got a lower-end Bosch (all that was available!) to replace my not-quite 3 year old KitchenAid that died, having already been “repaired” 2x under warranty. I don’t like the dumpster dive bottom drawer freezer setup, but beggars can’t be choosers. The Bosch is running! I’d have bought a subZero if I could have found one PLUS someone mid-pandemic to take out my upper cabinets on a day’s notice (this was replacing a dead fridge in the middle of a pandemic, no luxury of planning a remodel). I’d probably have gotten a higher-end Bosch with dual compressors if I had had the ability to find one in stock.
My thought: above all, get something that’s reliable. Bells and whistles aren’t worth anything if it doesn’t run. And get an extended warranty.
Very helpful tips, @naf.
Thanks for mentioning the warranty. I usually don’t get one on electronics.
I also am not remodeling. I am not looking for bells and whistles. I wouldn’t mind some German engineering! I’ve never even owned a fridge that came with a water dispenser or ice machine. That was my idea of luxury when I was 10 years old, but at 49, I’m looking for the upscale equivalent of a basic fridge. No wifi required.
I have actually had to replace two fridges in the last couple of years, a 2007 GE counter-depth model in my rental apartment (water in the door and icemaker in the freezer) and a 2009 LG standard-depth model in my home (ice and water in the door). Given the COVID-related shortages, I was somewhat limited in my options for replacement, an coincidentally ended up with another counter-depth GE in the rental and another standard LG in my house. Weird!
Anyway, the rental fridge went out first and I tried to repair rather than replace, which ended up being $300 down the toilet because the repair only lasted 6 months. The repair guy in that case was sort of on the fence in terms of recommending replacement rather than repair, so I rolled the dice and lost. Lesson learned, though - when my house fridge died a few months later, I called the repair guy and didn’t hesitate when he said he could fix it but recommended replacing instead (didn’t even charge me for the house call!). He said that unless you have a Subzero or other truly high-end brand, after 10 years you are better off replacing.
All that said, my tenant is very happy with the GE and I am happy with my new LG model thus far. The LG is a french door, door-in-door model with ice and water in the door, plus an additional ice maker in the bottom freezer. It has quite a bit more interior space (28 cu ft) than the LG it replaced despite having the same exterior dimensions - apparently they have made strides in maximizing interior space over the past few years. I didn’t actually want the door ice maker because they take up a lot of space, IMO, but it was next to impossible to find one without. I paid $2,500 for the fridge at Costco - the same model cost quite a bit more elsewhere. If you have access to Costco I highly recommend them for appliance purchases - their prices are usually unbeatable and their warranty/return policy are excellent. Delivery service was also terrific.
Although I was initially attracted to them because of their stoves without microchips, Kucht also has some great looking refrigerators. Although our appliance repair guy does a great job keeping our stuff running, he says to stay away from GE and agrees that microchips and high heat (stoves) do not play well together. It would be less of an issue in a fridge, but they will still fail, just not as quickly or as often.
I had a brand new Whirlpool go bad less than 6 months, when I moved into a rental suite almost 20 years ago .
The repairman tried to fix it twice, then it was replaced. The replacement lasted around 11 years, then the compressor broke while I was away for a week, heating the fridge instead of cooling it.
(I will always place frozen meat wrapped in butcher paper in plastic bags or glass containers after cleaning up that mess)
My fridge’s plastic absorbed the garbage scent , and the management company wanted to fix it. I insisted on a new fridge. I’d been a good tenant at an upscale rental for 11 years and management would think I’d be okay with a fridge that smelled like garbage. No amount of baking soda or coffee beans can fix that.