refrigerators
  • Best of Year 2013
  • Editors' Choice

Amana A8TXNGFXW Refrigerator Review

You’d be hard pressed to find another fridge that’s this good and this cheap at the same time.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

The Cold Hard Facts

This is a perfect example of substance over style. Out of the box, the Amana A8TXNGFXW didn't really impress. It was run-of-the-mill, lacked extra features, had a very basic layout; hopes weren't high. In our line of work, though, its the science that matters most of all, and this Amana aced nearly all of our rigorous tests.

Temperature Performance

Get it calibrated and be amazed.

As is the case with almost every fridge on the market, there were calibration issues. We set this Amana to the marked recommended setting on the vague control knob, and things turned out to be a bit too warm. The fridge displayed an average temperature of 38.75ºF at the top, warming to 40.91ºF at the bottom. An average shift of about two degrees is pretty standard for all fridges except the very best, even for those in higher price brackets or with more interior space. You'll need an external thermometer to fix the issue, but a small tweak on the controls should more than compensate.

What really impressed, however, was the fridge's precision. The internal temperature of our test materials shifted a mere 0.12 degrees over time. That's astounding! Of all the fridges we've tested over the years, only a handful of them have maintained such a precise temperature output. With regularity like that, the food you place inside this machine will be well taken care of.

The freezer displayed almost identical strengths and weaknesses to the fridge. Warm temperatures were the biggest flaw: the top averaged 4.9ºF, the bottom hit 3.66ºF. It's not perfect—we wanted 0ºF—but it's darn close. Turn down the thermostat, and this issues—as well as the one in the fridge—should be more or less negated. It was the consistency yet again, however, which really impressed. Average a temperature shift of just 0.26 degrees, it's the sort of regularity that helps prevent freezer burn and optimizes food preservation.

Moisture Retention

The one black mark on an otherwise stellar report card.

Moisture retention was this fridge's weakest link. It wasn't surprising given the flimsiness of the crisper drawers. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of 0.2 grams of moisture. While we've frequently seen that level of loss in budget fridges, it's all the more disappointing here due to the other stellar performance points. 0.2 grams of moisture lost per hour is below average, enough so that fruits and vegetables purchased from the store could potentially spoil prematurely.

Freezing & Thawing

Excelling even in the basic tests.

Freezing times in budget fridges typically don't impress. Not so with the Amana: our room-temperature test materials froze in just 90 minutes even. That's somewhat faster than average, but only marginally so. Average may not sound impressive, but to give you some context, most freezers like this Amana's tend to run upwards of one hour and 40 minutes to freeze something. Faster freezing times mean better quality when thawed.

The Amana's insulation also managed to keep the cold air in. Left alone to sit for 36 hours without power, the internal temperature of our test materials warmed to a brisk 29.37 degrees. If you find yourself stuck at home without power, don't fret. As long as the electric company finishes repairs within a day and a half, your frozen food should still be good to eat... as long as you didn't open the door and let the cold air out.

Storage Space & Energy Efficiency

It's not enormous, but neither is its electric bill.

The A8TXNGFXW isn't a giant fridge by any means. The fridge has just three shelves (two of which are adjustable) in addition to a deli drawer and two crispers in the main compartment. Three more fixed shelves and a dairy bin add a smaller-than-average amount of door storage to the overall mix. Despite the advertised 13.52 cubic feet of fridge space, only 9.81 of those are usable. The less-abundant door storage may restrict fridge flexibility, but the total available storage space is fairly standard.

The freezer is about as basic as it comes. The rectangular compartment is broken up by one wire shelf; there's no ice maker, though a hole in the back of the fridge is indicative of the ability to install one. Two door shelves add a little more storage to the freezer, but not a ton. Amana's specs for this fridge advertise 4.07 cubic feet of frozen space, but there's actually just 3.11. Again, par for the course: it's not cavernous, nor is it smaller than average. It's just small.

Our energy meters calculate annual costs based on a rate of $0.09 per kWh, giving this Amana a yearly bill of roughly $27.24. Thats quite good: cheaper than average, though not the cheapest ever. The really exciting element here is what you get when you check how much energy each usable cubic foot requires to cool. At 0.06 kWh per cubic foot, this Amana clocks it at the lowest end of the scale in terms of what we've seen for energy usage.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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