Howdy y’all! Now we’re sure you know by now that us folk at Appliance City love selling kitchen appliances and one thing is for sure, that when it comes to refrigeration, we certainly know our stuff! That’s why we’ve decided to pass our knowledge on to you. If you’re thinking about making that giant leap into buying an American Style Fridge Freezer, then our handy guide on the what, when and how, should hopefully help you out and leave you better informed to make that all important decision.
In recent years we’ve watched the popularity of American-style fridge freezers increase vastly and it’s not hard to see why. They are perfect for larger families and offer bags of space, giving you easy access to both compartments. In our Ultimate American Fridge Freezer Guide we’ll highlight some of the benefits of American fridge freezers, as well as look at the size of the appliance, how easy it is to fit, and address some of the problems you may encounter when choosing, and installing your new unit.
Wondering what the deal is with plumbed or non-plumbed? Which brands are the best to buy and what some of must-have features or the latest trends are? Then read on. Our guide will look at some of the greatest innovations in refrigeration, and we’ll also show you the top 5 best American fridge freezers on the market today.
Section 1: American-Style Fridge Freezer Pros and Cons
There are many benefits to owning an American fridge freezer:
- They offer more total storage space for both fresh and frozen food than conventional models.
- They usually have a lot of high-tech features including temperature alarms, digital displays, rapid chill functions, and even adjustable temperature zones.
- The range of adjustable shelves and racks ensure that you can accommodate even the largest items with ease, whether it’s tall bottles or leftovers from the night before.
- They look modern and stylish and are a fantastic addition to any kitchen.
However, this style of fridge freezer might not suite everyone, because:
- They are, on average, slightly more expensive to run than conventional fridges or freezers due to their increased size.
- The double door system means that you need ensure you have enough space on both sides to enable easy opening.
Section 2: American Fridge Freezer Dimensions
American fridge freezers are, by nature, much larger than their single door cousins. If you have a fitted kitchen that was designed around a conventional refrigeration unit then you may find that you need to make some minor adjustments to ensure that your cabinet design can accept the width and height of an American fridge freezer.
Width – The width of these units is the biggest problem for people with European-style kitchens. Some models are more than 90cm wide, and since the doors open to both sides you will need to consider your lifestyle and household requirements and choose a unit which will suit you, and your kitchen.
Depth – As well as being wider than traditional units, they are also deeper. These fridge freezers start at about 70cm deep, but some models can be even deeper than this. Before you purchase an American-style fridge freezer, check the dimensions of your chosen product and then measure your doorways.
It may sound a little odd, but some units can be particularly bulky, and you may struggle to fit them through standard doorways. In most cases, the doors of the fridge freezer can be removed to make it easier to move the appliance through your front door and around your home, but this isn’t always possible and varies from supplier to supplier. However, we are delighted to announce that, as part of our service, the delivery team here at Appliance City will remove the doors and bring the unit inside your home for you; it’s just what we do.
Height – Most American-style fridge freezers are between 175 and 180cm tall. When planning where to place your new unit, it may be worth considering removing high-level cabinets for a cohesive fit and finish.
American-style fridge freezers are incredibly heavy, so it is worth paying for delivery. Whilst some sellers charge for this service, here at Appliance City, we offer it free of charge meaning you can sit back and relax whilst your new fridge freezer is carefully put in position by our handy delivery team.
Section 3: Plumbed and Non-Plumbed
The water dispensers built in to higher end American fridge freezers offer easy access to chilled water on-demand, with no need to even open the fridge door. Some more expensive models have a built-in water filter that will remove imperfections from your tap water. This is a convenient feature, and one that you will appreciate if you drink a lot of water. Maintaining your water dispenser is just like using a water filtration jug; just change the water filter, and many models will have displays which tell you the filter needs changing.
Plumbed water dispensers are the most convenient long-term option since they take water directly from your mains water supply. You don’t have to worry about topping up a water reservoir periodically with fresh water; you simply enjoy a steady flow of chilled drinks, whenever you need them.
Plumbed water dispensers need to sit close to your water supply. Ideally, the dispenser should sit no more than two meters away from your existing pipe. Plumbing the dispenser in to your water supply is an easy DIY job if there are existing points in place. If you want to place your fridge away from existing water point, you’ll have to pay a plumber to come and sort out the pipework, or opt for a non-plumbed appliance instead.
Non-plumbed water dispensers are much easier to place in your home. You can position your fridge anywhere you want, and move it around whenever you re-decorate without having to worry about staying close to a pipe. It’s worth noting that non-plumbed fridge freezers aren’t “installed” in the traditional sense. As there’s no plumbing work involved, it’s simply placed in your home, and that’s it! After it’s been dropped off, you need to leave it alone and unplugged for a minimum of 8 hours to allow the gases within the unit to settle; overnight is best. Then all you need to do is plug it in and fill it up!
If you opt for a non-plumbed appliance, you will still be able to enjoy chilled drinks, but you will have to remember to top up the water reservoir whenever it runs low. If you forget to do this, you will have to deal with the inconvenience of waiting for your water to cool. Depending on how often (or how little) you use your water dispenser this may not be an issue for you.
Section 4: Top Brands
There are a huge number of companies making American-style fridge freezers these days. If you already have loyalty to one particular brand of appliance maker then there is no reason to choose a different one for your fridge freezer, however there are some brands that stand out as being among the top appliance makers in the market. Those brands include:
Samsung – Samsung is an innovative appliance maker that offers some great new features, including the Food Showcase feature, carefully designed storage options that maximise the amount of usable space in your fridge and freezer, and built-in carbonated water dispensers.
Fisher Paykel– What sets Fisher & Paykel apart from their competitors is the ActiveSmart technology that they offer. This technology senses the temperature changes that occur when you open the fridge door and adjust the cooling as necessary, helping to keep your food fresh for longer.
LG – LG is an affordable, entry-level brand that offers a good selection of fridge-freezers including basic models as well as more sophisticated ones with built-in water dispensers, ice makers, and other features.
Liebherr – Liebherr’s stylish integrated fridge freezers with BioFresh technology are incredibly popular among amateur and professional chefs.
Smeg – Smeg offers a beautiful line of retro-style fridge freezers that will be appreciated by anyone who feels that the current brushed steel look is a little too plain. While the designs are retro on the outside, the technology on the inside is on par with that of any other high quality fridge-freezer maker.
Daewoo – Daewoo manufactures a wide range of household appliances. They refer to their fridge freezers as “food centres” and offer a selection of plumbed and non-plumbed appliances, all with A+ energy efficiency ratings to boot.
Bosch – Bosch are one of the most reliable appliance brands out there. Their fridge freezers have been well-received by consumers and with over 170 years of experience under their belts, that’s not surprising. Their American-style fridge freezers can be found around the middle of the price range, and will give you many years of good service.
CDA – CDA specialises in making fridges, freezers and combination options with a streamlined look and luxurious exterior. They are not as well-known as, say, LG or Smeg, but they are well regarded and offer A+ energy efficiency rated appliances.
Section 5: Top American Fridge Freezer Styles and Features
There are several different styles of American fridge freezer. The design that you choose will depend on the layout of your kitchen, and how much space you have available around the unit. The main styles include:
Double door designs have two tall doors that open out towards either side of the unit, offering access to the fridge and the freezer at the same time. This style allows for huge storage capacity, but the downside is that the total amount of shelf space is often reduced, and you need a lot of space on both sides of the unit.
French-style fridge freezers often have built-in water dispensers and ice dispensers. They have a fridge section at the top (which is often a double door fridge) and then a lower drawer style system for the freezer. French-style fridge freezers can have in excess of 500 litres of storage capacity, and they are incredibly stylish. They will suit any modern kitchen.
Side by side units feature, as the name suggests, a fridge and a freezer standing upright next to each other. You can expect to see capacities of 300+ litres for the fridge section, and 180+ litres for the freezer section.
While it is possible to purchase a bare-bones fridge freezer, part of the appeal of American-style appliances are the extra features that they offer. Here we take a look at some of the most popular features available on American fridge freezers:
Biofresh – Biofresh technology helps to keep your fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy smelling and looking fresh for longer. This innovative system ensures that the vitamins stay locked in to your food. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, then this is a must-have feature to keep an eye out for.
Homebar – purchase a fridge with a dedicated homebar if you want somewhere to store your wine, beer and other drinks without them getting in the way of your food.
The home bar has its own small door, so you can access your beverages without having to waste energy opening the entire fridge.
Ice and Water – ice makers and water dispensers with built-in filters are some of the most basic features of American-style fridge freezers, because the American climate is so warm. While this feature may not be a must-have in the UK, it is one that you will come to appreciate in the summer.
Soda Stream – some high end units have built-in Soda Stream makers. If you have children, then this feature is a great option and one that could save you a lot of money on soft drinks.
Wine Coolers – dedicated wine storage and cooling options are incredibly handy for anyone who likes to entertain.
Section 6: New and Exciting Features
The above features are available from most fridge-freezer manufacturers. There are some other features that are less commonplace, however, and that set particular brands apart from the competition. Some particularly interesting features include sparkling water dispensers and food showcases.
Sparkling Water Dispenser
Sparkling water dispensers offer fresh, cold and filtered sparkling water on-demand. Samsung offers sparkling water dispensers and ice dispensers on some of their American-style fridge freezers. Their dispensers allow you to adjust the amount of carbonation and the temperature of the water with just a few button presses. In addition, you have the option of adding your own flavours soda-stream style, for the ultimate in great-tasting drinks on demand.
The food showcase option is a deceptively simple idea pioneered by Samsung, but it is something that you will quickly come to love. This system effectively means that you have an extra door inside your fridge, ensuring that the food that your family consumes most often is available to grab the moment you open the door. Swing that “second door” open to access other, less frequently consumed foods without having to reach past or rearrange the items at the front of the fridge.
Section 7: Top 5 Best American Fridge Freezers
There are, quite literally, dozens of American fridge freezers on the market today, so it can be hard to decide which ones are the best. If you have a small kitchen, then your choice may be limited by the amount of usable space you have available, but if you’re renovating the kitchen and have the freedom to design around the appliances that you are installing then it makes sense to purchase the best possible fridge freezer you can afford. After all, you will be using it for many years. Here is a quick run-down of five of the best models on the market today.
This Samsung fridge-freezer boasts an impressive 550 litres of food storage space as well as a plumbed ice and water dispenser. An A+ energy rating and super-sleek stainless steel finish makes it stylish and practical; the perfect focal point for your home. The revolutionary Family Hub technology also means this is a fridge freezer like no other. We bet you never thought a fridge freezer could be this high-tech!
2. Smeg FQ60XP
This slightly higher-end fridge freezer is a spacious four-door model that boasts a huge amount of freezer space. It features the robust quality and simple styling that Smeg appliance fans have come to know and love, and promises that it will keep your goods frozen for up to 15 hours in the event of a power cut.
If you really want a fridge freezer to wow friends and family with, this is it! The four door French-style Samsung is not only incredibly stylish, but it also has a built in water and ice system which also delivers sparkling water. With a total capacity of 495 and all the mod-cons such as LED controls and displays, you’ll be the envy of everyone you know!
This classic fridge freezer offers a whopping 541 litres of capacity (413 of which are fridge space, and 128 of freezer space), as well as an A+ energy rating, and soft close doors. With crisper bins for your salad, fully adjustable glass shelves, bottle storage, fast-freeze options and an electronic interface, it’s a great choice for those who love high-tech features and need plenty of storage space. The fun doesn’t stop there though, as this model also features a water dispenser and automatic ice maker which creates ice on demand!
5. CDA PC71SC
Nottinghamshire-based CDA are quite the specialists when it comes to home refrigeration. We’re proud to back local business and this outstanding American-style fridge freezer should be on your radar if you’re in the market for a new one. With an A+ energy rating and 550 litres of storage, this efficient fridge freezer also has a Homebar built in. Store your favourite drinks with easy access and without getting in the way of your food. Perfect for when you’re entertaining.
If you’d like any further guidance or information, we are always on the end of the phone if you need us. Our sales guys are a friendly bunch and are ready to help should you have any questions. The number to call? 01159 651 937