2015 Fridge Reviews

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Shopping for a new refrigerator? Compare the biggest brands in the market with our customer satisfaction ratings for fridges.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in September 2015, published in October 2015.

See our Ratings Methodology.

LG plays it cool with our customer satisfaction award for fridges

refrigerators 2015 lg

When it comes to essential home appliances, they don’t come much bigger – or more important – than your refrigerator. Your fridge plays a crucial role in not only keeping your food and drink fresh, but in keeping your family fit and healthy. You might say it’s something of an unsung hero.

Any refrigerator should be able to fulfill its most basic reasons for being, but unless you want to regularly replace one of the biggest and heaviest appliances in your home on a regular basis, it makes sense to invest in one that you’re happy to keep for the long-term. Factors like capacity, internal layout and quality of fitting are also major considerations – and of course, you’ll want to feel like you’re getting a good price.

A good fridge is pretty much part of the family. So if you’re looking to welcome a new one into your home, we hope our customer satisfaction ratings are a helpful guide. We asked more than 1,000 Australian consumers – who have bought a new refrigerator during the last three years – to rate their model across a range of variable. In 2015, LG has been rated 5 stars in Overall Customer Satisfaction for its refrigerators, receiving the Canstar Blue award for Most Satisfied Customers.

Types of refrigerators

The most important thing to consider at the start of your fridge buying journey is the type of fridge you actually want. And of course, with a fridge, almost always comes a freezer. To give you an idea of your options, here is a guide to the most popular types.

  • Top mount: Top mount fridge-freezers are the traditional single door fridge with a single door freezer ‘mounted’ on top. Our survey found that 44% of Aussie homes have one of these models.
  • Bottom mount: Bottom mount fridge-freezers are the reverse, with the freezer placed at the bottom of the fridge. Bottom mount freezers can refer to either a door or drawer freezer. We found 23% of homes have one of these.
  • Side by side: A wide two-door fridge-freezer. Usually, the left compartment is a freezer and the right compartment is slightly larger and operates as a standard fridge. We found 16% of homes have one of these models.
  • French door: French door fridge-freezers are designed with a two-door fridge on top, and either a two-door freezer or a one or two drawer freezer at the bottom. They may also be referred to as three or four door fridge-freezers. We found 9% of homes have one of these types.

Other types of fridges include single door and of course your trusty beer or wine fridge. We found that 45% of households have more than one refrigerator, with survey respondents in Western Australia (54%) the most likely to and those in South Australia (41%) least likely.

What to look for in a fridge?

Once you’ve decided the type of fridge you would like to buy, it’s time to start getting more specific – look at different types of features and internal layout options. More than half (55%) of the adults we surveyed said they looked for fridges with the latest technology and features when they went shopping for a new model. The manufacturers will be constantly dreaming up new, more imaginative ways to keep consumers interested in buying new fridges, and it’s little wonder considering Aussies only replace them after an average of 10.8 years, we found.

That said, there are some genuinely exciting innovations out there. LG, for example, boasts a new range of ‘door-in-door’ refrigerators which provide easy access to an outer layer of items in the fridge, without opening the entire thing. See how it works here.

Our survey found that customer satisfaction is driven by a number of different factors, but most important of all to consumers is fridge reliability.

Drivers of customer satisfaction

  • Reliability: 31%
  • Internal layout: 23%
  • Value for money: 17%
  • Quality of fittings and fixtures: 15%
  • Food freshness: 3%

Several factors are important, but some consumers also like to stick with what they know. We found that 61% of adults considered the brand of refrigerator to be important when they came to purchase their new model, while 19% always buy the same brand.

What do refrigerators cost?

Like most white goods, it’s probably fair to say that cost generally relates to quality, and if you want a top of the line refrigerator – as 35% of consumers aspire to, we found – then you’ll need to pay for it. Overall, we found Aussies spent an average of $1,224 on their current fridges, with those in South Australia ($1,304) reporting the highest average and those in Western Australia ($1,195) the lowest. Woman reported a slightly higher average than men and adults aged in their 40s spent the most at $1,394. Currently listed on The Good Guys website, top mount fridges range in price from $487 up to $1,799.

How energy efficient are refrigerators?

Energy efficiency was an important purchase decision for 82% of adults – and considering your fridge is probably the only household appliance that will be running 24/7, it makes good sense to seriously considering the ongoing running costs involved. So how much money is your fridge going to cost you to run? The Energy Rating website is an incredibly helpful tool, which not only gives average details about energy consumption, but can even allow you to compare particular models based on their running costs.

Based on average electricity costs in New South Wales and a two-door fridge-freezer with a refrigerated compartment of 300 litres and freezer compartment of 100 litres, the Energy Rating website estimates annual running costs for units with different star ratings to be as follows:

Energy efficiency rating Energy used each year Annual running costs Running costs over 10 years
1 star 685 kWh $197 $1,967
2 star 528 kWh $151 $1,514
3 star 406 kWh $117 $1,166
4 star 313 kWh $90 $898
5 star 241 kWh $69 $691
6 star 185 kWh $53 $532

Source: Energy Rating Calculator

As you can clearly see, it pays – especially in the long-term – to buy a refrigerator with a good energy efficiency rating. However, you will need to consider the extra cost involved in buying that higher-rated fridge in the first instance – and how long you expect to own it for.

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Frequently asked questions

The refrigeration system is made up of coils to transfer cooling gasses throughout an enclosed metal box. With the use of a liquid substance called refrigerant, which turns into gas, cold is kept inside the unit at a set temperature as defined by the user. Heat is correspondingly kept out to prevent bacteria from hastening the spoiling process.

Like most appliances, the refrigerator had its primitive start many years ago. Some of these included the Chinese storing their food in ice boxes and the English placing ice blocks in salted flannels in preparation for summertime.

The first artificial type of cooling system which didn’t need to literally store blocks of ice was created in the 18th century. From cooling coils, it took almost a century for General Electric to finally develop a commercially available refrigerator unit in 1927, where something similar to the fridge of today made an appearance.

The earliest form of the standard domestic refrigerator was called the Monitor Top. Its design blended well with most interiors and became widely available for home usage. In the coming decades especially during its rise to demand among Aussies in the 1980s, refrigerators became sleeker and more practical. Their styles and layouts varied from French doors to bottom freezers, along with add-ons such as built in water dispensers and ice makers.

Today, technology has taken the best refrigerators to the next level. Touch screens, energy efficiency, smart temperature settings and humidity control, improved storage and ice dispensers are just some of the luxuries in top range appliances.

Each year, Canstar Blue conducts a survey among Australian households on which brands give them the most feature and service satisfaction. Among hundreds of respondents, these brands came out on top of the domestic refrigeration industry:

  1. LG
  2. Electrolux
  3. Fisher &; Paykel
  4. Kelvinator
  5. Samsung
  6. Westinghouse
  7. Whirlpool

The refrigerator is every homemaker’s ally in prolonging the freshness of produce and keeping beverages ice cold for the family to enjoy. In varying sizes, styles and prices, there is a lot to think about when purchasing a refrigerator. Even commercial establishments have to think hard about this business essential. With this in mind, it is important to look at how the fridge works, how it came to be and what the most popular styles and brands are.

Fridges typically last 10 years before needing replacement and often cost around $2,000 for a new unit. You might want to consider the following purchasing tips when on the search for a new refrigeration unit:

Purpose and criteria in choosing your style of fridge

There are many things to consider when choosing a fridge and it is important to think about not only your everyday meals, but other scenarios where the fridge may be needed.

Your food preparation style should help you decide your ideal fridge’s design. For instance, you may choose between these two models:

Top built-in freezers – Enable you to retrieve more ice and keep more of your frozen foods within reach.

Bottom built-in freezers – Fits salad, cheeses and other fresh food gourmands.

There are many other types of refrigerators which serve varied purposes of cooking and storing ingredients. Bottom mounted or French Door fridges also have bottom built-in freezers, and they additionally have two doors which open out. More advanced units allow for more storage and compartments for more specialised ingredients.

Access areas and kitchen layouts

While fridges have the ability to keep your food fresh, they can take up a lot of space. A choice between a sleek or traditionally designed unit can contribute to the overall design of your kitchen.

Zoning

Consider from which side of the kitchen you’ll be entering, depending on where you’ll position your fridge on your work triangle. You may either choose from left or right door opening fridges to ensure an efficient and safe zoning in your cookery.

Choose a right door opening unit if your living room-to-kitchen transition starts from the left, and vice versa. This way, accidents will be minimised, especially when there are kids or dogs running around the house!

Cooking space

If you have limited space, you might want to invest in a counter depth or built-in unit. The fridge may be installed right below a set of cupboards, saving significant space.

For those who are working with a cramped kitchen, compact models can store a few ingredients you can cook with. For homeowners who find takeaway meals to be more practical, this type of fridge should also serve them well.

Main and additional features

Temperature controls and compartments are the two main features you need to look into before purchasing a refrigerator. While the most basic features have become more sophisticated, what you’ll want is an even cooling temperature system right where it’s needed most.

Freezers should ideally be set at -18 degrees Celsius and main compartments should be set at 4 degrees Celsius. Basic compartments should include:

  • Easy-to-wash crisper drawers for fruits and veggies
  • Chiller compartments
  • Shelves and meat storage

Lastly, Energy Star Ratings are one of the most sustaining features refrigerators can have. They’re earth friendly as they no longer emit as much harmful compounds into the atmosphere, plus they contribute towards additional electricity savings in the long run.

These are just some of the details you can look into upon purchasing a refrigerator. Take time to list your own criteria and don’t hesitate to browse through a couple of units.

LG

A South Korean multinational electronics company, LG is one of the world’s most well-known brands when it comes to household appliances. It has a huge range of refrigerators available in Australia, ranging in price from $799 to $5,999 at the time of writing.

Electrolux

Based in Sweden, Electrolux is a multinational appliance manufacturer, perhaps best known for its range of refrigerators. Indeed it won our 2014 Most Satisfied Customers Award for fridges. It has a large range top mount, bottom mount, side-by-side, single door and French door fridges.

Fisher &; Paykel

Fisher &; Paykel is a major appliance manufacturing company based in New Zealand and sells a host of household appliances, including washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers. Its range of refrigerators is large and includes no-freezer and bar fridges.

Kelvinator

Born out of the United States, the Kelvinator brand is now owned by Electrolux and is probably best known for its air-conditioners and hot water systems. It also has a range of refrigerators.

Samsung

Samsung is a South Korean multinational company, comprising numerous subsidiaries which cover home appliances and electronics like televisions, tablet computers and smartphones. It has a huge range of French door, side-by-side and top freezer refrigerators.

Westinghouse

Westinghouse is a premium electronics and appliances company that has been operating for over 100 years. It produces seven types of fridges which come in a wide range of models and sizes.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool is an American multinational manufacturer of kitchen and laundry home appliances, including washing machines, clothes dryers, ovens and refrigerators. It has an extensive range of French door, side-by-side, bottom freezer and top freezer fridges.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought a new refrigerator in the last three years – in this case, 1,099 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.