Sometimes bigger really is better. Two French door refrigerators on the market boast a 33 cu. ft. capacity — larger than any other in their category. What’s truly amazing about these refrigerators is that despite their massive size, they are not inefficient or overly expensive. We compared these behemoths to their slightly smaller cousins.
The mega refrigerators
In an era in which people increasingly shop at wholesale stores like Costco and BJ’s to save money, a large capacity fridge may be necessary. The LG French Door Refrigerator LFX33975ST is LG’s mega-capacity refrigerator, coming in at $3,499 suggested retail price. While not cheap, it’s only slightly more expensive than smaller models from LG and much less than the suggested price tag of $4,199 for the Kenmore Elite 33 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator 72093. The LG mega-capacity fridge consumes about 579 kWh a year whereas the Kenmore uses a bit less, coming in at 550 kWh a year, with an annual cost of $60.99. They are both 2 cubic feet larger than the previous large capacity standard home refrigerators.
Large capacity alternatives
LG makes a 31 cu. ft. refrigerator, the French door LG LFX 31945ST. The smaller LG is said to consume on average 578 kWh per year, only 1 kWh annually less than the large 33 cu. ft. Based on the 2011 national average price for electricity, that means the 33 cu. ft. LG would only cost about 10 cents more than the 31 cu. ft. LG. Moreover, upfront costs are about the same with the 31 cu. ft. model costing only $100 less than the 33 cu. ft. LG.
Kenmore has a slightly smaller 28 cu. ft. French door refrigerator: the Kenmore Elite French Door Refrigerator 71053, coming in at suggested price of $3,200 although it is available for about $2,300 online. That is a huge price drop from the Kenmore mega-capacity’s price tag of more than $4,000. This model is also quite energy efficient, consuming only 528 kWh annually, costing about $58.56 a year. If you don’t absolutely need the space, this more affordable option could be your best bet.
Is the space worth the price?
It all depends on your needs. If you have a large, hungry family to feed and use wholesale stores like Costco, these mega-capacity refrigerators could be very useful. And, actually, the LG 33 cu. ft. refrigerator would cost just $100 more over a 14-year lifespan than the smaller 31 cu. ft. LG fridge. If, however, you don’t buy in bulk or have a small family, the extra costs may not be worth it.
As a point of comparison, a smaller 28 cu. ft. Kenmore 71053 has a lifetime cost of about $3,100. That is significantly less than the lifetime cost of $4,400 for the 33 cu. ft. LG or $5,000 for the 33 cu. ft. Kenmore. Ultimately, you need to decide how much need you have for those extra cubic feet and if you can offset those savings by buying in bulk. As always, be sure to read the refrigerator reviews to see which model is right for your family. And if you have a new refrigerator, share your experience here>>
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