Hi. I read various mini-fridge reviews (including Consumer Reports), and chose the Igloo 3.2 because of price, convenience (I could pick it up at our local Walmart with free shipping), and customer reviews said it got COLD. Also, there didn't seem to be many "broken, dented, or dead after two weeks" reviews, which is a big plus for durability/reliability. It's a hassle having to return a 70-pound item for exchange, and I definitely didn't want to be bothered, so that's important!
I ordered it online on 8/3 (Friday night at 9pm) and it was ready to be picked up at our local Walmart on 8/10 (the next Friday), even though the delivery window was up to 8/16. That's FAST delivery for a heavy object. I strongly recommend picking it up personally at the store, where it comes from the Walmart warehouse standing upright (the Freon needs to settle to the bottom if you still have to tilt it to get it home. I had to put it on the side to fit my 4Runner SUV, but left it in the box upright overnight and it ran fine. Home delivery is by third parties, and a lot of damage seems to occur in the process, which is why I don't recommend it.
The Igloo 3.2 is very well designed, and holds a LOT of stuff. The separate freezer compartment is relatively large and efficient. Aside from minor fingerprints showing on the black exterior, which are easily wiped off, the white interior is easy to clean.
DETAILS AND OBSERVATIONS... TEMPERATURE: Internet research recommends 40 degrees food section, about 28 degrees freezer. I checked multiple times with a digital thermometer and my Dad's good old 50 year old mechanical thermometer. End result: I suggest putting the thermostat (there's only one) at 5 to 5.5, which gives the food section about 38-40 degrees (perfect). However, the first time I checked the freezer, I had to look twice in amazement. Zero degrees. That's Farenheit NOT CENTIGRADE. Water freezes at 32 degrees F. so we are talking SUB-ZERO. That's cold, which is very important if the power goes off. It will keep the whole fridge cold for a long time.
POWER CONSUMPTION: I have a very useful "Kill-A-Watt" power meter ($30) which I can plug anything into to see what the gadgets draw and what they cost. The "Energy Guide" says "$22 estimated yearly operating cost." Wrong. Here are the figures: after 335 hours continuous use, 75 watts/1.43 amps/170va (great for a mini-generator during a storm, plus it will stay cold a long time without power), .44pf, COST@$0.110kwh: 20 cents a day, $1.45/week, $6.25/month, $76.12/year.
OTHER USEFUL INFO: There is an "ON-OFF" switch next to the light on the thermostat. There is NO EXPLANATION anywhere that I can find for what it does. However, if you look at the circuit diagram on the back of the fridge, it appears to manually control a heating element which conceivably helps defrost the freezer. I really haven't seen much of a frost problem so far after 3 weeks, which says a lot for the door seals not letting moisture in. I suggest leaving the switch OFF unless you want to experiment. Frost only appears (so far) at the back of the food and freezer compartments. The compressor piping protrudes about an inch from the back, and the compressor gets HOT, so you will want to leave a few inches behind the fridge for clearance and ventilation. Finally, there appears to be an indentation at the back of the food compartment to catch melting ice water, which is plugged up. If it were open, the water would theoretically drain into a hot pan on top of the compressor and evaporate, but I don't know if the factory decided against it for electrical safety reasons.
Summary: great refrigerator so far. I strongly recommend the additional WalMart 3-Year extended warranty for $25, so if/when it breaks or the compressor burns out in a few years...NEW REFRIGERATOR ! That's it for now, hope this helps. Stevie B.
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