GE GTH18ISDSS Refrigerator Review
Too much money for a mid-range fridge.
The bane of the GE GTH18ISDSS was undoubtedly its poor temperature calibration. With average ratings everywhere else—in conjunction with some pretty fantastic energy ratings—this product has so much potential. If a refrigerator doesn't live up to the verb embedded in its title, however, then what's the point?
$699 worth of performance in a $999 fridge.
Temperature consistency throughout the various zones of this product's internal compartments was the biggest concern that we had after examining our test results. Over time, both the fridge and freezer exhibited an average fluctuation of 0.3 degrees, a very consistent and positive result. However, the temperatures themselves weren't quite as spot on. The fridge, for instance, averaged 38.96 degrees Fahrenheit at the top, 37.4 degrees in the middle, and 40.09 degrees near the crispers. A gradual shift is understandable—in fact, slightly warmer temperatures are preferred for fresh produce—but this spotty, jumpy temperature output is more indicative of poor air flow.
The freezer is even worse. It's not a terribly tall compartment, and yet we still saw a difference of almost two degrees. The top clocked in at 5.4, while the average degree near the bottom was roughly 7 degrees even. Keep in mind that we had actually gone a step further and cranked up the freezer thermostat, and it still never reached the ideal zero degree mark. The fridge section managed to stay within a range that would be acceptable on a cheaper fridge, but the freezer is flat out disappointing; we would except this sort of data on a substantially cheaper model.
Decent: the highest preservation compliment we could give.
Thankfully, there was one aspect of this fridge's performance with respect to actual food preservation that managed to garner some praise. The crisper drawers lacked any sort of humidity adjuster, so our hopes weren't high. Nevertheless, this one trick drawer managed to lose just 0.18 gram of moisture per hour. It's solidly average, not a bad thing for a fridge in this price point.
Freezing & Thawing
Two tests that prove this fridge isn't completely awful.
Freezing and thawing tests are sort of the pass/fail component of our testing procedures. Very few fridges make an impact here one way or the other. With freezing times of one hour and 45 minutes, this GE will preserve room temperature food without a huge loss of texture or quality. That length of time is acceptable, though it is getting close to the edge of the spectrum that we'd be happy with. As far as retaining that cold air, this fridge's insulation prevented temperatures from reaching even 23 degrees Fahrenheit after going 36 hours without power.
Storage Space & Energy Efficiency
The best thing about this fridge? Low electric bills.
This fridge offered up very few surprises in terms of its overall layout, and as such, it had a very average amount of usable storage space. Taking into account the sections blocked by controls, lights, and other obstructions, the assorted shelves and drawers inside the fridge proper totaled a decent 9.35 cubic feet of usable space. The freezer, despite its odd two-tier shelf, also came out with a very average number: 4 cubic feet even were spread out over the two main shelves and the two found on the door.
As it so happens, the area where this fridge really shines is one which many consumers value but may not actually notice: energy efficiency. At a rate of $0.09 per kWh, we determined that it would take a measly $22.05 to operate this GE for a full year. Spread that out over the usable storage, and you've got a fridge that requires a mere 0.05 kWh per cubic foot to operate. That's exceptionally affordable and efficient, making it one of the most budget-friendly fridges we've ever seen. If you can still find one on sale, a hefty store discount combined with the long-term energy savings could make a money-conscious consumer very happy.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!