Why Choose JennAir
If you are thinking about buying a JennAir refrigerator, you probably value appearance and aesthetics as highly as engineering and features. While the company’s appliances are packed full of the latest technology, it is their bold and striking designs that really set them apart. JennAir has been making some of the most attractive and innovative kitchen appliances on the market for more than 50 years, and the company’s latest column refrigerators are changing the way custom kitchens are designed. If you want a refrigerator that really makes a statement, you may want to take a look at JennAir.
Like that of most major appliance manufacturers, JennAir’s history is a tale of revolutionary ideas, great fanfare, challenging economic times, and corporate takeovers. While some brands have had to reinvent themselves to remain relevant, JennAir has always been true to its roots. The company produces appliances of the highest quality for customers who will not settle for less than the best. This is a market segment that has become increasingly competitive in recent years. That may not be a problem for JennAir, as it is now part of a huge consortium and has access to some of the world’s top designers and engineers. To understand how JennAir got to this point, take a look at the events that shaped this storied manufacturer.
Founding and Milestones
The company that would grow to become JennAir was founded in 1947 by an airflow engineer named Louis J. Jenn. For more than a decade, the Jenn-Air Products Company focused on developing and manufacturing industrial fans for use in factories, warehouses, and other commercial settings. This was a profitable business that made Jenn a wealthy man, but the entrepreneur was constantly looking for new ways to use and market his industrial fans.
Jenn’s breakthrough came in the early 1960s when he took a close look at the standard American kitchen and concluded that the cooktops and ranges of the day were lacking. Cooking produces a lot of fumes that contain carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so keeping areas where food is cooked free of potentially harmful substances has always been a top priority for appliance manufacturers.
Toxic fumes naturally travel upward, so venting them out of the way has traditionally been done by placing hoods directly above the cooking surface. This solution was perfectly acceptable when kitchens were small, and stoves were placed against walls, but the limitations of overhead hoods became more apparent in the 1960s when consumers were spending far more time in their kitchens and wanted to turn cooking into more of a social occasion.
Overhead hoods made this difficult because they obstruct sightlines and prevented kitchen designers from placing cooktops on islands. Jenn solved this problem by using one of his industrial fans to make a vent that was placed behind rather than on top of the cooktop and sucked air down instead of up. This inspiration brought downdraft ventilation into the suburban kitchen, and it completely revolutionized the appliance industry. Kitchen designers could place cooktops wherever they wanted to, and people could enjoy conversations and interact socially while they cooked.
Jenn’s self-ventilated downdraft range was introduced in 1961, and it was a great commercial success. The revenue this innovative range created gave Jenn the resources he needed to develop further products and become a major name in the appliance industry. Within a few years, appliance stores were filled with ranges, dishwashers, and refrigerators that bore the Jenn-Air badge. The company even released a line of blenders, mixers, and other small appliances.
Jenn-Air appliances have always been luxury items with luxury price tags, which was not a problem in the 1960s when the economy was booming, and suburbs were being built around the country. However, the economic hardship and inflation of the 1970s dealt a severe blow to luxury brands like Jenn-Air. By the early 1980s, the company was in serious trouble.
Disaster was averted, and Jenn-Air was saved when Maytag purchased the company in 1982. Maytag was known for building durable appliances that most people could afford, so buying Jenn-Air allowed the company to expand both its product range and its potential market. The economy suffered more setbacks in the 1990s, and the appliance market became far more competitive, so it was not long before Maytag was dealing with the same challenges that had pushed Jenn-Air to the brink in the late 1970s.
The latest chapter in the story began in 2006 when Whirlpool bought both Maytag and Jenn-Air. This acquisition gave Jenn-Air the manufacturing and research and development resources it needed to not only survive but to thrive, and the company’s trajectory has been upward ever since. In 2018, Whirlpool removed the hyphen from the company’s name, and the JennAir we know today was born.
Production and Manufacturing
Premium products are usually made by companies that focus on a particular niche. Exotic car manufacturers usually don’t make station wagons, and companies that make luxury refrigerators and freezers tend to stay away from the stove and dishwasher markets. JennAir bucks this trend with a range of premium kitchen appliances that all share the same design language, and that is what sets the Michigan-based company apart. Let’s take a close look at these appliances and how they are made.
Jenn started making freestanding refrigerators and other kitchen appliances because he believed rules should be broken and conventions ignored to create products that meet the needs of consumers. One glance at the latest JennAir high-end refrigerators and freezers should be enough to tell you that this philosophy is still alive and well.
When designers create luxury kitchens, they prefer appliances that are flexible and allow them to take creative chances. JennAir gives them what they want with under-counter models that can break up a large refrigerator into several components. The company takes customization a step further with panel-ready designs that can be finished to match custom cabinets.
The company’s latest column refrigerators and freezers take customization to the next level. These models can be placed next to each other or in different parts of the kitchen, and the luxury finishes available include stainless steel and several types of leather.
In 2018, JennAir unveiled two new design expressions called RISE and NOIR. RISE appliances would look equally at home in a gourmet restaurant or a luxurious home kitchen. RISE refrigerators feature robust knurled handles with a diamond texture and details with brass accents. Features of the NOIR design include sculpted handles with a delicate lace pattern plus accents finished in chrome.
In addition to its under-counter, column, and built-in refrigerators and freezers, JennAir offers a line of side-by-side refrigerator/freezers and French door bottom-freezer refrigerators in stainless steel that provide the last word in luxury for appliance buyers who do not want a custom installation. No matter which JennAir refrigerator or freezer you choose, it will have features that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Features that separate JennAir appliances from the crowd include:
- Obsidian interiors: Many refrigerators look good from the outside, but their interiors are almost always an uninspiring and utilitarian white. JennAir defies expectations with obsidian interiors that were inspired by volcanic glass and make food look like works of art.
- Ecliptic lighting: The 650 LED lights inside a RISE or NOIR refrigerator make a stunning impact and are activated by the touch of a button.
- Trinity cooling: The trinity in this feature’s name refers to three cooling zones that are calibrated every second and controlled by precision sensors. An air tower customizes the temperature of each zone and controls humidity levels.
- Concealed hinges: NOIR and RISE refrigerators and freezers have concealed hinges, which means nobody will know what they are until you open the door.
- Seamless connectivity: JennAir refrigerators are smart appliances that can be connected with voice commands or a single swipe to Android and iOS devices, Amazon Alexa, or Google Home.
- No plastic: People who pay top dollar for luxury do not want to see plastic, so JennAir uses thick tempered glass and high-quality metals to make its shelves and bins.
If you would like to know more about RISE or NOIR appliances or any other JennAir models, you can find links to reviews and other information on our main refrigerators page.
Whirlpool operates nine manufacturing facilities in the United States as well as several research and development centers, but most JennAir refrigerators and freezers are built in a state-of-the-art plant in Ottowa, Ohio. In November 2021, Whirlpool announced that it planned to invest more than $65 million to expand the Ottawa plant and create up to 100 new manufacturing jobs. The work is expected to be completed in 2023.
Instead of a standard production line, Whirlpool builds its premium refrigerators using smart carts that move appliances from one assembly point to the next. This approach improves quality because workers do not feel under pressure to complete their tasks quickly, and smart carts prevent assembly line backups that can cause production to grind to a halt. The money being invested into the Ottawa plant will also be used to:
- Improve the climate-control system so that humidity levels throughout the facility remain constant
- Purchase more ergonomic equipment to make life easier for workers and improve product quality
- Install electronic monitoring equipment that can diagnose or even repair production machines while they are running
- Update and improve the distribution center with the latest technology
Whirlpool often makes investments like this to improve both production and worker satisfaction, which may be why Forbes magazine included the company on its list of America’s best employers, and Newsweek named it one of the country’s most responsible companies.
JennAir sells built-in and under-counter refrigerators, freezers, and beverage coolers to interior designers as well as consumers, so having a presence in the most important upscale markets is a priority for the company. In March 2019, JennAir announced that it had opened a showroom in New York’s Architects & Designers building, which is one of the most coveted locations in the city for luxury goods manufacturers. The new showroom covers more than 2,500 square feet and features interactive displays. There are also engineers and designers on hand to help visitors create the kitchens of their dreams. Similar showrooms have been opened in exclusive parts of Pasadena and Nashville.
JennAir refrigerators and freezers are backed by a warranty that covers all components and protects consumers against defects in materials or workmanship for one year from the date of purchase. The sealed refrigerator system and cavity liner are covered for two years. This warranty only protects people who purchase new appliances from authorized dealers, and it does not cover the costs of repairs when damage is caused by misuse or accidents.
Appliances do not have to be registered with the company to be covered by this warranty, but registration is a good idea and can be completed online in a matter of minutes. When products are registered, appliance owners receive important product notifications, can expect faster warranty service, and can use their registrations to prove ownership when making insurance loss claims.
If you buy a JennAir refrigerator or freezer and would like more protection, the company offers service plans that can extend the standard warranty coverage for up to five years. These plans cost about $100 a year, which is a pretty good value considering a refrigerator repair can cost many times that amount. Other benefits of extending the standard warranty include:
- No deductible
- Repairs performed by factory technicians
- Repairs made using genuine parts
- Replacement of appliances that cannot be repaired
JennAir Refrigerator/Freezer Parts
JennAir does not have a separate dedicated parts hub, but some popular items can be ordered on the company’s main website. If you are looking for accessories or maintenance products, you can find what you need by clicking on the “Owners” tab and then selecting “Refrigeration” on the “Parts and Accessories” drop-down menu. You won’t be able to order parts to make repairs, but you will be able to find:
- Toekicks in black and stainless steel
- Handle kits with RISE and NOIR designs
- Stainless steel and leather panel kits
- Ice and water filters
- Affresh stainless-steel brightener and ice machine cleaner
If you need a component that is not listed on the website, you can call (800) 536-6247 to speak to a customer service representative, contact an authorized dealer, or click on the “Contact Us” link to schedule an appointment with a technician.
Check Out More JennAir Content From RefrigeratorHQ
Whether you are looking for a premium appliance or something more affordable, RefrigeratorHQ has content that can help you to make smart buying decisions. We have reviews that give you key facts about the latest refrigerators, as well as product roundups that can help you to narrow down your search. We also have press release pages that let you know about the latest developments in the appliance industry and recall pages that inform you about products with issues that need to be addressed.
JennAir Refrigerator/Freezer Reviews
A lot of refrigerators look alike and seem to have similar features, so how can you determine which one will fit your needs? You could spend hours studying manufacturer’s websites and reading product brochures, or you could just check out the reviews at RefrigeratorHQ. We help you to sort through your choices with in-depth analysis, features and benefits, and pros and cons, and we also let you know what people have said about the refrigerators and freezers in online reviews. If you want to know how to choose the best refrigerator, our reviews would be a great place to start.
JennAir Refrigerator/Freezer Roundups
If you like a particular appliance manufacturer but don’t know much about its current model lineup, our product roundups could be just what you need. You won’t have to switch between browser tabs to find out what makes one refrigerator different from another because we put all the relevant information in one place in a format that is easy to read. Our roundups are a series of short reviews that tell you about key features and explain what makes each refrigerator great.
JennAir Refrigerator/Freezer Press Releases
Things change quickly in the appliance industry, so smart consumers must do their homework to avoid costly mistakes. The press release pages on RefrigeratorHQ let you know when new refrigerators and freezers are announced, or improvements are made to models already in production, and they give you the latest information about incentive programs, rebates, and special deals.
JennAir Refrigerator/Freezer Recalls
Recalling refrigerators and freezers is a major logistical challenge for manufacturers because they normally involve sending technicians out to make in-home repairs. Some manufacturers only send repair notifications to customers who have registered their appliances, but RefrigeratorHQ’s recall pages let everybody know when a technician is needed. We list the models being recalled, tell you what is wrong with them, and explain what the manufacturer is doing to deal with the problem.
Where To Buy
Finding the best price on a premium refrigerator can be almost as much work as figuring out which model to buy in the first place. Low appliance prices sometimes look a lot less appealing after shipping and installation fees are added to the equation, and some retailers offer great customer service but have very little inventory. If you want to get a great deal but don’t want to wait months for your new refrigerator to arrive, check out these links:
Premium products like JennAir refrigerators are rarely found in cut-price stores or on discount websites, but that does not mean there are no deals to be had. When rebates or incentives are announced or prices are slashed to move inventory, you can be sure that RefrigeratorHQ will let you know. Visit here to learn about the latest promotions.
JennAir refrigerators and freezers make a bold statement and offer the latest in appliance technology, but there are less expensive alternatives that perform just as well. If you want to see what other manufacturers have to offer before you make up your mind, take a look at some of the other brands we cover at RefrigeratorHQ. If you do, you can read reviews of refrigerators made by manufacturers, including:
The JennAir website does not have a button that visitors can click to start a live chat with a customer service representative, but it does have phone and email links. Representatives are available to answer questions on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. You could also look for answers to your questions on the website’s troubleshooting page. If you would prefer to ask your question on the phone or via email, here is the information you will need:
- Customer Service Number: (800) 536-6247
- Customer Service Email: firstname.lastname@example.org