The Kenmore 16542 offers 14.8 cubic feet of storage (enough room to meet the needs of most families), interior and power-on lights, two lift-out baskets and a keyed lock. It is Energy Star-compliant and uses about 354 kWh of electricity per year. Professional reviewers give this freezer high marks for temperature control and efficiency, but they say it is noisier than many chest freezers. Users do not generally find the noise level to be a problem, though we found several complaints that the lid does not seal securely, causing this freezer to frost up quickly. Like all chest freezers covered in this report, the Kenmore must be defrosted manually. If you don't need a freezer this large, the 8.8-cubic-foot Kenmore 16922 (*Est. $340) performs just as well but is slightly less energy efficient.
ConsumerReports.org has not tested the Kenmore 16542, but the editors rate its performance based on their tests for the nearly identical Kenmore 16552 (now discontinued). We also found user reviews for the Kenmore 16542 at Sears.com and reviews for Kenmore chest freezers in general at Viewpoints.com.
ConsumerReports.org evaluates more than 60 upright and chest freezers on its website, rating each for temperature performance, energy efficiency and noise. The Kenmore 16542 is evaluated based on the performance of the older Kenmore 16552. It also receives two reviews from users.
Review: Freezers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of March 2011
About 60 users review the Kenmore 16542 on Sears.com, where the freezer receives a high average rating (4.5 stars out of 5). Almost every user says the freezer works great and the dividing compartments provide optimal organization. The most common complaint is that the lid does not seal well, leading to frost buildup.
Review: Kenmore 14.8 cu. ft. Chest Freezer (1654) Energy Star, Contributors to Sears.com
More than 20 owner reviews at Viewpoints.com give Kenmore chest freezers an average rating of about 4.2 stars out of 5. While some reviews are quite lengthy, it's not always clear which models users are talking about. However, users seem very pleased with the Kenmore brand overall.
Review: Kenmore 7.2 cu. ft. Freezer Chest Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com