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Aug 17, 2012 10:40 AM

Integrated refrigerators? Thermador vs sub-zero?

I really want an integrated fridge!
"Where's the fridge?!" Haha (:
Okay so I'm not made of money, therefore I'm alittle skeptical about sub-zero... But Thermador is cheaper right? How much are the sub-zero & thermador fridges?
I want a 24" deep fridge (I know its not deep but my cabinets and counter need to be that length), and a french door, with a freezer at the bottom.
Are sub-zero fridges much better than thermador? I'm no cook or anything, just need a good fridge that won't show it's hinges. (:
p.s. And please tell me what the pros and cons are about the 2 fridges if you know!

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  1. I don't know anything about the style or sizes of refrigerator/freezers, but the cost difference between Sub-zero and others is mostly because Sub-zero's refrigerator area has its own motor/compressor as does the freezer area, all in one unit. In most other brands, the cold air is blown from one area to the other with just one motor and compressor. Somebody who knows about these things can explain it better.

    1. You might find some other refrigerator / freezer units which can fit at a 24" flush depth that accept cabinetry panel facers to 'disappear' Miele has that option and perhaps one or two others as well (maybe Liebher?). Whether they are worth the premium price they command over and above more traditional, shorter but deeper and squatter profiles is up to you. Some do provide twin compressors to address the different temperature requirements from refrigerator box to freezer box which gets marketed as higher precision, efficiency, redundancy, if one fails you haven't lost everything, etc. but it is also two separate mechanical systems to maintain. The flush profile units tend to require substantially taller cabinetry niches and almost always have vented, compressor compartments facing forward above or below the food compartments. They tend to have more finely tuned/insulated components to help minimize compressor noise and more sophisticated digital control self diagnoses potential problems and self calls for service via internet connection reporting equipment failures or doors left adjar. Flush models often give up traditional, on door storage in order to maximize the depth of shelves in the main compartment. The more expensive ones tend to have some very well thought out storage accommodations to make their shallower depth as efficiect as possible. Many tend to have more extensive internal lighting systems, (LED lights bright enough to perform surgery by), etc.......but whhen all is said and done, are they worth the premium prices they command? Do they keep your foods any fresher? Do they chill things faster or more effectively? Maybe to some degree they do but they often come at a some premium cost. There are some very attractive, downright seductive looking units on the market today that can be hidden from view including options for refrigerated pull out drawers units that can place food storage In the middle of an island....but all at some premium cost that might make perfect sense in some circumstances. There are some pro-sumer models that replicate design aesthetics of the premium boxes but without the refinements and enhancements but you have to check out their track record of performance.

      On a prsonal note, my brother bought two flush-install SZ units, one hidden, the other a glass door model and both have had compressor failures in the first three years of use. He has been thrilled by the repair service efforts to get him back up and running both times (1 took a week for parts) but with a $12k investment in keeping food-4-2 cold, he might have expected the repair service to do his laundry and cook dinner as well. On the other hand, they do look great and the glass door model allows you to visually graze your options before opening the door.