Howdy y’all! Now we’re sure you know by now that us folk at Appliance City love selling kitchen appliances and when it comes to refrigeration, we certainly know our stuff! That’s why we’ve decided to pass on our knowledge to you. If you’re thinking about making the leap and 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, compared to normal fridge freezers, offer bags of extra space whilst 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 ensures 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 suit 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, you may find that you need to make some adjustments to ensure that your cabinet design can accept the width and height of an American fridge freezer.
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.
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.
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
Plumbed American Style Fridge Freezers
The water dispensers built into 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. 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 American Style Fridge Freezers
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 for American Fridge Freezers
There are a huge number of companies making American 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 and widely respected brand that offers a good selection of fridge-freezers. Models range from the more basic units to 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 some of 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.
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.
Section 5: Top American Fridge Freezer Styles and Features
There are several different styles of American-Style 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 American fridge freezer models on the market:
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 – music, TV mirroring and a planner are all built into your fridge. We bet you never thought a fridge freezer could be this high-tech!
This competitively priced Haier model is perfect for those who are looking for a simple American fridge freezer, or who are potentially making their first move away from a normal fridge freezer. The HTF-456DM6 is a four door model with a 456 litre capacity and A+ energy rating. What’s more, as a frost free model, you’ll never have to defrost your freezer again!
If you want a fridge freezer to wow friends and family with, this is it! This whopping 601 litre LG model has a non-plumbed water and ice dispenser and an InstaView glass panel. This sleek panel illuminates with two quick knocks, allowing you to see inside the easy access compartment without opening the door. By browsing without the door open, you can reduce cold air loss and help to keep food fresher for longer. On top of that, the Pure n Fresh filter recirculates air through a fan, deodorising the air and removing any unpleasant fridge smells.
This higher-end fridge freezer offers a considerable 436 litre capacity and Fisher & Paykel’s distinctive, modern style. At 79cm wide, it is one of the slimmer American fridge freezer models available, perfect for kitchens where space may be a bit more limited. The fridge has handy adjustable shelving and drawers, as well as ActiveSmart technology to keep food fresher for longer. The freezer section features 2 large drawers and benefits from frost-free technology.
Bosch have created a sleek and stunning American fridge freezer with the KAD93VBFPG, sure to be the centrepiece of any kitchen. This fridge freezer boasts 530 litres of storage space, a touch control LCD display and cool LED lighting to showcase its contents. Further highlights in this feature-packed fridge freezer include the Multi AirFlow Cooling system to maintain a perfectly even temperature throughout the fridge, as well as the SuperFreeze function and No Frost technology in the freezer.
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 get in touch with any questions. The number to call? 01159 651 937