KitchenAid KFIV29PCMS Refrigerator Review
A lower price would make this fridge look even better.
The Cold Hard Facts
It takes an objectively strong appliance overall to truly excel in our tests. With great fresh food storage, decent moisture retention, and exceptional energy efficiency, the KitchenAid KFIV29PCMS did well... with the exception of the freezer, which ran a little too warm on factory settings.
A friend to the fresh, less so to the frozen.
Temperature consistency over time was quite high, with an average recorded shift of just 0.2 degrees. That said, even though we had the control panel set to 37ºF, the internal temperature of our test materials averaged just 38.43ºF at the top, slowly warming to 38.59ºF in the middle and 40.53ºF at the bottom. We usually expect fridges to get warmer towards the bottom, and that's actually better for produce. As long as temperatures don't go above 41ºF, you shouldn't have any problems storing fresh foods.
While we'd like to say the same of the freezer, it turned out that the frozen food section just wasn't all that great. With an average temperature of -1.55ºF at the top and 3.8ºF at the bottom, that's a pretty wide range for such a short compartment. Add in the average temperature fluctuation of 1.15 degrees—a fairly wide shift—and you'll likely encounter freezer burn over time. You'd have to drop the temperature by 4ºF to ensure proper food preservation.
The acceptable standard.
Our test materials lost an average of 0.18 grams of moisture per hour, more or less the average rate for a standard crisper drawer. Produce should stay crisp for several days before you start to see noticeable deterioration.
Freezing & Thawing
At least the freezer did some things well...
The KitchenAid's freezer froze our room-temperature test materials in just one hour and 28 minutes. That's faster than normal, though not quite the fastest we've ever seen. Meat, fish, and other delicate items shouldn't suffer from noticeably reduced quality when thawed. If only the freezer's temperature output were this good, it might have been one of the best large freezers we've seen.
The insulation in the freezer also did an excellent job. After letting the KitchenAid sit for 36 hours without power, the internal temperature of our test materials had warmed to just 28.87ºF. That's still quite frozen, giving your electric company plenty of time to fix the cause of any outages.
Storage Space & Energy Efficiency
Fantastic energy efficiency, standard storage space.
Despite having the icemaker relegated to the door, the interior of the KitchenAid's fridge only offered up a relatively average amount of usable space. You've got four adjustable half shelves, a full-width shelf on the bottom, two crispers, and the wide temperature drawer on the bottom comprising the bulk of the usable space. There's a removable dividing bin for the wide drawer, as well as a four-bottle capacity rack, which we took out for measuring purposes. Throw in the two small shelves under the ice maker, plus the four shelves on the right-hand door—three of which are gallon sized—and you've got an acceptable 11.36 cubic feet of usable space.
The freezer, too, has a decent amount of room without being too spacious. There are two sliding drawers on top, as well as some deep bucket storage on the bottom with a central divider that slides left and right. Having two sliding drawers may limit your ability to store large or bulky items, but it does help separate your food a bit. Additionally, you've got the In-Door Pizza Storage, a compartment just on the inside of the door which allows you to stand wide, thin boxes upright for easy access. All together, it adds up to 4.96 cubic feet, neither impressive nor disappointing.
Undoubtedly, the most impressive thing about this KitchenAid was its energy efficiency. After calculating the data on our energy meters and inputing a rate of $0.09 per kWh, it was determined that this fridge would require $61.07 per year to run. Seems like a lot, but that's actually quite low for a fridge this size... and with the icemaker running, no less. Spread all that energy out, and you discover that only 0.11 kWh is required for every cubic foot of usable space, an exceptionally small amount.
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