Consumers Prefer French Door Refrigerators Despite Repair Record
Appliance purchases are a major investment for homeowners worldwide. The units are expensive and intended for many years of use, but consumers are increasingly reporting failure well before the end of their expected lifespan.
French door refrigerators have quickly become a consumer favorite. These units have side-by-side refrigerator doors on the top, with a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom. Most commonly, these units come with a built-in ice maker in the door and some offer additional features such as exterior produce drawers or additional organization options for the food being stored inside. However, the downside owning this specific type of unit, though, is that they have many failure-prone components.
According to Consumer Reports data, refrigerators with water and ice dispensers in the door, like some French door units, are more susceptible to damage than all other types of refrigerators.
In fact, Safeware, a leading provider of product protection and extended warranty solutions, claims that half of all French door refrigerators will experience failure requiring repair or replacement within five years of purchase. That failure rate is nearly seventy percent higher than a comparable side-by-side refrigerator and two hundred percent higher than a conventional refrigerator.
During the shopping process, consumers should weigh the benefits of having added storage space and modernized design against the likelihood of their refrigerator requiring costly repair service, states Bryan Schutjer, Safeware's Chief Executive Officer. "French door refrigerators are increasingly popular, but these units are also significantly more expensive to repair than other common types of refrigerators," he said.
The average repair on a French door refrigerator is twenty-six percent more costly than the average repair for side-by-side units. Examples of this failure include malfunction of the crushed ice maker, the bottom freezer not maintaining temperatures, or the ice maker leaking and making loud noises.
A common reason for this type of failure is that the freezer, located on the bottom of the unit, must also operate in the top section to supply the ice. With more parts and an increased number of component connections, there is a significantly increased likelihood of failure. Without an extended warranty, each of these failures can leave owners feeling frustrated that their modern appliances are not living up to their expectations.
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