Whirlpool WRF535SMBM Refrigerator Review
For $999 on sale, this stainless French door is a steal.
The Cold Hard Facts
Of course we've seen better scores, but test results for the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM (MSRP $1,799) were definitely impressive considering its remarkably low price.
The upper section of this fridge runs a bit warm. Our sensors recorded average temperatures of 40.04°F at the top of the compartment, 39.98°F in the middle, and 39.39°F at the bottom. Fortunately, that’s a very narrow spread, and—considering the small overall temperature fluctuation of just ±0.32°F over time—you can simply turn down the thermostat one point from its default for ideal chilling and food safety.
The freezer was better than the fridge, with even more accurate average temperatures. The upper drawer averaged -0.87°F, while the lower drawer clocked in at 0.72°F. An overall temperature fluctuation of just ±0.36°F is nice and steady for a freezer, but you’ll want to turn this section down a notch as well, just to keep everything below 0°F all the time.
The crispers, simple though they may seem, actually did a great job retaining moisture. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of just 0.1 grams of moisture per hour. While it’s not the best we’ve seen, it’s certainly the best we’ve seen in fridges at this price point, and great news for fans of fresh salad.
Room temperature sensors took 1 hour 33 minutes to reach 32°F in the freezer. That's about 10 minutes longer than many other French door models, but passable considering this model's cost.
Storage Space & Energy Efficiency
Without ice and water dispensers hogging space, the upper section of this Whirlpool is fairly roomy. Across all of its shelves and drawers, plus the gallon-deep door storage, you get a total of 11.9 usable cubic feet of fresh food storage. We've seen roomier models, but this isn't bad.
Even with its ice maker and bucket, the freezer is still fairly spacious. The upper and lower drawers combined equal 4.55 cubic feet for frozen food. Depending on the kind of things you normally buy, the fixed plastic dividers in the upper level may get in your way, but the lower bucket should be large enough to fit oversized items like whole turkeys or pot roasts.
This Whirlpool easily holds its own against some of the more energy efficient fridges we've tested, requiring just 0.07 kWh per usable cubic foot. That keeps it on par with most of the new 2015 models, which means you'll likely see an improvement in your electric bill if you're swapping this out for an old one. In terms of power costs, assuming an average American rate of $0.09 per kWh, that comes out to roughly $37.06 per year—less if you turn off the ice maker.
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