The Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170ADUSX4 is part of the Refrigerator
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Refrigerator
models like the ActiveSmart RF170ADUSX4 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Thermostat control: This assesses the ability of the refrigerator's thermostat to 1) achieve the desired initial set temperatures following manufacturer's recommendations 2) achieve optimum temperatures in both the fresh food and freezer sections simultaneously and 3) keep internal temperatures constant despite large changes in room temperature.
Temperature uniformity: This performance test is based on how well a model minimizes warm and cold spots within its fresh food and freezer sections.
Energy efficiency: This reflects electricity consumption per cubic foot of measured usable storage space. For example, two models with the same energy cost per year may have different energy efficiencies -- the unit with more storage space being more efficient.
Water dispenserIt is normally located on the front of the unit, or in the fresh food compartment if it has an internal dispenser.
Stainless/SS-look optionStainless steel is stylish but it shows fingerprints. Another option: a vinyl-covered metal finish that gives you a stainless-steel look but resists smudging.
Uniquely adjustable shelves
Uniquely adjustable shelvesShelves that can be moved up and down without removing food. An example is a shelf that adjusts by rotating a crank handle.
Pullout shelves/binsThese let you reach items in the back more easily. Some refrigerators have these features in both the freezer and main compartment.
Half shelfHalf shelves, typically found on top-freezer or bottom-freezer models, can be set at the same height to provide a full-width shelf or can be set to different heights to improve storing flexibility.
Gallon storage on door
Gallon storage on doorDoor shelf can accommodate a standard one-gallon plastic milk container and makes for easier access to beverages.
Temperature-controlled meat/deli bin
Temperature-controlled meat/deli binKeeps meat, fish, and cold cuts at around 32 degrees--several degrees colder than the rest of the fridge with a separate control. This feature generally does what it's supposed to, unless the thermostat in the main compartment is set too high.
IcemakerTypically makes 3 to 4 pounds of ice a day--but according to our repair data, an icemaker may also add reliability problems. Some higher-end models have a feature to speed ice-making, which produces as much as twice the amount in the same time. Some Frech-door models have ice-making compartments in the fresh food section, if they also have through-the-door dispensers.
Built-in water filter
Built-in water filterA water filter, included with many icemakers, is intended to reduce levels of lead, chlorine, and other impurities. A filter usually adds to the cost of the refrigerator, so have your tap water tested to see if you really need one. Change about every six months; filter-cartridge-replacement costs range from $30 to $40, plus shipping.
TouchpadIn some models, you can use an electronic touchpad to adjust the temperature settings. In some higher-end models, the display will show the actual temperature.
Spillproof shelvesShelf is designed to contain spills.
Freezer lightAvailable on most models.
Child lock-out for dispenser
Child lock-out for dispenserThis feature, usually a button or switch, allows you to disable the ice and water dispensers. The icemaker continues to work while the dispensers are disabled.
French-door styleFrench door models are bottom-freezer refrigerators whose upper compartments have two narrow doors that open similarly to the doors of a side-by-side refrigerator. These narrower doors use less space in front of the refrigerator when opened, and allow access to either or both sides of the full-width fresh-food compartment. Typically more expensive, French-door models are usually 36 inches wide, though some newer models are 33 inches wide.
Exterior heightOur measurement, including the top hinge and rounded up to the nearest inch. (We measured only tested models, but the similar models we list should have the same dimensions.) Built-in models have the compressor on top, making them about a foot taller than regular refrigerators. They fit flush with cabinets and counters.
Exterior widthOur measurement, including all protrusions and rounded up to the nearest inch. (We measured only tested models, but the similar models we list should have the same dimensions.)
Exterior depthOur measurement, rounded up to the nearest inch. We include tubing or other protrusions in the back but exclude the handle. (We measured only tested models, but the similar models we list should have the same dimensions.)
Total usable capacity
Total usable capacityUsable capacity is the volume, in cubic feet, of usable interior space, based on our measurements. We included ice-makers in the storage measurements for top-freezer and bottom-freezer models, but not for side-by-sides.
Energy cost/yr.Estimated cost in dollars, based on the current year's average national electricity rate. Your cost will vary depending on the rate for electricity in your area.
Energy starRefrigerators manufactured after April 28, 2008, earning this designation must be at least 20 percent more energy efficient than the minimum federal standard.
Door styleWhile most fridges have a flat, textured "skin," some have a smooth, curved surface that can't accept custom panels.
CR's suggested refrigerator setting
CR's suggested refrigerator settingThis is the refrigerator section controller setting, typically in degrees but sometimes a numeric value, used for our 70 degree ambient temperature test to get the refrigerator center to be between 36 and 38 degrees.
CR's suggested freezer setting
CR's suggested freezer settingThis is the freezer section controller setting, typically in degrees but sometimes a numeric value, used during our 70 degree ambient temperature tests to achieve a center temperature between -1 and 1 degrees. NA indicates that there is no separate freezer control.
Ice/water dispenserThrough-the-door ice and water dispensers usually offer cubed or crushed ice and filtered water, but are only available on French-door models, with a special compartment in the fresh food section. They add significantly to the purchase price--and according to our repair data, may also add reliability problems.