About 2 weeks ago my beloved 7.5 year old, $1500 side by side Frigidaire refrigerator started making a buzzing noise when it turned on and food wasn’t being kept cold. We cleaned out all the dust behind the fridge, which we’d never done, pretty disgusting, and the refrigerator seemed back to normal. No buzzing, cold food. Unfortunately, a week later the same thing happened. This time we turned the temperature setting to the coldest setting. Noise stopped and food was cold again. Despite this, I called a local appliance repairman. He said it sounded like the compressor. When the compressor goes bad, you need a new fridge. They are too expensive and just not worth it to fix. Wonderful, not what I wanted to hear, since I paid so much money for my fridge. I thought I had bought a good one.
Well, the repairman sent a guy out to take a look at the refrigerator. Definitely the compressor. The repairman said the average life of a refrigerator these days is 7 years. All brands last about the same length. It doesn’t matter how much you pay either.
I got out the August 2010 issue of Consumer Reports and took a look at the refrigerator reviews. I really like the side by side refrigerators because they have more freezer space. Prices start around $800 and up. They are the most repair prone though. The French door/bottom refrigerators are priced even higher. With the freezer on the bottom, it might be a little hard to organize, although I’m sure I could manage. The top freezers are much cheaper, but also lack a lot of freezer space. None of the side by side or French door/bottom refrigerators jumped out at me as being “the one”. I’m not willing to pay a lot of money, if I’m only going to get about 7 years out of it. I guess refrigerators are not a good investment.
I decided to go with a cheap top freezer refrigerator and buy a chest freezer to make up for the lack of freezer space. I’ve been wanting to buy one anyways.
I ended up buying the Maytag M1TXEMMWB, the black version of M1TXEMMWW. Maytag was bought out by Whirlpool, which Consumer Reports lists as the refrigerator models with the fewest repairs. Although the repairman said he works on a lot of Whirlpools. All of the reviews for the Maytag M1TXEMMWW were good. It’s ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars at Home Depot. Has a lot of features, including an ice maker and adjustable shelving inside and in the door, is very energy efficient, and is cheap. Home Depot has it on sale for $630, free delivery/installation/haul away. After a $10 off promo code of THDSAVE27, 3% off from Ebates, I spent $650 total, which includes tax. New York also has an energy star appliance rebate program, so I may get another $105 off. If this fridge busts in 7 years, I won’t feel so bad.
Here are the top 5 refrigerators for each refrigerator type from Consumer Reports:
Top Freezer Refrigerators:
1. GE Profile PTS22LHS[WW] – $1400
2. Kenmore 7930 – $960
3. Kenmore 7531 – $1250
4. Maytag M1TEXEMMW[S] – $750
5. LG LTC22350[SW] – $850
Bottom Freezer Refrigerators:
1. Whirlpool Gold GX5FHTXV[Q] – $1700
2. LG LFC25770[SW] – $1400
3. Samsung RF266AE[WP] – $1500
4. LG LFX28977[SW] – $2400
5. Samsung RFG298AA[WP] – $2500
1. Whirlpool Gold GS5VHAXW[Q] – $1800
2. Bosch Linea 800 B22CS8OSN[S] – $2700
3. GE GSH22JFX[WW] – $1050
4. Samsung RS275AC[WP] – $1300
5. GE GSH25JFX[WW] – $1000
For the freezer, I’m going with a Kenmore from Sears for a little less than $400, but am waiting a few weeks before I buy that.