I’m often asked by my customers if Sub Zero refrigerators are worth the money. My answer is always the same – maybe. Let me explain…
If you are talking about longevity, overall quality, and food preservation, my answer is always absolutely! And if the price tag fits in your budget, it is a no-brainer to me. I owned one a few years ago and can tell you my strawberries lasted up to two weeks (which was incredible considering my produce department background!); cheese left on a plate (as an experiment) didn’t mold or crust over after a month; and an opened container of ice cream was still fresh after discovering it more than a month and a half later.
Sub Zero claims a family can save as much as $25 a week in food spoilage because of the dual refrigeration system. I always thought that was an exaggerated claim until I owned one and estimated I was saving approximately $10 a week as a bachelor. If you are a Costco shopper and like to buy things like the multi pack of Romaine lettuce and find you can’t make it past two head before they spoil, the more humid compartment Sub Zero provides will give you more time to finish the package of lettuce.
A major advantage of having a dual refrigeration system as Sub Zero has is longevity. The average life of a refrigerator today is approximately 10.5 years. Sub Zero’s average lifecycle is 17 years. (Climate has a contributing factor. In the Pacific Northwest where it is cooler than in the southern U.S., refrigerators don’t have to work as hard because of a lower average temperature. It is not uncommon to find Sub Zero refrigerators lasting beyond 20 years here.) The reason for a longer lifespan is largely due to having two compressors. One cools the refrigerator while the other cools the freezer. Most other refrigerators have a single compressor that is working most all the time. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the dual system lasts longer.
Overall quality is excellent because these refrigerators are still built largely by hand and in the USA. They are a family owned company and take great pride in their product.
So I hear you saying, “Why does Consumer Reports show a higher rate of repair?” Consumer Reports show service history for products under warranty. This is a bit of a disadvantage for companies with a generous warranty such as Sub Zero. Most companies offer a 1 year parts and labor warranty with up to 5 years on parts. Sub Zero offers the industries strongest warranty – 2 full years parts and labor and up to 12 years on the sealed system! The other thing C.R. doesn’t tell you is that a lot of the service calls have to do with improper installation (water / icemaker not working because the installer didn’t turn the water valve on, etc.) or even for something as simple as a broken icemaker. Icemakers are the Achilles Heal of the appliance world. For as good as Sub Zero is, they use icemakers made by Whirlpool. There aren’t many icemaker manufacturers to choose from in the industry.
If you have a large family and you are at the grocery store several times a week, don’t plan on being in your home for more than 7 years, or if you are like a costume of mine who while writing his check out for his Sub Zero proclaimed, “$8000.00 just to keep my beer cold”, you may do just as well with something under $2000 – depending on your kitchen design. However, if it fits the budget, I will highly recommend buying a Sub Zero.