How to Take Care of Your American Style Fridge Freezer

Person cleaning the inside of American style fridge freezer

Knowing how to take care of your American style fridge freezer will extend its life and save you money.

Once you’ve bought a stylish, feature packed American style fridge freezer, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it! However, it’s an extremely hardworking appliance (it runs 24/7!), and it deserves to be looked after properly. Otherwise, it may experience problems that could have easily been prevented. It’s therefore best to know how to protect your precious investment, just in case.

Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to take care of your American style fridge freezer. All it takes is a little regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape!

How to Check the Temperature of Your American Style Fridge Freezer

The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 0-5°C. The ideal temperature for a freezer is -18°C.

Checking the temperature of your American style fridge freezer allows you to learn if it’s running efficiently. It’s important that both your fridge and freezer sections are maintained at their ideal temperatures to ensure food safety and prevent spoiling.

Furthermore, if your fridge or freezer is too cold the quality of your food won’t be the only thing that is affected. Your fridge freezer will be needing to work harder than is needed to maintain this lower temperature, therefore reducing its life expectancy and running up your energy bill.

Hand pointing at fridge freezer temperatures to check

How Often Should You Check the Temperature of Your Fridge Freezer?

Ideally you should check the temperature of both the fridge and freezer section of your American style fridge freezer at least once a month.

Most modern American style fridge freezers will feature an LED screen that will display the internal temperature of each compartment. You can check this every time you open the door.  However, if you don’t have this feature, you can do the following:

checking the temperature of your fridge with a thermometer and a glass of water

Checking the temperature of a fridge

  1. Place a thermometer in a glass of water and allow it to sit in the fridge (not in the door) overnight.
  2. Check the temperature as soon as you open the fridge door the next morning.

Checking the temperature of a freezer

  1. To check the freezer temperature, either place the thermometer in a glass of spirits (e.g. vodka) or between two packs of frozen vegetables overnight.
  2. Check the temperature as soon as you open the door the next morning.

How To Get Your American Style Fridge Freezer to the Right Temperature

If after checking the temperature you notice that your fridge or freezer section is set wrong, how can you fix it?

All American style fridge freezers should have temperature dials that you can adjust accordingly. If you’re not sure how to do this, check your user manual as every model is different. If you’ve lost yours, most are available online. Just search for your make and model.

Most modern models will have a dial that displays the exact temperature. If so, adjusting the temperature is really simple. However, many models will have numbered dials. These are often numbered from 1-5, with 5 being the coldest. You’ll know if you need to turn your dial up or down after checking the internal temperature with a thermometer.

Give your appliance time to react to any adjustments before checking again. 24 hours is the normal waiting time.

Tips For Maintaining the Temperature in Your American Style Fridge Freezer:

  • After placing a lot of groceries in your freezer in one go, your freezer will take time to return to -18°C. If you have fast freeze technology, use it.
  • If you cook meals in large batches for freezing, let them cool in your kitchen first. Warm food will reduce the temperature inside the fridge freezer for a short while, and may affect other food. Use temperature zoning technology if you have it. This keeps some areas of the fridge cooler than others.
  • Have you overstocked your fridge? Air has to be able to circulate around your fridge. If it’s too crowded the temperature inside may be higher than it ought to be.
Person stocking freezer with premade meals

You might think that being too cold isn’t a problem. But if your American style fridge freezer is freezing the food in the fridge section, you have a problem. Traditional fridges tend to be colder at the bottom (because heat rises) so that’s the best place for meat and fish. Meanwhile things like eggs and butter are best stored nearer the top. However, if your American fridge freezer has fan technology, you should be able to maintain an even temperature throughout the appliance. Check the manufacturer’s instructions if you have temperature zoning compartments and make sure you follow their recommendations on which foodstuffs you should store in which zones.

  • -18°C may seem rather a low temperature for the freezer section. However this is ideal for long term storage of frozen food. This is because the temperature rises slightly when you open the door. If it was only one or two degrees below freezing, you would risk food defrosting whenever you wanted to take something out.

How to Clean Your American Style Fridge Freezer

Clean food storage is essential for food that stays fresh and healthy. So, before filling it up with the next big food shop, clean your American style fridge freezer while there’s less in there.

Keeping your American style fridge freezer clean will also prevent food or other build up from blocking air vents. When this happens, your appliance will need to work harder, therefore hindering performance efficiency.

  1. Use a large cooler box with ice packs to keep your remaining food cool and fresh while you clean it.
  2. Turn the temperature dial to off.
  3. Place shelves, racks and other containers in a bowl of warm soapy water to soak.
  4. Rinse out the ice cube storage case with lukewarm water, then fully dry to prevent new ice from sticking.
  5. Add a small amount of gentle detergent to warm water and wipe down the inside of the fridge freezer with a clean dishcloth. Don’t forget the door seal and any fixed shelves.
  6. Vinegar makes an ideal natural stain remover for anything your wipe over doesn’t remove.
  7. Rinse and dry the racks and shelves and return to the fridge.
  8. Wipe the bottoms of food containers as you return them to the fridge.
  9. Reset the temperature dial and try not to open the doors for the next 8 hours.
  10. Give the outside a wipe with warm water and detergent, or a specialist cleaner if you have a stainless steel model.
Person cleaning the inside of a freezer

How to Replace Your American Style Fridge Freezer’s Water Filter

Keep your family’s drinking water clean and fresh by maintaining the water filter.

How Often Does The Water Filter Need Replacing?

You should change your refrigerator’s water filter every 6 months. Doing this will keep your drinking water free from harmful contaminants. It will also prevent build-up that can damage the internal components.

How to Replace Your American Style Fridge Freezer’s Water Filter:

Consult your instruction manual just in case, but this is usually a fairly quick and simple task.

  1. Unplug from the water and power supply and clear out any remaining ice and water.
  2. Remove the filter cover.
  3. Remove the filter (usually by turning anti-clockwise and pulling).
  4. Push and turn in the new filter.
  5. Replace the filter cover.
  6. Reconnect the power and water supply.
  7. Run water through for a few minutes before using.
Filled glass with water from a fridge water dispenser

How to Clean the Condenser Coils on Your American Style Fridge Freezer

What are condenser coils and why should I clean them?

Condenser coils are located on the back or across the bottom of your fridge freezer. These coils cool and condense the refrigerant. When the coils are clogged with dirt and dust, they can’t efficiently release heat. This leads to larger energy bills and a shorter lifespan.

How often should they be cleaned?

Every three months is usually enough, although once a month might be better if you have a pet.

How should I clean them?

  1. Unplug the power (and water supply if applicable) and carefully slide your appliance away from the wall.
  2. If you don’t see the coils on the back, check if they are underneath. You may need to slide out a condensation tray to get to them.
  3. Spread out a towel on the floor to catch any falling dust.
  4. Clean with the nozzle on your vacuum cleaner, using the brush attachment.
  5. For stubborn dirt and dust, use a dry paintbrush, or even canned air to get to hard to reach places.
dirty and dusty fridge freezer coils


  • What is the lifespan of an American Style Fridge Freezer?

The average lifespan of an American style fridge freezer is about 14 years. However, with proper maintenance it may last longer.

  • How often should an American Style Fridge Freezer be Serviced?

It’s recommended to service your American style fridge freezer once a year. This will ensure that it maintains its efficiency and is in good working condition. Regular maintenance can also help to extend the lifespan of your fridge freezer, and prevent any problems.

  • Do American Style Fridge Freezers need defrosting?

Most modern American style fridge freezers are frost free. In fact, every single model of American style fridge freezer that we sell has a frost free feature.

Therefore, unless you have a very old model, you do not need to defrost your American style fridge freezer.

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