Since forming over 70 years ago, Sub-Zero refrigerators and freezers have become a luxury market leader. Their line runs the full gamut of cooling options:  French-door, side-by-side, refrigerator columns, freezer columns, bottom freezers, and wine coolers. Amongst their most coveted models are fully integrated and panel-ready refrigerators. These are designed without protruding hinges and grills. They disappear into the kitchen décor and surrounding cabinetry.

Sub Zero’s feature rich, expertly engineered products come with a price tag, which generally scales towards the upper end of comparable appliances. To own a Sub-Zero refrigerator has become as synonymous with luxury homes as ranges bearing the name of Viking, Wolf or Miele. With many competitors vying for hard earned dollars, the question on many consumers’ minds is “Are Sub-Zero refrigerators worth the money?”

To answer that question, we will have to pose another. What makes Sub-Zero refrigerators so special? Unsurprisingly the answer lies in their features.

Cleaner, Cooler Air Means $1500 In Savings With Longer Lasting Food

Like most things you pay for what you get. All refrigerators offer food storage and preservation, but how they do it can differ markedly. Sub-Zero uses a microprocessor, which monitors temperature and humidity levels along with usage to maintain precise control to one degree of the set temperature. Other refrigerators have registered a far greater temperature swing. The difference in functionality can be profound.

Another aspect of optimum food storage is that a cooled environment has to be maintained at all times. This is accomplished, in part, with a powerful magnetic door seal that lets absolutely no cold air escape the interior.

Separate Systems

Another contributing factor in maintaining ideal temperatures in their full-sized models is Sub-Zero’s unique Dual Cooling system. This utilizes two separate compressors for the refrigerator and freezer compartments. To understand why this is important, you need to know that fresh food needs to be stored in a 40 degree F environment with very slight humidity while frozen foods need to be stored at 32 degrees F in dry air to prevent freezer burn. With separate compressors, each compartment can be individually controlled.

Image result for Sub-Zero

Sub-Zero’s antimicrobial air purification system, which automatically scrubs the air every 20 minutes, is viewed as a pioneering technique in the industry. It was first developed by NASA. Fresh foods emit ethylene gas which hastens spoilage. By ridding the air of this, along with other bacteria and mold, longer lasting food is achieved to the tune of $1500 in savings a year. With a product which is expected to last over 20 years,  Sub-Zero refrigerators pay for themselves just in money saved.

Variety of Options

The sheer number of different Sub-Zero models means that there is bound to be something for everyone, regardless of room configuration or aesthetic preference. They are, however, offered in three main varieties which are as follows:


The built-in is considered the classic look for Sub-Zero refrigerators. These were the original concept and feature slightly protruding doors, which need an inset installation to be made flush. They require enough room for the doors to open and come in four configurations: column, French door, bottom freezer, and side-by-side.


Image result for refrigerator with integrated handles

Sub-Zero’s integrated, panel ready models are amongst their most highly regarded. With over almost limitless configuration options and the ability to accept custom cabinet panels, homeowners are able to dial in specific looks to match cabinetry and seamlessly blend in.


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This is the pinnacle of Sub-Zero’s arsenal of appliances. The Pro-48, as the name implies, looks and feels like a commercial grade fridge/freezer. The subtlety and elegance of this top-of-the-line machine make this perfect for the home. Its beauty, though, belies its brawn. It has triple evaporators, each allocated separately for the freezer, refrigerator and fridge drawers.

Quality Manufacturing and Industry Leading Warranty

As stated, Sub-Zero refrigerators stick around. They earn their double-decade stripes through the quality of materials used. But saying the refrigerators have are of a certain quality alone doesn’t always cut it. The company stands by their residential refrigeration products with an industry-leading two-year all-inclusive warranty. This runs concurrently with a five-year warranty that fully covers the sealed system which includes the compressor, condenser, evaporator, drier and all the connecting tubing. Also running simultaneously is a limited twelve-year warranty the covers parts that can be proven to have been defective in materials or workmanship.

A Statement of Excellence

Without being elitist, a Sub-Zero refrigerator says something beyond merely being a top-notch appliance. Its brand recognition is second to none. It says that the overall kitchen is of very high quality. This also extends to the rest of the home. It’s a statement of excellence and is the reason that the Sub-Zero name is always prominently mentioned in real estate listings. All this taken together makes these luxury refrigerators worth the price.

BI42UFDO | 42-Inch Built-In French Door Refrigerator 

Sub-Zero 2

One of Sub-Zero’s most popular models is this panel ready French door refrigerator. It has a spacious 24.7 cu ft total capacity and all aforementioned bells and whistles which have become the hallmark of the brand. This particular model sports a cavernous 24.7 cu ft total capacity with 18.3 cu ft in the refrigerator and 6.4 cu ft in the freezer. In the refrigerator, there’s a soft-close deli drawer that allows you to easily organize cold cuts, cheese, and more. This deli drawer along with the crisper are strategically located near the evaporator. This keeps these compartments a few degrees cooler degrees cooler than the rest of the interior ensuring your perishables are kept fresher longer. In the freezer, a water filter works with the automatic ice maker to dispense clear, fresh tasting ice.

BI-36UORH | 36-Inch Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Sub-Zero Panel Ready Installation Sample

This more modest bottom freezer refrigerator features 21.7 cu ft total capacity with 16.4 cu ft in the refrigerator and 5.3 cu ft in the freezer. It also has all the benchmark features of a Sub-Zero appliance. As you can see from the picture, it’s panel ready which means it can be adapted to the styling of virtually any kitchen. The three shelves in the refrigerator are adjustable which means you can store anything from beverage six packs, to wine bottles, to a whole turkey. The generous space in the freezer is divided by two-tier wire storage baskets to keep your frozen foods organized. The ice maker has Sub-Zero’s “Max Ice” feature which you can use to increase ice production by an average off 30 percent for a 24-hour period. This is perfect when you need to prepare for entertaining guests.

Enjoyed this article? We have a 2nd opinion here: Is a Sub Zero Refrigerator Worth the Money? – 2nd Opinion

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