Why Choose Whirlpool?
Whirlpool refrigerators are popular with consumers because they are packed with useful features and built to last, but the distinctive Whirlpool logo means much more than durability and convenience. It also represents a company that has achieved market dominance through more than a century of research, innovation, and commitment to community and humanitarian causes. Whirlpool grew from humble beginnings to become a manufacturing behemoth with more than 70 technology research and manufacturing centers around the world, and the company remains dedicated to providing its customers with products that exceed their expectations and solve problems they didn’t even know they had.
Whirlpool’s story is a long and interesting one. It began with an idea that gave rise to an entire industry, and that creative spark was just the first in a long line of breakthroughs. Over the last 100 years, Whirlpool has built a reputation based on customer service and technical excellence. The company has also fueled political debate and contributed to the exploration of space. Let’s take a look at how Whirlpool was founded and how it grew into a Fortune 500 company.
Founding and Milestones
The company that became Whirlpool was born in 1911 when an insurance salesman named Louis Upton was looking for a way to salvage something from the wreckage of a household equipment business he had launched three years earlier. He decided that a patent he owned for a manual washing machine had promise, so he approached his uncle, who owned a machine shop, to figure out a way to add an electric motor to the device.
The collaboration was a success, and the two men took out a $5,000 loan to launch the Upton Machine Company. Their first breakthrough came in 1916 when the retail giant Sears placed a large order for Upton’s ingenious washing machines. The machines were a big hit, and it was not long before Sears decided that Upton would be their only supplier.
The first product to bear the Whirlpool name was a washing machine with an automatic spinning feature that was sold by Sears in 1949. Consumers loved both the machine and its name, so Upton renamed his company the Whirlpool Corporation in 1951. The company’s growth was slow and steady for the next few years, but all that changed when Whirlpool unveiled its Miracle Kitchen on national television in 1957. About 15 million people watched that broadcast, and it made Whirlpool a household name. The Miracle Kitchen also prompted a fiery exchange between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Nixon lauded Whirlpool’s advanced appliances as examples of American manufacturing excellence in a discussion that is known today as the Kitchen Debate.
Whirlpool introduced its first refrigerator in 1955, and the company’s top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, and French door refrigerators can now be found in millions of homes. From its earliest days, Whirlpool understood that customers wanted service as well as sophisticated and reliable appliances. That’s why the company set up the first toll-free customer support line in the 1970s, calling it the Cool Line.
Whirlpool has been a part of the space program since its earliest days. In 1960, NASA asked the company to design refrigerators, freezers, and ovens that would work in a zero-gravity environment. That work led to the development of food management systems that were used on all Apollo, Gemini, and Skylab missions. Whirlpool’s relationship with NASA continues to this day. In 2021, the company worked with researchers from Purdue University to design a zero-gravity refrigerator suitable for deep space exploration.
Production and Manufacturing
Whirlpool has a long history of manufacturing household appliances over the years. Whatever product you buy, you can count on Whirlpool to make it to be reliable. What makes this company so noteworthy is its design and attention to essential details.
Whirlpool is best-known for its expansive range of refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, and dryers, but the company also produces ranges, ovens, cooktops, dishwashers, air conditioners, and microwaves. In addition to selling appliances and appliance accessories under the Whirlpool name, the company markets products under a portfolio of brand names including Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana, and Hotpoint.
Establishing a commanding position in a highly competitive market would be enough to make many manufacturers content, but Whirlpool has always had its eye on the future. The company has consistently been able to see beyond the perceived limits of technology to develop revolutionary products that make life easier. This focus on research and development has led to a string of industry firsts that include:
- The electric wringer clothes washer
- The stand kitchen mixer
- The bottom-freezer refrigerator
- The side-by-side refrigerator
- The self-ventilated cooktop
- The countertop microwave oven
- The double induction oven freestanding range
- The high-efficiency top-loading washing machine
- The large capacity front-loading washing machine
Whirlpool’s current line of refrigerators continues this pioneering tradition. In addition to interiors with enough storage space to meet the needs of even the largest families, Whirlpool’s latest refrigerators offer a host of clever features like humidity-controlled crispers that keep produce fresh, can caddies that keep sodas organized, door bins that can hold large items like gallon containers of milk, Flexi-Slide bins that can be moved from side to side to make storing tall items easier, frameless glass shelves that hold more groceries and are easier to clean, and EZ connect points that make installing icemakers a snap. Whirlpool’s refrigerator line includes:
- French door refrigerators: Whirlpool French door models keep refrigerated food at eye level and store frozen items below. These refrigerators are premium products and tend to have the most features, and they feature freezers with deep drawers instead of swing-out doors.
- Side-by-side refrigerators: Placing the refrigerator on the right and the freezer on the left makes accessing refrigerated and frozen foods equally easy. Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerators offer plenty of usable storage capacity, and Whirlpool side-by-side ice makers are placed inside the freezer door to provide added touches of convenience and elegance.
- Top and bottom-freezer refrigerators: Whirlpool refrigerators with the freezer on top are still one of the company’s most popular products, but refrigerators with freezer drawers on the bottom are also available. Top- and bottom-freezer refrigerators are more compact than French door or side-by-side models, but they are still packed with useful features.
- Under counter refrigerators: Whirlpool under-counter refrigerators are often used as secondary fridges to store water, soda, and other drinks. The company also offers a line of refrigerated wine and beverage centers designed specifically for this purpose, and many of them feature multiple cooling zones to keep wine and craft beers at their ideal temperatures.
Many companies have outsourced their manufacturing in recent years, but 80% of the Whirlpool appliances sold in North America are still made in the United States. If you would like to learn more about Whirlpool’s large and diverse line of refrigerators, you will be able to find what you seek here.
The Whirlpool side-by-side stainless steel refrigerators you see in stores and on websites like Best Buy and The Home Depot are made in America. The company operates nine U.S. manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, and Massachusetts. Some of these plants have long histories, but the machinery inside them is cutting edge.
Most appliance manufacturers use a traditional production line, but Whirlpool has updated its factories with the latest technology. Instead of moving down a line, refrigerators are placed on smart carts that move from worker to worker. Doing this did not speed up production, but it did create a more pleasant working environment and improve worker safety. The smart carts also tilt refrigerators to make installing parts like compressors and motors easier, preventing mistakes and improving quality.
In 2012, Whirlpool opened a plant and distribution center in Tennessee that replaced a factory built more than a century ago. The state-of-the-art $200 million facility covers 1 million square feet and manufactures some of Whirlpool’s most sophisticated products. The 1,500 people who worked at the old Whirlpool plant kept their positions, and the company added 130 new jobs when the new facility opened.
Whirlpool demonstrated its commitment to efficiency and worker safety once again in 2020 when it opened a new factory distribution center next to its manufacturing plant in Tulsa. The $55 million project covers 800,000 square feet and created 150 new jobs. The new facility boasts an impressive array of technology, including:
- A climate-control system that keeps both the temperature and humidity level consistent to improve product quality and worker comfort
- Equipment at loading docks that speeds up distribution and improves ergonomics
- An advanced conveyor system that distributes inventory optimally to prevent damage
- Inventory control technology that provides updates in real time to improve warehouse efficiency
These investments show that Whirlpool values its workers as much as its customers, so it was not surprising when Forbes included the company in its America’s Best Employers list in 2022 and its World’s Best Employers list in 2021. Whirlpool has also been named one of America’s most just companies by CNBC and JUST Capital and one of America’s most responsible companies by Newsweek.
Whirlpool believes that manufacturers cannot separate their businesses from the communities they operate in, and the company’s behavior suggests that this philosophy runs deep. Whirlpool opened its first office of sustainability in 1969, and it has made a global commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The company seems well on its way to this lofty goal because it has already slashed its emissions by 60%, and 71% of its waste sites have earned either Landfill Gold or Landfill Platinum status.
Building appliances creates emissions, and so does using them. With this in mind, Whirlpool implemented changes that have already reduced the carbon footprints of its products by 60%. The company plans to meet its environmental goals by investing in renewable energy sources, refining its products and upgrading and improving its manufacturing and distribution technology.
Whirlpool is also fully committed to transparency and diversity. The company has seven diversity networks run by employees that address the needs of workers and suggest improvements that could make their lives better. Listening to these groups helped Whirlpool to earn a score of 100% on the Disability Equality Index, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has awarded the company perfect scores of 100 for LGBTQ+ equality for 19 consecutive years.
In addition to building more diverse and tolerant workplaces and taking steps to protect the environment, Whirlpool supports Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build high-quality affordable housing around the world. The company has invested more than $30 million in Habitat for Humanity projects and installed appliances in more than 73,000 Habitat homes. Whirlpool’s charitable endeavors go beyond writing checks and donating appliances. Each year, the company recognizes a Habitat for Humanity affiliate by sponsoring construction in its community. When a Tennessee affiliate was selected, 100 Whirlpool employees joined local volunteers to build 10 homes in just one week.
Whirlpool stands behind its products with comprehensive warranties and money-back guarantees. If you purchase a Whirlpool appliance and are not happy with it, you can return it within 15 days for a full refund with no questions asked. You will also receive a refund if you return a Whirlpool appliance after 15 days but within 30 days. Delivery, shipping, and service fees will be deducted. Whirlpool customers also have 30 days to exchange appliances that were damaged while in transit or during installation.
The Whirlpool refrigerator warranty starts on the date of purchase and covers most components for a year. Sealed refrigerator components like compressors, evaporators, condensers, and dryers are covered for five years. When warranty repairs are required, Whirlpool sends out a factory-trained technician to complete the job using genuine replacement parts. When appliances covered by a Whirlpool warranty must be replaced, the company covers the shipping and handling costs.
Whirlpool encourages its customers to register their appliances. Registration speeds up warranty repairs significantly because most of the information needed to process a claim will already be in the system, and insurance companies will accept warranty registrations as proofs of purchase when handling claims submitted by policyholders who have lost their original receipts. Registering your product also ensures that you will be notified about any recalls.
The Whirlpool warranty protects consumers against defects in workmanship or materials, but it does not cover damage caused by abuse, accidents, or unauthorized repairs. If you contact Whirlpool about a warranty issue, the company will ask you for:
- The name and address of the store where you purchased your appliance
- The product’s model and serial numbers
- A description of the problem
Whirlpool customers who want even more protection can buy an extended service plan from the company. Whirlpool extended warranties have no deductibles, and all repairs made under them are performed by qualified technicians using certified parts. Consumers who own more than one Whirlpool product can earn a discount by covering all their appliances with one service plan.
Whirlpool Appliance Parts
Whirlpool keeps an enormous number of parts and accessories in stock for both current and out-of-production refrigerator models. The most commonly ordered parts are seals, shelves, bins, and icemakers, but the company also has a large inventory of compressor, motor, and cabinet parts.
Check Out More Whirlpool Content From RefrigeratorHQ
When it comes to relevant product information, Whirlpool has a variety of resources for you to access for essential information.
Whirlpool Product Reviews
If you want to find information about Whirlpool refrigerators you are considering, our reviews are a resource you should definitely check out. RefrigeratorHQ reviews will give you basic facts like dimensions and other specifications, and they will also tell you how well refrigerators are made and how long you can expect them to last. Our reviews cover the features that make these refrigerators stand out from the crowd, and they also let you know what consumers who bought them think about their purchases. If you want to know a Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator’s counter depth, our review is the place to look.
Whirlpool Product Roundups
If you are shopping for a new refrigerator and every model looks the same, our product roundups could help you to narrow down your list of choices. The information you find in our roundups will help you to decide whether a French door, side-by-side or traditional top or bottom-freezer model best fits your needs, and you will see which features Whirlpool includes with its various design options. If you are interested in a Whirlpool side-by-side black refrigerator but you are not sure it checks all the boxes, one of our roundups could settle the matter.
Whirlpool Press Releases
Whirlpool makes dozens of refrigerators, and old products are retired and replaced by new models all the time. We keep track of all Whirlpool product announcements and press releases, so you will always have the latest information when you make your buying decisions. We let you know when features are added or discontinued, when new colors are introduced, and when special deals or rebates are announced.
Whirlpool products are renowned for their reliability and durability, so product recalls are rare. When the company does announce a recall, we make sure that you know about it. We let you know which model numbers are being recalled, what issue or issues prompted the recall, and what Whirlpool has promised to do to fix the problem.
Where To Buy
If you have settled on a Whirlpool refrigerator model but don’t know where to get the best deal, we can help. We keep track of the major online retailers to see where the best offers can be found, and we only recommend websites that back up their low prices with dedicated customer service. Check out the following links to see a wide selection of Whirlpool refrigerators that might meet your needs:
We don’t just provide you with information about the latest and best Whirlpool refrigerators. We can also point you in the right direction if you are looking for special deals or offers. Before you click an “Add to cart” button, check the following affiliate links to make sure you are not missing out on any special promotions:
Whirlpool refrigerators are solidly built, run quietly and are packed with innovative features, but they are not for everyone. If you have read our reviews and come to the conclusion that another brand might be more to your liking, you may want to consider a refrigerator made by one of the other manufacturers we cover. These include:
Whirlpool has a large online presence that includes a general website, a corporate website, and a parts website. The company is also active on most of the popular social media platforms. Here are some links that you may find useful:
If you have any questions, Whirlpool runs a helpline that you can reach between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time. You can call them at 1-866-698-2538. For the best service, make sure you have your appliance’s model and serial number. If you prefer to communicate via email, fill out the Whirlpool contact form. The company will get in touch to answer your questions and respond to feedback.
Customer support has always been a top priority for Whirlpool, so they have an extensive Customer Care center. This support center provides guides to using products, helps you schedule service for an appliance, and gives troubleshooting advice.
- Customer Service Number: (866) 698-2538
- Contact form: https://www.whirlpool.com/services/contact-us.html
- Support center: https://www.whirlpool.com/owners.html