Pros:Low operating cost, keeps food cold, many ways to arrange shelves
Cons:Freezer door pops open if fridge door is closed too hard, smallish freezer
The Bottom Line: The Frigidaire Gallery top freezer Refrigerator meets the needs of people who want a good amount of cold food storage in a small floorspace and is inexpensive to operate.
My former refrigerator seemed to run all the time. Not so with my new white Frigidaire Gallery top freezer 20.6 cubic feet refrigerator. The Energy Star label that came with it is a true statement of its performance. My electric bill dropped about $20 per month from the day it was plugged in.
Bigger fridge, smaller freezer
The old fridge was about 19 cubic feet; at 20.6, this one is bigger. However, the space was divided differently. The Frigidaire's freezer box is smaller. If you keep a lot of frozen food at home, you need to consider whether it will give you enough space. However, the freezer has two nice features I like. There is a light so it's easy to see what is stored there. I did not have a freezer light before. Also the food on the bottom "shelf" of the freezer is actually in an open wire drawer that pulls out to reach things at the back easily. There is a choice of two heights for the top glass shelf. There are two pocket shelves in the door going all the way across. They can be removed for cleaning.
Although the fridge came with an ice maker as a free bonus, I have not had it installed. Using the icemaker would reduce the freezer space even more compared to the two ice trays and box I am using now (leftovers from my old fridge).
Easy to access
The refrigerator section of the Frigidaire Gallery has a light, glass shelves, and two crisper bins. The top glass shelf can be divided into two pieces and placed at two different heights. The left side of this shelf has the meat drawer attached below. I divided the shelf so the right side is low enough to accommodate milk, juice, wine, and other tall bottles. It seems to droop a bit in the middle if it is mostly full (which it usually is). This doesn't appear to be causing a problem.
The temperature control for the refrigerator section is conveniently located right in front above the top shelf. The freezer control is at the back; I would have to remove much food to access it. I set both for normal and that is keeping the food at the right temperatures.
The middle glass shelf goes all the way across and can be adjusted to several different heights. The bottom shelf forms the top of the crisper bins. I shop often at farmers markets and wish these bins were bigger. Appliance makers don't seem to have caught on to how much more fresh produce people buy these days.
The door has a fixed pocket with a curved see through plastic lid I use for butter. There are four half width door pockets that can be adjusted up or down and a bottom pocket that goes all the way across. These provide ample room for condiments or small sized beverages. No egg trays were provided; I use one from my old fridge.
Thick walls and strange noises
When I was shopping for this fridge, I was struck by how much thicker the walls and doors were compared to my old fridge. Not counting the gaskets, the Frigidaire's doors are about 3-inches-thick and the walls are about two-inches. This is part of how Energy Star works by providing more insulation.
While the Frigidaire Gallery runs much less frequently than my old fridge, it does sound different. There are sometimes knocking noises in addition to the regular compressor sounds. The manual explains this is normal, but it was odd at first.
There is one problem that requires user attention. If I close the refrigerator door too hard, it can cause the freezer door to bounce open. Unless I realize this has occurred and close it manually, the freezer door will remain open. It does not close on its own when it is open an inch or so. This has happened more than once leading to energy being wasted and frozen food trying to defrost. It may have something to do with the large amount of food weight in the freezer. In any case, I have learned to check the freezer door when I'm done cooking to be sure it is really closed.
Worth the money
If you can't remember how old your refrigerator is and it seems to run all the time, it is time to replace it. You may think you can't afford a new fridge, but it will take three years or less for it to pay for itself. I bought my Frigidaire Gallery refrigerator during a Labor Day weekend sale, one of about three big sale times for appliances each year when they offer the best prices. My local electric utility gave me a $75 rebate for buying Energy Star. Check with your utility to see if they offer rebates, too.
Beyond choosing Energy Star, I picked Frigidaire because it has a good record for not breaking down and because I liked the features and the way it looked. I have been happy with my new Frigidaire Gallery top freezer refrigerator and I recommend it.
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