Above all else, the refrigerator is easily the most used home appliance and the absolute last one that you’re going to want to replace when the time comes (though replacing any appliance isn’t exactly “enjoyable”).
This is why choosing the most reliable brand is the most important factor when looking for appliances. However, with so many brands spreading across the globe in the refrigerator industry, it can be hard to know which brands should be highlighted, and which should be avoided entirely.
Below we will get into some things to consider during the process.
What to Consider When Buying A Refrigerator Anyways?
When it comes down to reliability, you are going to want to look at brands that have a solid history of long-lasting products, high-quality customer service, and limited negative reviews.
Not having the ability to store food long-term is nearly unfathomable in today’s age, so finding a brand that you can rely on is imperative.
When you consider some of the premium brands for refrigerators (LG, Samsung, GE, Whirlpool), you find some common trends with innovative features, intensive testing, and quick and efficient service (both on-site, and online).
However, when you begin diving into some of the less reputable brands for refrigerators, you are going to notice a certain lack of convenient features, quality testing, and overall service (both pre and post-sale).
Another important thing to consider is what features are going to matter the most to you. Refrigerator manufacturers are always trying to one-up each other with brand-new features, and customizable options. So, it’s important that you take the time to understand some of the different features, and what you’re hoping to get out of your new fridge.
One feature that many people look for in new refrigerators are adjustable shelves. These can be vital for allowing maximum space, and an easier cleaning process. Also, many consumers are keen on ice functionality, design (French-door, side-by-side, etc.), and built-in entertainment (TV screen on fridge display).
Outside of these popular features, many people also keep an eye out for the overall energy consumption of the unit. As mentioned previously, your fridge is the most used appliance in your home, and so even by increasing a small percentage of your unit’s efficiency. It can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. On average, appliances that are Energy Star certified save homeowners around 10% on their annual energy bill.
What are Common Issues with Refrigerators?
As vital as refrigerators are, they do not come without their problems. One of the biggest issues with fridges is their inability to cool up to certain temperatures. This isn’t a common problem with most refrigerators, but it can certainly pup up with some models. You may notice your fridge not cooling as much as it should, resulting in food spoiling. This is typically due to a lack of power supply, a change in the temperature settings, dirty condenser coils, a clogged condenser fan, or a capacitator issue. Most of the time this is a quick fix, but it may take some time to properly diagnose the problem.
Also, some models of refrigerators have issues with their defrosting system in the cooling device. If you notice this system begin to fail, there will typically be a build-up of ice in the fridge and the freezer compartments. Which will eventually obstruct the functionality of your refrigerator.
Another common issue people have with refrigerators comes down to water leakage. While this isn’t as common as other issues, it can certainly arise with certain models. Generally, water leakage can be attributed to a blocked defrost drain, or a clogged water supply line. A blocked defrost drain is relatively easy to fix and happens when debris, dust, scrap, or other food particles congesting the drain hose. This can lead to an ice build-up in the fridge compartments, leading to water leakage. A clogged water supply line can cause the water to leak below the refrigerator, in which case you are going to have to ensure the valve of the water line is shut off, and there are no leaks in the supply line.
While these issues are not overly common, there is a very realistic chance that you are going to have to face one of these potential problems. So, finding the right brands to invest in/avoid is paramount if you want to veer away from some of these less than desirable situations.
What are the Least Reliable Refrigerator Brands?
It is also important to mention that we have done proper research and have writers part of our team that have worked in the appliance industry. Our recommendations are based on personal experiences and thorough research from real-life reviews. Keep in mind, what makes an appliance a poor option is the percentage of owners that have issues, this means more reviews about malfunctions of an appliance will make it a “less reliable” and desirable option in our personal opinion.
Frigidaire is renowned for a wide variety of home appliances, so you may be shocked to see them claim our top spot of the least reliable refrigerator brands. However, Frigidaire’s refrigerators rank among the lowest of any other brands when it comes to the customer reviews of their fridges. Specifically, customers have reported issues with the ice makers (leaking/breaking within months of purchase), and the water inlet valve (reports of breaks within 30 days).
Plus, there have been reports of incorrect parts being received after connecting with the service department, as well as repair issues with the warranty providers. Some of the biggest issues with Frigidaire refrigerators revolve around the fact that they advertise (and price) their items as “premium”, and yet they don’t really do anything to separate themselves from the competition. All in all, Frigidaire has a plethora of worthwhile appliances (stoves, ranges, microwaves, and dishwashers), but their refrigerators carry to many negative reports to justify the price.
KitchenAid is a major manufacturer of a variety of high-quality kitchenware, and countertop appliances. For example, they thrive with certain appliances like baking/cooking hardware, and smaller accessories. However, when it comes down to refrigerators, they rank among the worst. Based on customer reviews, KitchenAid has some of the worst customer service, and many of their fridges have problems with broken accessories upon delivery, and issues within the first year of purchase.
In general, KitchenAid refrigerators come with a plethora of issues, some of the other primary concerns include uneven doors, bent molding, and misaligned freezer doors. A lot of the major customer complaints come from the remarkably large number of performance issues within the 1st year of purchase, as well as poor customer service during the repair process. Not to say this is the case with all KitchenAid technicians, and their parts/service still costs less than other major appliance brands. But there have been an unusual number of negative reports in regard to their refrigerators in recent years. Although all in all, KitchenAid is a world leader for smaller kitchen appliances, but when it comes down to refrigerators, they struggle to compete with a lot of the major appliance brands.
Now this one is likely going to surprise you, but both Samsung, and LG refrigerators have some of the most reported issues compared to any other brands. While the constant innovation helps to keep LG and Samsung in the game, the overcomplication of their products lead to several issues. The reason we wanted to clump these two together is that although they use different operating systems, and have slightly different customer reports. More or less, their issues fall under the same umbrella, and Samsung and LG seem to constantly compete with one another in every department (Tech, Audio, Appliances, etc).
These 2 companies rank among the worst in part availability, and overall customer satisfaction. They typically need far more repair work done than the average brand, since there’s more advanced technology hidden throughout the unit. There’s a greater risk of features, or parts breaking down, and trying to find the correct (and affordable) replacement piece can be a headache in and of itself. Both Samsung and LG parts and services are going to be far more expensive, and difficult to find compared to other brands that specialize in appliances. Simply put, if you ever run into any issues with an LG or Samsung refrigerator, it’s going to be hard to justify their insanely high price tag (and service fees).
Lowest Rated Refrigerators to Watch Out For
While knowing which brands to avoid is the first step to understanding the market, it can still be hard to identify which exact models should be avoided entirely. While there are a few models manufactured by Frigidaire, and KitchenAid that could easily make this list, here are a few brutal units that might shock you…
1. LG (LMXS30776D) – Black Diamond Series 30 Cu. Ft. – French-Door Refrigerator
LG has consistently blown the competition out of the water in their innovation department, and implementing their advanced technology into the world of appliances was ingenious, to say the least. However, as Peter Parker would say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”, and the same can be applied to LG refrigerators.
Their Black Diamond Series 30 Cu. Ft. model perfectly exemplifies this theory, helping to showcase just how too much innovation can actually do more harm than good. At first glance, you are likely going to be drawn towards the sleek design, and the plethora of hi-tech intricacies hidden throughout the unit for added convenience. Like the CustomChill Drawer, the EasyReach Bins, the Glide N’ Access Shelf, the Glide N’ Serve Drawer, and the external ice/water dispenser. However, the customer reviews for this product are below par, to say the least.
A variety of customers have reported issues with the cooling system, as well as the internal compressor. In fact, many people have had the compressor either break entirely or issues with the copper tube leaking out Freon gas. Outside of these terrible reports, customers have also stated how loud the appliance is even directly after purchase, as well as issues with misaligned doors, and the external icemaker. And once again, LG (much like Samsung) is going to charge quite a bit more for both the repair service, and the parts.
So, even if you are fortunate enough to have to endure just 1 of these problems, you’re still going to have to pay extremely high prices for even the simplest of fixes. All in all, taking customer reviews into account, as well as the remarkably high price of this unit, the LG Black Diamond Series 30 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator hardly seems worth the hassle.
2. Samsung (RS25H5111WW) – Energy Star 24.5 Cu. Ft. – Side-by-Side Refrigerator
Samsung is a worldwide competitor in nearly every relevant market, and they have supplied us with a variety of stunning models in recent years. However, their RS25H5111WWW model is easily one of the most deceptive items on this list. With a remarkable Twin-Cooling plus system, Multi-Air flow, Power Freeze, and Power Cool options, this side-by-side refrigerator by Samsung seems like it has all the bells and whistles.
However, a multitude of customers have had issues with the ice maker breaking down on them after a short amount of use, and the defrost sensor failing on them entirely. Also, there have been consistent reports with the doors not closing properly, and with the “Open Door Alarm” being reportedly quiet, this has led to a water leakage, and energy drainage. Almost entirely destroying one of this unit’s shining features (Energy Star certified). And much like LG, you can expect Samsung to charge a similarly high price, and you may find it even more difficult to find Samsung products.
There seems to be an especially large number of complaints about the customer service approach when it comes to this model specifically. Multiple people have reported either having to wait ages for the correct repair pieces to come in, or outrageous prices for Samsung repair services. To put it simply, there are more worthwhile appliances available for purchase right now.
To summarize, the market for refrigerators is hotter now than ever, and trying to riffle through the numerous brands can be difficult, to say the least.
Frigidaire, KitchenAid, and Bosch are very respectable brands for most major appliances. However, regarding certain refrigerators this year, most of their models should be avoided.
This isn’t to say that their models are the absolute WORST refrigerators in the world, but compared to other big-time brands, they do not seem worth the price with such headaches.
Many of these units are priced very similarly to some other major appliance brands, and when you consider the multiple negative customer reviews attached to each of these brands. It’s hard to justify spending the same amount of money, for an inferior product.
To put it simply, there are better options available when it comes to refrigerators this year.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.