Home Appliance + Lighting Blog

Honest insights, opinions and resources about buying home appliances, lighting and plumbing

Whirlpool vs Amana vs KitchenAid French Door Bottom Mounts (Prices)

by Steve Sheinkopf

This will be a short yet interesting post about French door refrigerators and the appliance industry in general. About 10 years ago, Whirlpool finished absorbing their once great rival Maytag in a now regrettable deal. Maytag had been mismanaged and was a shell of the 100 year old iconic brand.

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Topics: Whirlpool, KitchenAid, French Door Refrigerators, Amana

Best Top/Bottom Mount, Side By Side Refrigerators (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

by Steve Sheinkopf

Top and bottom freezer refrigerators are the least represented products. Manufacturers have focused on the more glamorous side by side, French door, integrated and professional categories. Part of the reason is more stringent energy efficiency standards. Most companies simply stopped producing products instead of reinvesting in new tooling to build new ones.

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Topics: Top Mount Refrigerators, Bottom Mount Refrigerators, Frigidaire, Maytag, Amana

The Five Best Refrigerators

by Steve Sheinkopf

"Best" is such a relevant term, how about best by category. For explanation of terms download our Refrigerator Buying Guide.

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Topics: Thermador, Jenn-Air, Frigidaire, Sub-Zero, Refrigerators, Samsung, Amana

Types of Refrigeration

by Steve Sheinkopf

Back in the ancient days, I was the trainer for the new salespeople (to be)...

Third Lesson: Do not use industry terms. This is a rule I violate every day on the ole blog...until today.

Let start with the many types of refrigeration. We have 130+ on display, so lets look at a few.

Top Mount: Fridge on bottom, freezer on top

Advantage: Inexpensive, great selection for smaller spaces
Disadvantage: Stooping for vegetables, fruits, nothing over 21 cubic feet
Best Brands: Frigidaire, GE

Bottom Mount: Fridge on top, freezer on bottom

Advantages: No stooping for fruits/veg, larger sizes available
Disadvantages: Stooping for ice cream, pricier than the top mount
Best Brands: GE, Amana

French Door: Side by side top with bottom freezer

Advantages: Its cool...face it, French is also great in an island scheme, because there is not one wide door
Disadvantages: Pricier than a bottom freezer

Side By Side: Refrigerator on right freezer on left

Advantages: Organized storage, more freezer space(which can also be a disadvantage), smaller doors are better for islands
Disadvantages: Poor lateral storage, not enough refrigeration
Best Brands: Frigidaire, Bosch and GE

Shallow Depth: Can be any of the top configurations, only with the depth being 24 inches plus the door.

Advantages: Looks great in a kitchen
Disadvantages: Pricier with less cubic footage

Professional: Compressor on the top, shallow depth, multiple configurations

Advantage: Impressive
Disadvantage: Impressive price
Best Brands: SubZero, Liehberr, Thermador

Integrated: Fits seamlessly inside a cabinet, cleanest look

Advantage: Freedom to place components where you wish...really the best look with expensive cabinetry
Disadvantage: Most money per cubic foot
Best Brands: Bosch, Thermador

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Topics: Thermador, Bosch, Frigidaire, Sub-Zero, LED Lighting, Counter Depth Refrigerators, Integrated Refrigerators, Ranges, French Door Refrigerators, Amana

Whirlpool is Maytag for $500 Less

by Steve Sheinkopf

The goal of this blog has been to promote energy efficiency, eliminate misconceptions and to offer an unbiased opinion about appliances and lighting.

Which inevitably brings to the enigma known as Whirlpool. Their problems really started with the purchase of Maytag. So they added the names Maytag, JennAir, Amana into their brand portfolio. In their defense, most experts would have been in shock at how desperate Maytag become in just a few short years.

So the decision had to be effected. Would Whirlpool keep the brands unique and independent with their own features and benefits or would they streamline the brands under one platform and just throw different logos on the same machine.

They chose the latter and have been disappointed just like GM with their lineup of the same cars with different logos...For consumers, it is an opportunity.

Two exact laundry pairs...with $500 difference in price...

Hint...buy the Whirlpool.

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Topics: Jenn-Air, Whirlpool, Lighting, Maytag, Laundry, Amana

Amana vs Maytag

by Steve Sheinkopf

Bottom freezers are popular. Simple reason: No bending for fruits and veggies.

But you see the Amana and Maytag, and you want to make the right decision. You check Consumers Report and the results are(and should be inconclusive).

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Topics: Maytag, Amana

More Shallow Depth Ideas

by Steve Sheinkopf

Shallow depth refrigerators are desirable in a kitchen, because the sides do not protrude. Thus the kitchen looks more linear and more attractive. SubZero pioneered the pro niche in the 60s and 70s, and were followed by GE Monogram, KitchenAid and Thermador. Later, Amana decided to manufacture the regular shallow depth product and were followed(and beaten up by) GE Profile, KitchenAid and JennAir.

Now there are a number of alternatives from an endless number of companies. Unfortunately they tend to be somewhat expensive starting at $1600 as well as only fitting a 36 inch or over cabinet.



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Topics: Thermador, Jenn-Air, Blomberg, Sub-Zero, Refrigerators, Counter Depth Refrigerators, KitchenAid, GE Monogram, GE, Amana, Shallow Depth Refrigerators, Fisher Paykel


by Steve Sheinkopf

I used to love the AC business. There were great brands like Sharp, Panasonic, Emerson(way back), Amana and Friedrich. They were all good and now they are all gone. The whole industry packed up and moved to China. Friedrich bought the Panasonic tooling, which was and probably is the best air conditioner.

So now you have very little real choice amongst Energystar units.

You can, however, still size it wrong. Oversizing an AC will actually freeze the unit and cause it to malfunction. That is the biggest problem in ACs.

I once designed a chart to assist people in choosing the optimum unit for their room. Remember each room is different: Exposure to sun, windows, shade and size are all important. In other words a third floor apartment is different from a garden or basement level.

AC Sizing

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Topics: Amana, Panasonic

The $119 KitchenAid Dishwasher

by Steve Sheinkopf

You are the CEO of Whirlpool in 2003, and you just bought your biggest rival, Maytag. By all appearances, this is a great deal. You have acquired great names in Maytag, JennAir and Amana, and it finally affords a relationship with Home Depot as well as more in roads with Lowes and Sears....

Unfortunately, a good deal is also contingent on timing. Acquisition in the middle of an economic downturn is a recipe for financial ruin....So what do you do?

You panic. Then fund your distribution channel directly and indirectly, so we have manufacturers, national buying groups and regional chapters all funding the same products....Which is great for the consumer

After 4(so far) rebates, you can buy this KitchenAid dishwasher for $119 in black or white as long as you buy 2 other pieces for $399 or greater (or $219 with just 1 other piece through March.)

Have a look:


Now the math:

Cost of the unit $569

Local Warehouse 50
MVP National Buying Group 100
Northeast Office 300

Rebate Total 450

After Rebate $119

This is a $600 dishwasher
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Topics: Jenn-Air, Dishwashers, Whirlpool, Rebates, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Energy Tip

The Best and Worst(Repair)

by Steve Sheinkopf

No pictures today(I have an arsenal for the remainder of the week), but a pretty valuable post for appliance shoppers. In 2006, Yale completed 15,000 service calls under warranty.

As I have posted previously, there are also very similar products available. Thus, service records can be similar as controls are outsourced, and the same products can be packaged with multiple labels. Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag and Amana have an identical refrigerator with...an identical service record.

However, with such a large database, you can also see deviation between good and ..not so good. We will look at both.

The Best: Miele

Not surprising at all. When you manufacture the product and outsource nothing you can expect quality(or somebody will be fired). This company is so fanatical that all customer complaints are logged in New Jersey. The problem is then traced by serial number to the factory, the line and the people responsible. Imagine that.
Of course, without cheaper outsourcing(and the strength of the Euro versus the dollar), Miele is also expensive.

Not So Good: LG

First, I like this company. LG has become a major force in the appliance industry almost overnight as a brand. The product is innovative and stylish, but this result is hardly surprising as well. If the goal is to sell as much as possible quickly, then invariably product quality and customer satisfaction will suffer. Typically fast growing companies will outstrip their support capabilities(like parts, customer service, technical support, warehousing and logistics), and this is the case. You should still consider LG as a brand, but just find out if there is a repair agent in your local area.
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Topics: Miele, Whirlpool, Refrigerators, KitchenAid, Maytag, Extended Warranties, Amana, LG Electronics

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A note about pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing.

Please call the stores for most accurate price.