This article will take an in-depth look at the Whirlpool 36-inch Wide French-Door Refrigerator.
Highlights of our review will include the fridge’s features, pricing points, pros and cons, reviews from customers and comparison to the competition.
Choosing a refrigerator for your home can be an exercise in patience and diligent research, and we’re here to help with this comprehensive, honest look at a fridge that can make your kitchen the most admirable room in your home.
The Whirlpool 36-inch Wide French-Door Refrigerator is a new addition to Whirlpool’s stellar collection of standard-depth household fridges. When compared to standard refrigerators, this one is rather unique in terms of design and usability.
Complete with three compartments, including a 25-cubic-foot external door designed to create extra storage space for your food while keeping it just as cool as the rest of the refrigerator’s contents, Whirlpool’s Wide French-Door Refrigerator was designed with both style and functionality in mind.
This fridge operates solely on standard household outlet power and runs at an approximate power rate of 9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), making this fridge’s energy levels compliant with Energy Star standards.
This refrigerator features three compartments: the refrigerator on top, the external refrigerated drawer in the middle, and a freezer drawer on the bottom. The exterior ice and water dispenser is filtered with the PUR® Water Filtration System which operates while the refrigerator door is fully closed.
The filtration system comes with a Measured Fill system that measures ounces, cups and liters, allowing you to select the exact amount of filtered water you need.
The refrigerator also features adaptive defrost, adjustable gallon door bins and LED interior lighting which makes all food easy to spot with a natural-looking light source that lasts longer than standard bulbs.
Despite all the available features, the fridge does lack some that higher-end models usually contain. Features missing from this fridge include a beverage rack and humidity-controlled crisper.
The crisper is meant to be replaced by the external pull-out fridge drawer, but according to the moisture retention levels of various test materials, the external drawer does not operate in the same way as a crisper.
This can be offset to a small degree, however, when changing the drawer’s temperature settings via the drawer’s sliding controls.
More specifications include:
Although the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is a bit on the high category, prices for the Whirlpool 36-inch Wide French-Door Refrigerator generally are way less for used and refurbished models and there are in fact lesser prices online for brand-new models.
Used and refurbished Whirlpool refrigerators of this model can be found on eBay and Sears Outlet, while new models can be found at Best Buy, Home Depot and online shops like AJ Madison, Appliances Connection, BrandsMartUSA, Designer Appliances and Discount Bandit.
Despite this refrigerator’s high points, it falls into the budget-friendly category, as higher-end fridges can be three to four times more expensive.
How It Compares
Whirlpool’s Wide French-Door Refrigerator has some rather hearty competition. Take a look at the following three competitors to see where the Whirlpool fridge stands among typical market contenders:
1. Samsung RF260BEAESR Refrigerator
Samsung is known for producing high-end, high-quality electronics and appliances, and this fridge is no exception.
The exterior is more plain compared to the Whirlpool-brand fridge – there’s no exterior ice and water dispenser or extra refrigerated door – but its stylishness and functionality make it a popular choice among consumers.
Unlike most high-end refrigerators, this model is in the more affordable range.
Despite this Samsung fridge being one of the cheapest of its kind on the market, the aesthetic manages to maintain a luxurious feel.
Ease of Use
The Samsung fridge’s three-compartment setup is remarkably spacious, which is why some buyers choose it over models with an exterior ice and water dispenser.
The simple arrangement of three inner shelves, two crisper drawers, a pantry drawer and three door shelves on each door of the refrigeration section makes it easy to organize your contents however you’d like, and the thermostat and other power controls display the user friendliness that Samsung products are known for.
Like most refrigerators, the Samsung fridge is relatively easy to install. Most consumers have refrigerators delivered to their homes and installed by a professional.
Depending on the size of your home’s entry doors, your installation technician may have to spend extra time removing the fridge doors.
Samsung’s overall setup time is reduced because there is no need for a waterline to be installed with the fridge as there is no ice and water dispenser.
Based on the Samsung fridge’s high ratings from other reviewers on temperature performance, storage space, energy efficiency and moisture retention, we believe this model to be of excellent build quality.
The fridge’s freezer and crisper doors have been reported as having a smooth, easy slide – a welcome change from the rickety, friction-filled drawers of lesser-quality models.
The Samsung-model fridge comes with a three-part warranty. First, Samsung offers to pay for parts and labor for defect repairs during the first year of the warranty.
Second, the refrigeration system – including the compressor, connective tubing, condenser, dryer and evaporator – comes with a five-year warranty for parts and labor, a huge plus considering most refrigeration system warranties only cover parts.
Last but not least, the digital inverter compressor gets 10 years of parts warranty and five years of labor coverage.
Where to Buy
2. Haier HRF15N3AGS 28-inch Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator
This model is a space-saving, uniquely-styled take on the modern fridge. Its sleek, compact design and two freezer compartments make it a wildcard choice compared to the Whirlpool and other competitive models listed in this review.
With a manufacturer-suggested retail price in the lower category price and a significantly lower sale price, the Haier-model fridge is clearly the most affordable choice on our list.
Cost-cutting factors include the compact 14.9-cubic-foot design, the use of artificial stainless-steel and relatively flimsy plastic shelves. There is also no ice and water dispenser, further implying signs of cutting costs.
Ease of Use
The Haier fridge is overall easy to use, but the recessed drawer handles on the fridge and freezer door may prove difficult or even hazardous to some.
The layout of the fridge’s interior space, however, proves useful for easy content organization. The minimalist-style touchscreen temperature controls are also remarkably easy to use.
Because of this fridge’s smaller stature, it is relatively easy to install with a faster setup time compared to standard-size fridges.
Installation time is also shaved off this model due to the lack of an ice and water dispenser and no need for a waterline. The average professional installer could have this fridge installed in under 45 minutes.
In all honesty, the build quality on this model is debatable. The exterior material of the fridge is known to gather scratches easily due to its faux-stainless steel design.
The interior shelves, however, are sturdy, functional and finished with a stylish blue tint that contemporary-minded buyers will enjoy.
The Haier fridge comes with a standard full one-year warranty, which becomes limited and extends to five years from the date of purchase for parts only.
This warranty, as well as Whirlpool’s warranty, pales in comparison to that of Samsung fridge.
Where to Buy
3. Frigidaire Gallery FGHB2866PF 27.8-cubic-foot Refrigerator
Although the price of this fridge makes it the most high-end out of the fridges we’ve covered in this review, Frigidaire’s latest French-door model features user-friendly controls, an aesthetically pleasing and trendy design and a through-the-door ice and water dispenser.
The darker-than-average stainless steel may be a plus to consumers who are looking for a fridge that differs slightly from the norm at first glance.
The manufacturer-suggested retail price on this Frigidaire-model fridge is a rather pricey one, but it can be found on sale at various stores for around 3/4 of the original price, making it not much more expensive than the Whirlpool or the Samsung model.
Ease of Use
The control panels on this fridge have received complaints of being difficult to read and having a confusing touchscreen setup.
Also, because the fridge’s plastic drawers slide on plastic runners, the ease of opening and closing drawers is diminished compared to the competition.
Some reviewers also complained of crooked drawer alignment.
Although this fridge is the largest model on our list, the installation and setup time is standard. The average setup time could change, however, depending on the size of your home’s entry doorway.
If your doorway is too small, extra time will have to be spent removing the fridge doors and putting them back on.