Design is handsome, but interior storage space is just average.
The Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB is a side-by-side refrigerator with a textured, glossy black finish. Luckily, fingerprints won’t really show on the matte surface, so unsightly smudges shouldn't be a hassle. For a side-by-side refrigerator, this model's storage space is merely average. The fridge can hold a fair amount of product on its wiry shelves, but it’s not anything spectacular, especially since customization is limited. Attempts to free up an extra inch or two of head-space will result in a lot of empty air. The door shelves can handle two gallon jugs side by side, with room left over. But thanks to the ice maker and its chute, the freezer has less room to work with, and its shelves take after those in the fridge—there just aren't many options to rearrange.
A set of controls is located inside the fridge, at the top. There’s a dial for refrigerator temperature, a dial for freezer temperature, and an LED indicator for the water filter, which lets you know when to change it. We do like the addition of this filter indicator, but temperature controls that use arbitrary scales instead of just telling you the actual degrees are highly frustrating. We recommend buying a couple of cheap thermometers for more accurate readings.
Features are basic and few, but at least they're easy to use.
The water and ice dispenser, located on the freezer door, is the main feature on the Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB. There are buttons that let you choose between crushed and cubed ice, as well as buttons for locking the dispensers and turning on lights for the cavity. The one gripe we had was with the ice maker: If something goes wrong and you need to manually fix it, the main mechanism is at a bit of an awkward angle.
Otherwise, shelves are all easy to remove and reposition, and the interior is accessible for the most part.
The ED5KVEXVB had decent overall performance for a low-cost refrigerator, but the freezer lost its cool a little too quickly.
A refrigerator should chill your food and maintain a constant temperature. If the temperature of the food varies, it may spoil. Happily, this Whirlpool's fridge maintained a very constant temperature for several days.
The freezer was pretty consistent too, which helps prevent food from getting freezer burn. There a few sudden rises in temperature, but only very occasionally.
The moisture retention in this Whirlpool's vegetable drawers was rather poor. Vegetables like to hide in cool, dark places where they won’t get too dried out—that’s why refrigerators have dedicated vegetable and fruit drawers. The ED5KVEXVB had disappointing results here, with vegetables drying out quicker than they would in other fridges. Don’t expect your fresh produce to stay moist and tasty in this refrigerator for more than a couple of days.
As far as entry-level fridges go, this Whirlpool is a decent buy.
The Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB is a fridge for the everyman. It doesn’t have an LCD panel or the most groundbreaking aesthetics, but it isn’t particularly expensive, it doesn’t smudge excessively, it looks nice, and—most importantly—it performs well in most of our tests. Temperatures in the fridge and freezer never fluctuated much, which goes a long way towards keeping food fresh. Unfortunately, the vegetable drawers will dry out fresh produce rather quickly and power consumption is just average, but even with its flaws, we think it’s a decent pick for an entry-level fridge.
The Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB’s performance wasn’t perfect, but it was still functional. You won’t have to worry about your food spoiling overnight, and freezer burn shouldn't pose much of a problem either. We do have to call out the vegetable drawer's performance though; its contents will dry out rather quickly.
This appliance kept its cool under temperature testing, for the most part.
A refrigerator must chill your food, and also keep it at a constant temperature to preserve it for as long as possible. If the temperature of the food varies, the food may spoil quicker. We found that this Whirlpool had solid performance in this test, maintaining a very constant temperature over several days.
The freezer was mostly consistent with temperature as well, which helps prevent freezer burn. There were some sudden rises in temperature, but only very occasionally.
Clearly, the vegetable drawer did not study for its moisture retention test.
Refrigerators have dedicated vegetable and fruit drawers, which we test using a fake vegetable (made from floral foam soaked in water). We put this veggie imposter into the vegetable drawer and check the weight over several days to determine how much water is lost to evaporation. We found that this Whirlpool had slightly disappointing results: Our test vegetable lost about 0.26 grams of water per hour, which means that it dried out somewhat quicker than we like to see. Don’t expect your fruits and vegetables to stay moist and tasty in this refrigerator for very long.
Foods freeze very quickly, but this Whirlpool failed our power loss test.
Fast freezing makes food last longer, so it's good to see that our test food froze quickly in this Whirlpool. Items were frozen solid within 1 hour and 18 minutes. For this test, we placed the test food in the compartment above the ice maker, which is right next to the cold air outlet.
If the power at your home gets cut off, your food in the freezer is at risk. So, we test how long food will last by allowing a block of fake food containing a temperature sensor to freeze, and then we cut off the power to see how quickly the block defrosts. For this Whirlpool, we found that the test block was no longer frozen after 30 hours and 45 minutes. Anything less than 36 hours is less than satisfactory.
For a side-by-side refrigerator, these storage options are just average, but overall energy efficiency fares a bit better.
Manufacturers are typically pretty lax with their volume measurements. They include every available inch of the interior, without thought to interruptions from shelves, lights, and so forth. For our test, we only count space that can actually store objects, like drawers and shelf tops. Bearing this in mind, the Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB’s refrigerator section can hold a fair amount of items on its wiry shelves, but it’s not anything spectacular. The shelves can technically hold an above average load—9.89 cubic feet to be exact—but chances are, you won’t be able to use most of that space. Since the shelves aren’t very customizable, trying to accommodate an extra inch or two of space will result in a lot of empty air.
The freezer has a lot less storage space than the refrigerator, mainly because the ice maker and its chute take up so much real estate. Moreover, the main area of the freezer suffers from the same problem as the fridge: there aren't many places to slot your shelves in. In total, there is 4.52 cubic feet of storage available in the freezer.
If we look at the amount of electricity used by this refrigerator per cubic foot, we find that the Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB does pretty well. The ratio is 0.08, which is slightly better than average, giving this refrigerator a higher score.
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