Noise keeps GE's French-door refrigerator off top picks list

    Consumer Reports News: November 23, 2012 11:08 AM

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    GE has pulled no punches in promoting its new 36-inch-wide French-door refrigerator. Earlier this year, as part of an online marketing campaign, the manufacturer strapped the new fridge to the back of a pickup truck and sent it on a cross-country odyssey in search of the freshest ingredients. And executives at GE say they've added jobs at its Appliance Park plant in Louisville, Kentucky in anticipation of robust sales. So is the fridge worth the hype? Our latest refrigerator Ratings have the answer.

    We tested the GE Profile PFE29PSD in stainless steel, $2,400. The model scored an excellent for temperature performance, maintaining constant temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer sections, even after we cranked up the heat in our climate-controlled test chambers. The unit also features a dual-evaporator cooling system, which should help preserve food by maintaining higher humidity levels in the fresh food section while also keeping freezer odors from finding their way into the refrigerator.

    In terms of energy efficiency, the refrigerator did very well, especially given its impressive 19.6 cubic feet of usable capacity. Ease of use was also judged favorably by our testers, who noted the fridge's adjustable shelves with spill proof shelves, gallon door storage, and digital controls. And the new GE features an innovative ice and water dispenser: the slim icemaker fits inside the door panel, expanding storage space in the refrigerator, and the dispenser has a hands-free setting that fills any size container to the top with the touch of a button.

    If that's where our evaluations stopped, the GE Profile PFE29PSD would certainly be among the top-rated models in the French-door bottom-freezer category. But we also measure noise, and on that score the new GE fared noticeably worse than many competitors. As a result, it narrowly missed our winner's circle.

    Bottom line.
    the GE Profile PFE29PSD is superb in many ways, and it features a lot of the latest innovations in refrigerator design. If noise is less of an issue—say you have a separate kitchen closed off from adjacent living spaces or there's already plenty of ambient noise in the room—it might be worth considering along with the couple dozen French-door refrigerators that officially make our recommended list.

    Daniel DiClerico

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