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An Average Refrigerator at an Average Price: The Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB
Jan 5, 2011 (Updated Jan 5, 2011)
Review by John Staradumsky
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Back in March of 2010, we bought our wonderful new Funhouse that we now live in. One of the things we needed right away was a new refrigerator. We weren't sure which one to buy, although we knew that we did want a side by side model. Per my Beloved Barbara(TM), it also had to be stainless steel. After some deliberation, we eventually settled on the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB (22.6 cu. ft.) Side by Side Refrigerator. It seemed to have all the features we wanted, came highly recommended, and looked darned nice. We've had the unit for almost ten months now, and I feel we're familiar enough with it that I can share my thoughts with the world.
Recommend this product?
First and foremost, I'll again say that the unit is attractive enough, with stainless steel front and jet black sides. We'll look at each compartment separately, and discuss what we like and don't.
The first thing that greets you when you open the refrigerator side is the temperature gauge. A digital readout tells you the exact temperature of both refrigerator and freezer compartments, and allows you to adjust them. If the temperatures begin to rise and become too high for safe food storage, the unit will alarm to notify you. The refrigerator side is slightly larger than the freezer side, which makes sense I suppose since most people tend to store more there.
The door has four wide shelves and a butter keeper atop. The bottom two are fixed in position, but the top two are adjustable so that you can vary the space between them. We like this, and the fact that the shelves are deeply recessed enough to store oodles of condiments and even a few two liter bottles of soda. Plus, the fact that they easily pop right out to allow for quick and simple cleaning is a big plus.
As with most refrigerators, the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB has adjustable, seemingly durable glass shelves that you can set to the distance you like. There's ample room as they're deeply recessed and, at least as we have them set, far enough apart to store tall items like stock pots full of soup or gallons of milk. There are four shelves in all, which has proven plenty and enough for us.
In addition to the shelving, there are three drawers for meat and vegetable storage. The two bottom drawers are by far the largest; these are the "Fresh-Lok Hydrator" drawers intended for fruits and vegetables. Really, the only extra feature they have is a sliding bar on the front of each that allows you to set an amount of air intake. In our experience, that doesn't really affect by much the time your fruits and veggies stay fresh. The smaller "Fresh-Lok Meat Keeper" seems too small in our opinion. It's useful for luncheon meats and you may get a steak or two in there, but most of the time it's too small to store meat in for a day or two. You can vary the temperature of the meat drawer with an adjustable setting bar on the left hand side.
All of the drawers seem less than durable to us, and we've already had one of the vegetable drawers crack under no more than normal use. Whether that bodes well for the long-term viability of the entire refrigerator is an open question.
The freezer door has four recessed shelves, although these are not adjustable. The topmost of these is by far the smallest and allows for the least amount of storage, but all are useful for keeping small bags of vegetables, cans of frozen juice, or loose ice cream novelties from getting crushed.
The main freezer compartment, though about 75% of the area of the refrigerator section, still seems spacious enough for everyday household needs. Keep in mind that the top 20% of this area is reserved for the icemaker, which does hold an amazing amount of ice. I can say we have never run out of ice with the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB.
The main freezer area also features a drawer at the very bottom, a basket above it, and two plastic shelves, one of them slightly adjustable. It's important to state two things: the freezer area is adequate for average household use, but if you're in the habit of buying meat in mass quantities and freezing it, you'll likely need another refrigerator or a companion chest freezer.
Another issue is air circulation. It's vital that the area in the back of the freezer section be kept open to allow air to circulate. During the warm summer months when we packed our freezer a bit fuller than normal, we noticed that the temperatures on the refrigerator and freezer side started to rise mysteriously. In one case, the temperature on the fridge side got into the mid fifties. Although rearranging the freezer area seemed to solve the problem, we think metal caging around the circulation area would be a big improvement for this model to avoid such problems.
The ice and water dispenser is housed in the freezer door as is common for these units. As previously mentioned, we have never run out of ice with the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB (we do set the unit to "Extra Ice" however). Ice comes cubed or crushed depending on your preference. The water dispenser runs the water through a charcoal filter located in the refrigerator section. It's easily accessible, and pops right out when it's time to replace it.
The manufacturer suggests that the filter be replaced once every six-months. This is fairly pricey proposition since these filters run about $45 each. This adds $90 a year to the cost of owning and operating the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB. Curiously, though, the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB does have a filter status display that lights when you dispense water. Ours has been green since we bought the until about ten months ago. We suspect that the quality of water in your area will impact the amount of time you get from your filter. At any rate, our water still tastes very good coming from the dispenser.
There are two downsides. The water coming from the door is not very cold, and you'll need to add ice if you prefer it chilled. Also, the water dispenser will occasionally stop working, and stop dispensing water completely. This inexplicable occurrence usually ends as mercurially as it arrives, and we start getting water again hours later.
Overall, we have had average success with the Frigidaire GLHS37EHSB. It has a few minor quirks but overall has run well. For about $1200, you'll get what you expect, although you may be able to pick one up at a better price these days. We think there are likely better units out there for that price. We'd recommend it only if you can pick one up new in the $900 range or gently used for $500 or under.
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Amount Paid (US$): 1200
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