Sub-Zero Fridges - Everything to Know Before Buying [REVIEW]

The Subzero refrigerator has always been in a class by itself. Much more than a hallmark of luxury, it is a professional, high functioning food preservation system widely used by inspired home cooks and distinguished chefs. The dual compressor design and patented vacuum door seal system is an engineering feat designed to run independent cooling systems that maintain temperature and humidity in the freezer and refrigerator compartments.

Subzero boasts best-in-class componentry, superior craftsmanship and uncompromising attention to detail with every product they build. Sub-Zero’s dual compressor system is in every model and is built on the design that maintaining temperature and humidity and circulating fresh air prolongs the life of your food.

The professional design is also a main attraction with Sub-Zero refrigerators and they are available in a range of sizes compared to their standard counterparts. These refrigerators fit seamlessly into the cabinetry and almost “disappear”. Although there are several reasons we believe these units are our worth the price, here are four of the main reasons:


Top 4 Reasons to Choose a Subzero Refrigerator

Why Subzero? Overview
Food Freshness Smart storage temperatures maximize the freshness of fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats leading to less food waste.
Quality/Longevity Designed for over 20 years of use with an industry leading warranty. The best service and support sets it apart from distant competitors.
Design Flexibility Full size built-in refrigerators, fully flush integrated models, infinite paneling options, vast undercounter selection for a professional and seamless look in your home.
Home Resale Value Stellar brand recognition. Always mentioned in real estate listings as a differentiator.

Why Subzero Refrigerator Earns Its Reputation as Best-in-Class

1) Superior Food Preservation Technology

Sub-Zero prides itself on its ability to preserve food far longer than other refrigerators. According to their company research, on average, over the course of a year, a family of four throws away more than $1,500 worth of food. While most refrigerators do a good job in keeping food cold, controlling temperature fluctuations and humidity is really what preserves food. Sub-Zero also has a computer-driven air purification system that works to circulate fresh air in your fridge.

Dual Refrigeration
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Two separate sealed systems are used to control the refrigerator and freezer. This allows the separate compartments to stay at optimal humidity levels and also prevents flavor transfer.

Microprocessor Controlled System
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This system allows the units to hold a temperature that is far more consistent than most. In fact, Sub-Zero maintains temperature within one degree of the set temperature at all times during normal use. This is very impressive when you consider that other refrigerators see temperature swings of up to 14 degrees. Simply put, consistent temperature means food stays fresh far longer.

Vacuum Seal

Sub-Zero has a patented vacuum door seal system. This means that in order to maintain optimal temperature, all four sides on the unit vacuum seal when you close the door.

Air Purification
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These units contain an antimicrobial air purification system that automatically scrubs the air every 20 minutes. Many fresh foods emit ethylene gas which causes other foods to spoil much faster. By filtering out these gases, along with bacteria and mold spores that are found on some fresh produce, your food will last far longer.

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2) Quality/Longevity

Sub-Zero quality and craftsmanship is second to none. Their componentry is best-in-class and they simply do not compromise when developing and manufacturing new units. Their products are designed and tested to last 20 years. They also test every single unit in the factory before it is put in its box.

Industry Leading 12-year Warranty

There is no question that this company has one of the highest levels of service and customer support in the industry. Besides delivering a world class product, if something should go wrong you can rest assured that it will be taken care of quickly and efficiently. They also have one of the best factory warranties covering an all inclusive two years. Their patented sealed system (essentially the heart of the unit, including compressors, condensers, evaporators, driers and even tubing) is under warranty for a full five years. After five years, the unit is covered on the sealed system with a limited 12-year warranty.

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3) Design Flexibility

No other brand of refrigerator offers as many models and configurations as Sub-Zero. Consider the different dimensions and refrigeration if design and layout are important to you.

With Sub Zero you can have:

Installation Flexibility

  • Fully flush installation option
  • Install slightly proud from cabinets

Door Finishes

  • Stainless Steel doors
  • Cabinet finish doors
  • Glass doors (if you are confident about your organization skills)
  • Different handle options
  • Ability to change even the design of the top cover on built in models (louvered grill, solid stainless, wood cabinet finish)
  • Single door, bottom freezer (including dual bottom freezer doors)
  • French door
  • Side-by-side
  • Single door full fridge or freezers

Myriad of Sizes

  • Standard size single piece units from 30-inches to 48-inches
  • Make your own size using columns. Mix and match different fridge and freezer sizes and combine them using factory made trim kits for seamless look. (e.g. 60-inch size by combining a 30-inch fridge and 30-inch freezer)

4) Home Resale Value

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Sub-Zero has more brand recognition than any other appliance in the industry. The fact that a kitchen has a Sub-Zero will almost always be mentioned in real-estate listings and can become a deciding factor on the purchase. It’s no secret that a kitchen can be one of the most expensive renovations of any home and the Sub-Zero name represents a sound investment as well as unsurpassed quality.


Subzero Refrigerator Design Styles

There are three types of Sub-Zero refrigerators on the market, each with its own unique benefits.

Classic Built-In (BI) Series Refrigerators

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Considered the classic look for Sub-Zero refrigerators, BI units were the original concept for this type of refrigerator. The doors on BI Sub-Zero refrigerators protrude slightly from the cabinet surface, but they can be made flush with an inset installation. However, in doing so, it’s important to make sure you leave enough room for the doors to open. BI units come in four configurations: column, French door, over-and-under, and side-by-side.

You will find differences between the Sub Zero built-in vs. integrated refrigerators in our in-depth review.

Professional Series, Commercial Look for the Home

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Product Place Holder

In a league of its own, Pro 48 (a.k.a. PRO4850G) is the top-of-the-line model for Sub-Zero refrigerators. The company often refers to this line as an 800-pound monument to food preservation. The look of the Pro 48 is reminiscent of what you’d see in a restaurant kitchen, but the beautiful design makes it the perfect fit for your home. In addition to its attractive design, the Pro 48 has triple evaporators, with each serving as a separate control for the freezer, refrigerator, and refrigerator drawers.

Please beware that the delivery of a Pro 48 requires a special skill set and plenty of ambient space. Therefore, budget about $600 to $1,000 in delivery cost.


Integrated Refrigerators

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More than 30 different configuration options make this popular with homeowners who want control over their kitchen design. Since there are no exposed hinges or grills, you can seamlessly flush mount this unit without leaving space around the perimeter of the appliance. This allows you to make an Integrated Sub-Zero disappear into your cabinetry. There are two types of integrated models: column and over-and-under.


Conclusion

Is a Sub-Zero refrigerator worth the price? At Designer Appliances we believe that if peace of mind, fresh food and flexibility in design is important to you then the answer is yes. This purchase should last 20 years which is also an enormous benefit (imagine spending $2,500 to $3,500 on a popular brand for an appliance that might last 7-8 years). When you purchase a Sub-Zero you are not just buying a refrigerator, you are investing in the heart of your home, generating less food waste, and saving energy with a sleekly designed integrated food preservation system. If you are in the tri-state area, stop by one of our showrooms in New Jersey and see why this refrigerator is considered essential for today’s kitchens.

Subzero, Wolf and Cove at Designer Appliances Showroom

FAQs

Is Sub-Zero and Wolf the same company?

Yes. Sub-Zero acquired Wolf Ranges back in 2000. The company now makes not only ranges but a entire category of Wolf cooking appliances and ventilation. We cover Wof ranges in detail in our blog articles and videos.

Does Sub-Zero make dishwashers?

Yes. Sub-Zero started making premium quality dishwashers under the brand name Cove.

Leading consumer reporting company review talks about louder noise levels on Sub-Zero, is this a concern?

The publication we saw was from 2012 and not up-to-date. As a user of an earlier generation Sub-Zero in an open-plan kitchen, I did experience the compressor noise when it was active (mind you all fridges were noisy 10 years ago). However, the new generation models, especially built-in series with top compressors, are now substantially more silent. Sub-Zero's integrated models have the compressor on the bottom and are inherently silent.

I have an old Sub-Zero refrigerator can I replace it with a new one? Will it fit?

Yes. you will be able to replace your old fridge with a new one. Contact our sales staff for promotions and incentives that Sub-Zero offers for loyal customers.

We covered transition from an older version Sub Zero refrigerator to the contemporary models in our in-depth article.

What is the difference between a Subzero fridge and a regular fridge?

There are many differences between regular style refrigerators and Sub-Zero. For example, here are some of the highlights on variations: Dimensions: Standard fridges most of us grew up with were about 69-inches high and were deep i.e. extending from cabinets. Sub-Zero refrigerators are 84-inches high and allow for flush-to-cabinet installation. Style: You can customize a Sub-Zero to match your surrounding cabinets. Dual-Compressors: Do you remember how food would taste (or smell) funny in the freezer when we stored rich foods in the fridge compartment? Regular fridges with single compressors/evaporators circulate air regardless of the compartment causing unwanted odor-transfers. Sub-Zero separtes compartments and uses an expensive second compressor to guarantee the separation. Your food will last longer in a Subzero fridge. Door-Seal: You will notice the effort needed to open the door of a Subzero. This is due to the magnetic seals that ensure perfecly closed doors. Most standard fridges lose a ton of energy through their doors (especially after a few years of use) Longevity: Regular fridges are designed to survive 5-8 years depending on the manufacturer. Gone are the days of decades long of performance. Subzero is still old school. The company takes pride in making appliances that last 18-20 years (even more).