18.2 Cu. Ft. Refrigerators

This is a good example of how a slight size difference really opens up the appliances that you have available. In the 18.1 cubic ft. category there were mostly top freezer styles from GE. In the 18.2 cu. ft. range you can deal with Haier, Kenmore, or Frigidaire. Here is my hunt to see if they also offered style or storage upgrades.

Haier HRTS18SADW

Like many of the GE models in the smaller size this one uses wire shelves in the freezer. It also has blue tint bins in the freezer door. I haven’t seen this before as typically there are opaque shelves in the freezer doors. However, unlike GE, Haier’s shelving system on this model effectively divides the freezer into two levels instead of having a large compartment with a small shelf in it. It also has a light in the freezer; which at this low price point in a white top freezer style can be a detail that is often overlooked.

I also really appreciate the shelving system in the fridge portion. This is where Haier is really different from the other brands. They use glass shelves and clear crispers like many other companies. However, they also use clear storage bins and drawers that have a cool blue hue to them.

Kenmore 78893

Kenmore offers up a stainless steel top freezer with the same amount of cubic ft. It should be somewhere in the $675-$800 range. The price is pretty fair considering the finish and the fact that it has an Energy Star rating and an ice maker.

My favorite feature design wise is the handle. They don’t distract from the beautiful doors that have a rounded look to them. Most companies will just use black handles. This model has stainless handles. I don’t know if it is “real” stainless or just has the look of it. If it is real stainless; be prepared to clean it a lot especially since this is right where you’ll be leaving tons of fingerprints. The only big issue with it is a popping noise.

Frigidaire FGHT1846KR

The MSRP on this stainless fridge is $999. It still has an Energy Star rating. The stainless steel is supposed to be fingerprint resistant and it’s built in the United States. It does use a SpaceWise organization trademark and the lighting is supposed to be pretty good. A few units got low marks for being DOA. Also reviewers felt that the price was a little high for the storage systems that were provided.

If you’re on a budget then this is a pretty good size to be considering. I didn’t see reviews of people complaining that it was too small. Low prices are the main objectives here. I don’t know how it would perform for a family. Ironically, there were fewer complaints about the icemakers then I see on models that cost three times as much. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these work any better. There just always seems to be fewer problems when you don’t have an ice maker/water dispenser combination in the door. Plus, the expectations tend to be a little bit lower. Possibly they were distracted by other bigger issues such as the noise level.

This capacity was somewhat limited because it did offer mostly top freezer styles. You did have a choice of brands though if you need to match these to some other appliances like a range or dishwasher that you already own. If you stayed in just the 18 cu ft. range you could look at French doors from Samsung or a bottom freezer. If you went up to 18.5 you would have bottom freezer styles from Amana and Maytag. However, the 18.1-18.2 configurations will land you with a top freezer. The 18.2 size did provide more brands, finishes and features than was just in the 18.1 category.

Hopefully you can see how just changing your capacity search slightly can give you a wider range of options and lower prices too. Ironically, some of the higher prices highlighted in this article did have the lowest ratings so it isn’t always a hallmark of quality.