About Westinghouse Refrigerators

In 2015 Westinghouse received a solid 4-star rating across all drivers of customer satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s refrigerators survey – and a 5 star rating for after-sale service and warranty. We examine why New Zealand customers were so satisfied with their Westinghouse fridges.

The people behind the Westinghouse name

Westinghouse Electric Corporation was founded in 1886 in Pittsburgh by George Westinghouse. Some of George’s engineers included famous names such as Nikola Tesla, and George’s arch-nemesis was Thomas Edison, who founded General Electric.

When George passed away in 1914, he left a legacy of 361 patents. The 60 companies he founded have continued that legacy since then.

In 1934, the company opened ‘The Home of Tomorrow’ in Ohio to display its latest and greatest home appliances in a real home environment.

After being heavily involved in everything from aviation to nuclear energy, and having invented continuous filament tungsten light bulbs (1909) and automatic elevators (1945), Westinghouse is now most well-known for its home appliances including their refrigerators.

Some of Westinghouse’s refrigerator innovations

1914: Westinghouse enters the home appliance market.

1930s: White-Westinghouse claims to be the first company to produce refrigerators with sealed refrigeration units.

1950s: White-Westinghouse introduces auto-defrost or ‘frost free’ refrigerators.

2010s: Spillsafe™ glass shelves are invented, which can prevent up to 1 litre of spilled liquid from dripping onto the lower shelves. That’s good news for those of us who are a little bit clumsy!


Other Westinghouse ‘firsts’ in technology

Apart from being the first to make fridges with sealed freezer units, Westinghouse boasts many other firsts in technology:

  • First continuous filament tungsten light bulb in 1909
  • First all-electric kitchen range / stove in 1917
  • First international short-wave radio broadcast in 1923
  • First TV camera tube, the iconoscope, in 1928
  • First industrial atom-smasher in 1937
  • First automatic elevator in 1945
  • First electric clothes dryer in 1946
  • First temperature-controlled portable grill in 1950
  • First computer-controlled teletype network in 1962
  • First “Instant On” TV in 1968
  • The camera that filmed man’s first steps on the moon in 1969
  • First airborne surveillance radar system in 1977
  • First LCD TV monitor for consumers in 2005.

So if you get a Westinghouse fridge, you are getting a product created by people who have been inventing the ‘next big thing’ since 1886.

Other refrigerator brands we rated

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who had purchased and used a fridge in the last three years – in this case, 585 New Zealanders.

The other refrigerator brands in this year’s survey are:

  • Samsung
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Haier

You can view the refrigerator survey results here.