It’s always good to make sure you’re informed before you make big purchasing decisions. If you’re in the market for an American fridge freezer, you’ll want it to be reliable and you’ll want to use it for many years to come. We get asked a lot of questions about American fridge freezers as they’re a really popular product right now. Here are the most frequently asked questions and our answers:
How to Move an American Fridge Freezer
Moving a regular fridge freezer can seem like a daunting task. Moving an American fridge freezer is even harder. Here are some tips to help things go smoothly.
First, plan your route. Take measurements of the unit and any door frames, hallways and so on, that the appliance will be carried through. Remove anything that will make carrying your fridge freezer along this route more difficult. If you are carrying it past any rough surfaces like garden walls, try and cover these with old towels to avoid scratching the unit.
Note that you will need to remove the contents of the fridge before moving it, including the shelving. These glass shelves really add to the weight of the unit so take them out and keep them safe. It is likely you will have to remove the fridge doors and defrost it as well (more on that later). If you don’t have to remove the doors, make sure they are fastened shut.
When it comes to moving the appliance, ideally it will be moved vertically. The best way to do this is to obtain a moving dolly. They’re readily available for purchase or rental and will make life a lot easier. If you can’t get a hold of one, don’t worry. If there’s enough of you, you can try carrying it (though you may want to invest in some lifting straps). Remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting.
If there’s not enough manpower you can create your own transportation system with some objects you can find around the house. You need four plastic lids (or anything kind of disc shaped) that will go under each foot of the unit. If you’re moving it over laminate or wooden floors then some material to go between the disc and floor is advised to eliminate damage to the floor. An alternative to this is getting an old section of carpet to put it on and drag. This will make things a bit easier but the dolly is most effective.
You might not be able to avoid carrying your refrigerator on its side. In this case, be wary of the compressed gas inside fridge freezers and try to avoid sudden, sharp movements. You might have to let the gases settle before plugging in at your destination as well.
How to Take Doors Off American Fridge Freezer
When moving your American fridge freezer, it is very likely you will have to remove the doors to get it through door ways. This is a relatively straightforward task. Make sure it’s unplugged at the wall and the contents and shelves are taken out.
You will need:
- Phillips head screwdriver
- A stepladder (if you are vertically challenged!)
- First, you need to remove the base plate of the unit. Look to the ground, it probably has a grill on it and should just be attached via clips. You might have to unscrew it.
- With your wrench, remove the water tubing from the unit. Be aware that some water will probably spill out.
- On the doors there will be some hinge covers. With your screwdriver, remove the screws in the top hinge cover (this is where that stepladder will come in handy). You may find a series of wires. If there is a wire harness you will need to separate it. Remove the bolts that are attaching the top hinge to the unit.
- Open the door slightly, taking care as it might be heavy, and lift it up off the bottom hinge.
When reassembling the door, make sure the water tubing is placed through the hole in the bottom hinge pin. Ensure your doors are level before you reattach the base plate as, if you need to adjust them, the controls for doing this are accessed by removing the base plate. There is a guide on how to level fridge freezer doors on our American fridge freezer installation blog post.
Do All American Fridge Freezers Need Plumbing In?
Many models of American fridge freezers have a water and ice dispenser system that is non-plumbed. A non-plumbed system will have a water tank inside the unit. Keep this topped up with water and you’re good to go!
Do American Fridge Freezers Need A Water Supply?
Not all American fridge freezers need to be connected to the water supply. Check that your model has a water and ice dispenser. If it does, check if it is plumbed or non-plumbed. If it is non-plumbed, no need to worry. If it does require hooking up to the water supply, we created a really easy guide on our installation post.
How to Dispose of an American Fridge Freezer
Many people forget that within a fridge freezer there are gases and chemicals that will cause environmental damage if not disposed of properly. Thankfully, there are plenty of responsible ways to dispose of your old fridge freezer.
- Charity – we recommended finding out what charity services there are near you. Some charity shops specialise in furniture and electric appliances so if it is still in working order, get in touch with anyone you can find. Some might even offer to collect it for free and you could really be helping someone out.
- Local Authority Collection – your local authority is legally obliged to provide a service for you to dispose of an old fridge. You can find out more about this here. Some local authorities will charge a fee, although some will collect it for free. Be aware that this may take a couple weeks or so to complete, so make sure you’ve contacted your local authority well in advance of when you want the appliance collecting.
- Sell – if it is still fairly new or in great condition, you can try and sell it. You could place an advert on eBay or Gumtree. Alternatively Facebook has a marketplace function which is particularly useful for selling items such as fridges.
- Dump – not anywhere! Take it to the local tip or your nearest HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre). Take heed of our earlier tips about moving it! Don’t forget to double-check that your local tip will accept your fridge as not all have the means to accept them.
How Heavy Is An American Fridge Freezer?
This depends entirely on the model but in the UK, American fridge freezers normally weigh in at 90-170kg. For reference, that’s the same as up to 275 chickens, 2 wild boars or one panda bear! The weight of an American fridge freezer depends in part on what components your fridge will have; for example a water and ice dispenser will certainly add on some kgs.
How Long Do American Fridge Freezers Last?
You can expect your American fridge freezer to last for up to 14 years. Proper maintenance and servicing will make it last longer than this. The parts of a fridge can still be functional for up to 20 years, so if yours is broken you might be able to salvage some parts that might be of worth to someone.
How Long to Defrost An American Fridge Freezer?
The time it takes to defrost an American fridge freezer depends on how you choose to do it. If you’re going to be defrosting your food, a good tip is to try and consume any food that’s in there. This isn’t necessary of course, but it’s easy to forget what we have in our freezers, as stuff can build up there. Taking a couple of days or so to try and get through it makes life a bit easier (and you’ll save a bit of cash on food shopping).
There are three easy steps to follow to get you on your way:
- Turn off the freezer – this almost goes without saying – turn off your freezer before you begin. If you don’t you’ll just be making things more difficult for yourself, and you’ll be wasting electricity.
- Empty it – remove as much as you can from your freezer. Even if you try and spend a few days munching your way through the contents, it’s unlikely you’ll get through it all. This also includes any shelves and drawers. Put your food in a cool place, such as the fridge if there is room, and wrap it up to prevent it from thawing.
- Drain it – your freezer may have a drainage hose located at the bottom. If you have one and can find it, attach it to a larger hose which can be run to a sink or outside into a flowerbed; whichever works for you. If you don’t have the means to do this, just put down some old towels or whatever you can get your hands on to prevent puddles from forming.
Once these have been done, you need to choose a way of defrosting the freezer:
- Hot Bowls/Pans – Boil some water, stick it in a pan, put in the freezer. Leave this for about 20 minutes and the steam should loosen the ice to the point where it should come off pretty easily. You can expedite this process even further by heating up a metal spatula. Take care not to burn yourself, but a hot spatula will carve through the ice whether you use the pans of boiling water or not.
- Fan – if it’s a particularly hot day or your kitchen is really warm, use a fan to propel that warm air into the freezer. Exercise caution with the plugs and water.
- Wait it out – Go old fashioned and simply wait it out. This is the safest way to defrost a freezer but also the longest. If you don’t have any contents that are at risk of thawing or time isn’t a factor, simply set your freezer up to defrost whilst you’re at work or out for the day. This method will take a few hours so when you return, it should be ready to use again.
When that’s done or if you’re waiting, this is a good opportunity to get to work on those shelves. Run a cloth under some hot water and wipe away. Try and mop up any water as you go.
This is also a good time to clean your freezer, since at least some debris will more than likely have built up in there. Before you turn it all back on, make sure you’ve dried it out otherwise the ice will start building back up straight away.
How Many Watts Does An American Fridge Freezer Use?
This depends on your model. Typically, however, you’ll be looking at around 200-400W. As there isn’t a massive amount of scope for revolutionising the fridge freezer, manufacturers are looking to improve the efficiency of their models as this is a hot selling point. There’s not much point creating the biggest and best fridge freezer if it costs a small fortune to run!
Check for the energy performance rating, too. This is important since if you’re on a budget and want to cut costs, it might be more beneficial to buy a more expensive model if it will save money in the long run. Remember, you should be powering this for 14 years so saving a couple of hundred quid choosing a cheaper model could actually come back to bite you.
How Much Does An American Fridge Freezer Cost To Run?
This depends on the annual kWh of the model. Electricity is sold in kilowatt-hours which is devised by multiplying the kilowatts it uses by the hours in a day. Let’s take a 200W fridge for example. A 200W fridge is 0.2 kW. Multiply that by 24 and you get 4.8, so a 200W fridge will use 4.8 kWh in a day. If your electricity provider charges you 10p a unit, that’s 48p a day.
If you’re looking at a few different models of American fridge freezers, it’s handy to figure out the annual cost of running it and factor that into your decision making. One particular model might seem like it’s a bargain, but really it costs a lot to run.
Our blog post on buying an American fridge freezer on a budget only features models with an A+ or A++ energy performance rating, and are under £1000. It’s a great place to start looking!
There’s plenty of information to take away with you here which should cover all the bases. If your question still hasn’t been answered, have a look at our other blog posts to see if it has come up there, or alternatively, contact us with your questions. Alternatively, start shopping and view our full range of American fridge freezers here.