GE GTS21FGKWW and GTS18FGLWW Refrigerator Review
Looking for an affordable second refrigerator? One of these might work.
If you're looking for a classic white top freezer refrigerator that's made in America, you might be considering a couple of GE refrigerators, the GTS18FGLBWW (available at AppliancesConnection for $543.00) and GTS21FGKCW (available from AppliancesConnection). If they're both on your list, we think you should focus on the smaller of the two, the 28-inch, 18-cu.-ft. GTS18FGLBWW. In our lab tests, it did well with temperature, while its big brother, the 33-inch, 21-cu.-ft. GTS21FGKCWW ran warm.
Design and features
The models we tested were high-gloss white, but if your kitchen design calls for a black refrigerator, they have one of those too, and for the same price. Stylish stainless steel and slate finishes are available for about $100 more.
Bright LED lights illuminate the refrigerator compartments, but not the freezers. Deep bins on the refrigerator doors handle gallon-sized containers, freeing up space in the main compartments. The glass shelves capture spills, and they're easy to move around if you want to rearrange.
No icemakers are included with these refrigerators, though you can purchase them separately.
Both of these refrigerators excel in energy efficiency, costing between $21 and $22 to run for a year. They both chill quickly, too, with the larger model taking only 32 minutes to cross the freezing point, and the smaller model passing 32° in an incredible 21 minutes.
The smaller refrigerator beat the larger model in terms of temperature, staying close to 38° throughout our tests. Its freezer temperature was somewhat inconsistent, but averaged -2°, which is great.
The larger version (the GTS21FGKWW) temperatures varied in our tests, averaging close to 40° in the refrigerator compartment, which is safe, unless it bounces up. The freezer temperature was much too warm, averaging 4.6 degrees on the factory setting, when it should be closer to 0°. Watch out for freezer burn with this one! Fortunately, it's easy to use the temperature control knobs to make adjustments, and we recommend that you do that.
Neither fridge does a good job keeping humidity its crispers. That could be an issue if you want to keep your fruits and veggies for a long time. If you use them up quickly, you'll probably get by.
What users say
Some of the owners who left reviews say they purchased the smaller refrigerator as a backup fridge for the garage, and were pleased with its operation. Those who bought the larger model were generally happy with its size. A number of reviews of both models called them noisy.
The bottom line
The smaller model, the GTS18FGLBWW, surpassed the larger model, the GTS21FGKCWW, in our tests, so if you can manage with less space, that's the one to choose. You could also consider the Whirlpool WRT318FZDW, an affordable fridge that scored very well in our tests.
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