The 2131 is essentially a pared-down version of the excellent FGHI2164QF. Gone are the adjustable half-width fridge shelves, the Custom Flex door storage, and even the icemaker.

But this 21-cubic-foot top freezer still provides basic, no-frills storage and excellent energy efficiency for a reasonable price.
With its excellent efficiency and consistent temperatures, the Frigidaire FFHT2131QP (MSRP $929) aced our biggest performance tests.

Basic, but not bland

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The front of the new Frigidaire is finished in a smooth white that’s very hard to smudge. This model also comes in black for the same price. Alternatively, Frigidaire offers a “smooth” metallic finish for about $50 more, or you can get stainless for an extra $100.

On the inside, this Frigidaire has everything you’d expect in a basic top freezer. Full-width shelves offer a modicum of spatial customization, while the use of glass instead of wire means you don’t have to worry about spills.

The use of incandescent bulbs may feel a bit dated, but they manage to light up the interior nevertheless. No such luck for the freezer, though—just cold, frigid darkness inside.

Door storage is completely fixed, but the shelf layout incorporates multiple heights to accommodate a variety of items.

Unlike the main compartment, the freezer’s shelf is a wire one. It can be slotted into one of two different positions, the choice of which is entirely up to you.

Much like its fancier counterpart, the Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF, the new 2131 runs warm when you set the thermostat to the recommended setting.

In the main section, we measured average temperatures of 38.67°F at the top, 39.55°F in the middle, and 42.65°F at the bottom. Similarly, the freezer maintained averages of 2.51°F and 5.79°F at the top and bottom, respectively. The trick to fixing this is simply to push the dial on the thermostat closer to the Coldest setting.

Inside our environmentally sealed labs, we also test fridges for consistency. That’s the performance element consumers can’t fix by tweaking the controls. Fortunately, this Frigidaire did very well in this regard: Temperatures fluctuated an average of just ±0.14°F in the fridge and ±0.5°F in the freezer.

Low tech but high efficiency

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The 2131 behaved much like the 2164 Gallery model, which is to say, very well. Both compartments were incredibly consistent compared to other top freezers. Plus, without an icemaker (or any other extra feature to speak of), this model is exceptionally energy efficient.

Of course, there’s a drawback. Like the 2164, the 2131 ran warm. The trick is to simply disregard the suggested control settings. All you have to do is slide the thermostat—located on the left interior wall of the main fridge section—closer to the Coldest setting, and you should be fine.

Beyond that, moisture retention in the crispers was acceptable—so fresh foods should stay that way—and freezing times were actually rather speedy for a budget top freezer.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

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The twin crispers did an adequate job retaining moisture, though you’ll want to keep an eye on more sensitive produce. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of 0.19 grams of moisture each hour.

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Freezing times of one hour and 21 minutes are actually quite good for a top freezer. It took our test materials that long to go from room temperature down to 32°F.

Everything you need, nothing you don’t

Retailers are offering the Frigidaire FFHT2131QP for about $750, making this a highly affordable 21-cubic-foot top freezer. With superior energy efficiency and consistent temperatures, this fridge provides consumers with all the basic essentials you need to store food without any of the bells or whistles that typically run up a price tag. If you’re looking for a big bargain, look no further.

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The main fridge compartment doesn’t offer much in the way of customization—two of the full-width shelves can be placed in a handful of slots—but the overall capacity is pretty ample. When we factor in the fixed shelves and dairy bin found on the door, the amount of usable storage for fresh food comes to 12.23 cubic feet.

The freezer, with its single dividing shelf, is about as basic as it gets. With no icemaker or light bulb to take up any space, you can cram a total of 4.59 cubic feet worth of frozen food in here.

Perhaps the most exciting element of this fridge’s performance was its energy consumption—or rather, the lack thereof. Based on data acquired from our energy meters, it only takes about 0.05 kWh to cool each usable cubic foot. Using a fixed rate of $0.09 per kWh, that means you’ll have to spend about $27.99 each year to power the fridge, making this one of the most affordable models we’ve ever tested.

Meet the testers

Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

Logistics Manager & Staff Writer

@ReviewedHome

Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.

See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews
Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

Logistics Manager & Staff Writer

@ReviewedHome

Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.

See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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