Few things look as good in a kitchen than an American Style Fridge Freezer.
Like a Range Cooker, these massive refrigeration systems can provide a centre-piece of a kitchen, giving it the wow factor.
But before you buy one, there’s some stuff to know about the American Style Fridge Freezer range. Here are a few things to think of when considering a purchase.
What is an American Style Fridge Freezer?
An American Style Fridge Freezer is an extra large freestanding refrigeration and cooling appliance which normally has the classic ‘double’ look of a fridge and a freezer side-by-side in the same unit.
But you are able to buy smaller or much larger units with a fridge on top and freezer on the bottom.
Generally they sport features not found on other cooling appliances such as water and ice dispensers and top-of-the-range electronic temperature controls, shelving designs and obviously provide far more storage space for food and drink.
How much space will I need in my kitchen?
American Style Fridge Freezer appliances can start from 70cm wide and go all the way up to over 90cm with heights ranging from 5.5ft to well over 6ft. They also tend to be far deeper than traditional freestanding fridges or freezers, up to around 2.5ft.
So it is vital you measure the space in your kitchen before shopping for one of these appliances and you must also take into account extra room on either side and behind to allow the cooling system to work, as well as having room for the doors to fully swing open or pull out.
How do I decide on the best capacity?
Only you will know whether you’ll need more fridge space or more freezer space. Generally an American Style Fridge Freezer will have a bigger capacity for the fridge than for the frozen area. It is important to look at a lot of models and compare them to find the best to suit the needs of your family and lifestyle.
What are the differences between the brands?
As with any appliances, there are many different models made by many different manufacturers – and with prices going from a few hundred pounds all the way to a few thousand, what you pay will often determine how many state-of-the-art features you receive.
Samsung is one of the most popular makes along with the more reasonably priced American Style Fridge Freezers from Hotpoint and Beko. Top-of-the-range units come from the likes of Rangemaster, Bosch, Neff, Siemens and Fisher & Paykel.
What features and extras will I get on my American Style Fridge Freezer?
There are an extensive range of features and options to look for when you are buying an American Style Fridge Freezer. Here are some to think about.
A chilled water dispenser can often be found in one of the doors. Usually this is plumbed directly to the water supply so you need to ensure your appliance is near to an existing water pipe. It will then generally run through a filter placed either inside the appliance or very nearby to dispense clean, fresh-tasting water.
Some may use water kept in a unit inside the fridge rather being plumbed in but you will lose capacity space because of this. Some more expensive models will have an angled drinks dispenser so you can fill bigger jugs that won’t sit under it directly due to their size.
Often combined with the water dispenser, an ice maker will create ice cubes within the freezer and store them in a container ready to be dispensed at the touch of a button. Some will also serve up crushed ice too.
You can often lose quite a bit of space within the freezer because of the ice maker so it is well worth looking around to find one that doesn’t compromise the food storage capacity.
The front of some American Fridge Freezers have an LCD control panel to work different aspects of the fridge such as turning on/off the ice and controlling/displaying the current temperature to ensure it is working efficiently.
On many of the more expensive models, the appliance will have different zones where the temperatures can be separately controlled. This may be a chilling zone for bottles of drink or special cooling and humidity drawers specifically for fruit, vegetables or other fresh produce.
Knowing how much you need to store is crucial when looking at how many shelves are available within your fridge and freezer. Check which are fixed and which are adjustable. Also look for nifty ideas such as shelving that folds back to provide more upright height space below and shelving specifically for bottles and cans.
To combat the germs that can grow within your American Fridge Freezer, some will have a special lining that is antibacterial to prevent nasty things from growing.
Having enough light within your fridge and freezer is crucial to be able to see exactly what you have stored. Some models have downward lighting from the top while others have lots of lights placed all the way down the inside for the strongest illumination.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Other things to consider when buying an American Fridge Freezer are whether it is Frost Free so there’s no need to defrost it, how many doors it has and its Energy Efficiency. This will be displayed on the energy label and a grading of at least A up to A++ shows how efficient it will be at saving electricity and therefore money on your bills.
Also look out for an American Fridge Freezer with warning lights or alarms. This is a very useful feature to let you know if a door has been left open. Some of the more expensive models may also give a longer warranty than others.
As will all appliances these days, you can get various colours and styles but stainless steel is one of the most popular and you should also look for a rating showing how noisy the appliance is.
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