The American Fridge Freezer is a bit of a kitchen revolution. Not only do they give you plenty of room to be able to keep your weekly food shop fresher for longer, but modern models can also act as televisions or smart hub centres, and most also offer ice cold drinking water or cubes at the press of a button.
But they can have their downsides as well. Unfortunately, they are big energy guzzlers, which isn’t great if you want to keep the bills down. Plus, there is the possibility you simply may not need such a huge unit in your kitchen. As seeing they can be costly, spending this money on something you don’t strictly need is risky.
So here are the considerations you need to bear in mind before you take the plunge and purchase a new American Fridge Freezer:
The Capacity Is Great
There is no denying that they are a lot bigger than most others on the market. You can buy models which now give you over 600L of storage, split between the freezer and the fridge.
If you often struggle fitting a week (or maybe even month) of shopping into the fridge when you get back to the supermarket, then an American model could see everything fit seamlessly, without piling it all up and struggling to see what you have for mealtimes.
Everything Is In One Place
Because of the side by side design, you have both your freezer and fridge in one unit. If your current setup is an ordinary fridge and freezer in the kitchen, and then excess storage in the garage/basement/side room, having all of your food in one place could save you a lot of toing and froing.
Even if your chosen fridge freezer is a model which houses the fridge as the top 2/3 of the unit and the freezers as drawers underneath, it is all still together.
It Is Easier To Access Food
As mentioned above, not only will more space give you plenty of room to fit everything in, but American Fridge Freezers are generally organised a lot better. You will have plenty of shelves in the door of the fridge to keep smaller items to hand, there will be plenty of shelves and drawers in the fridge so it all fits without cramming it in, and the freezer often has features such as a deep drawer for larger items, or shallower ones for precious items you don’t want things piled on top of.
The Choice Of Design
American Fridge Freezers don’t just come as side-by-side fridge freezer designs. You can also get options which see the fridge at the top half and freezer at the bottom, and this way the freezer can come as one huge drawer, several smaller drawers or a standardised freezer section with doors and internal drawers.
Then there is the actual look of the unit. They are usually incredibly modern and available in a range of colours, but you also can get retro models, slimline options or sleek, unassuming models.
American Fridge Freezer Extras
American Fridge Freezers lead the way when it comes to additional functions. You can have an InstaView function in the latest LG models which allows you to see inside the fridge without opening the door. In the Samsung Family Hub, there are internal cameras which allow you to view the contents of the fridge even when you’re in your local Tesco, and a control screen which acts as a TV, speakers or a shopping list.
Many have special zones with fully adjustable temperatures which you can use as either fridge or freezer storage. Most have NoFrost technology to give you an easy life. There are also other little extras such as wheels on the base, temperature warning alarms and water dispensers in the majority of models, which you may shrug your shoulders at but believe us…they are life changing additions.
But They Are Pricey
Yes, you can grab one for under £500 now. But it will be restrictive in the number of extras it offers, and if you want your purchase to stand the test of time, it could soon become outdated.
And They Are Energy Guzzlers
They can cost up to three times as much to run as conventional models, according to a study by ToptenUK.org. An A+ rated American-style fridge freezer could cost over £350 more to run over a year compared to an A+++ rated freestanding fridge freezer. This is despite many people thinking that A+ ratings are great.
Always look at energy ratings closely. When it comes to fridge freezers, A+ is actually the minimum requirement of those on sale at the moment whereas A+++ is the best – unlike many other appliances which are rated A-G.
But why do they use so much energy? Well, not only are they usually larger and have a lot more going on, but the side by side designs can have a negative effect on how easy it is for the unit to stay cool. Traditional up and down options will have the compressor (the part which does the cooling down) nearer the fridge than the freezer.
But in side by side models, the compressor is going to be near the freezer section. And this compressor gets hot, which affects the appliance. So it is going to have to work extra hard to keep the freezer cool. The freezer will often be at the top of the unit for traditional designs, which allows it to stay cooler – up to 16% more energy efficient, in fact.
To solve this, the up and down American Fridge Freezers were released. But they often have a very specific design which may not be as suitable for your needs, and the freezers are often not as well designed as on upright models.
Do I Need An American Fridge Freezer Then?
If you love to do one large shop which will last you for the week ahead then they are probably the best option, should your kitchen allow the space for them. Not only do they have more space, but many also have technology to keep food fresher for longer, such as dedicated chambers or blue lighting.
Getting the absolute best on the market will also be worthwhile when it comes to your energy bills if you can afford it now, in the long term. Look for a great energy rating (A+++ is the best), and maybe other features such as eco-mode ability. This should help to level out the running costs versus standard fridge freezers.