The internet is a wonderful resource for any number of reasons, not the least of which is researching a product prior to buying. Much like today's news, you have to read all sides of the story to arrive at the truth. Fortunately, I have come to know a number of a few appliance store owners and repairmen and can weigh all the facts objectively. When our GE Profile was dying a miserable death, we decided it was time to make a change since GE no longer holds the prestigious place on the appliance mantle. While there are few American manufacturers, most incorporate parts from overseas opting to assemble in the US. Whirlpool, owns Amana, Maytag builds for Ikea and Admiral employs more American workers (23,000) than any other brand, builds 82% of all its products stateside with its closest competitor ranking 67% and 42%, a fact that weighed into our decision.
Recommend this product?
After a protracted effort to arrive at the right model for us we decided on the Whirlpool GX5FHTXV, a 24,8 cu.ft. bottom Freezer model. A number of lifestyle issues came up during our selection process that prompted our decision; a major issue was the freezer. Our side by side profile couldn't always accommodate larger items and the wire grid shelves gave way under a load, making a mess of our frozen foods. In addition, the water and ice dispenser took up far too much useable space. While we wanted a unit that would fit into the built-in cabinet of our new kitchen we also needed more useable and accessible space. The Whirlpool GX5FHTXV immediately addressed this issue by incorporating an interior water dispenser and compact freezer enclosed ice unit. The negative here was tolerable for us in that you have to open the fridge to get water. We drink a lot of water and frankly we haven't noticed any difference in our electric bill so the impact is negligible. I do miss the ice crushing feature which the GE Profile had. The Whirlpool has a 6 month PUR water filter which saves a little over the 3 month filter change-outs with the GE.
The really great thing about this refrigerator is the cavernous 17.3 refrigerator capacity. When you open the twin French Doors you're looking at 3 layers of adjustable shelving (32"x19"), twin humidity controlled drawers (15"x 13.5" useable space) and a full sized pantry with separator. Three door bins along with a spacious gallon sized bin with a dairy bar and 12 can door caddy keeps the clutter in the refrigerator to a minimum. We lost the can caddy opting for another gallon bin. Space and accessibility is no longer an issue for us. The pantry is great for storing meats, cheeses and miscellaneous items. The negative here is that there isn't a dedicated egg bin, which is a little short-sighted but far from a deal breaker. The glass shelves make it easy to see contents and are easy to clean.
Whirlpools Accu-Chill Temperature management system controls the refrigerator and freezer temperatures independently with digital readout along with a humidity control, which is highly effective.
The bottom mounted freezer pulls out to reveal the bottom most drawer which has 26" x 17" 8" deep of useable space. The top mounted pullout drawer (27" x 19.5" 6"deep) with an 11" x 13.5" 3.5" deep ice drawer that you have to reach in and scoop, accounting for the space savings. Freezer capacity is a generous 7.5 cu. ft. The wire grid baskets are sturdy, and thankfully, do not give under the weight of your frozen goods.
The Whirlpool GX5FHTXV is Energy Star rated with an expected 474kW annual power usage which should cost approximately $50.00 in annual operating costs.
I am a realist and realize that as the economy worsens, products will become more consumable as companies struggle to stay viable. I fully expect repairs downstream and chose to get an extended service contract on this appliance; I did on the GE and it paid off in spades though that is clearly not the case with most purchases.
My overall impressions are favorable, thus far. I think the cooling is exceptional but the Whirlpool GX5FHTXV really shines on useable space. I don't mind scooping my own ice or getting my water from the internal sidewall mounted dispenser. It seems like the R&D dept. at Whirlpool could have come up with a better solution but it was the best solution to the clutter of the traditional door mounted icemaker water dispenser we all know. I like having the top mounted refrigerator, preferring it to the narrow side by side. The unit is available in black, stainless and white. So far, so good.