TYPES OF FRIDGE FREEZER
Choosing the right fridge freezer for your home is an important decision, but which type should you buy? Different models vary in their storage capacity, size, price, and features. By choosing an overall style first, you can narrow down your options and make buying the perfect appliance easy.
Here, we explain all of the common types of fridge freezer, from regular top and bottom models to American style and integrated units.
FREESTANDING FRIDGE FREEZERS
Freestanding fridge freezers are the most popular type, as well as being the cheapest and easiest to install. They consist of a top fridge unit and bottom freezer unit, although you can find models where these are the other way around.
Typically, they have a 200 to 300 litre capacity which is spread out over three or four fridge shelves, two or three freezer drawers, and door storage.
It’s also worth noting that American-style models are technically freestanding, as they’re not built into your kitchen units. But, the term ‘freestanding’ is mainly used to describe regular top and bottom models.
Freestanding fridge freezers are the most popular type, as well as being the cheapest and easiest to install.
Freestanding fridge freezers are much easier to install than integrated styles, and cheaper than American-style models. Your electricity bills are likely to be lower compared to other types too.
You can also take the unit with you easily if you decide to move house – which is more difficult with integrated or American style models.
Every brand has numerous models on offer, with a range of colours, sizes, and prices. You can also choose the ratio of fridge to freezer space, depending on whether you need to store more fresh or frozen food.
The biggest disadvantage of freestanding models is that the lower priced options can be a bit a little basic in design. Also, you’re less likely to get handy features like frost-free technology and fast-chill functions – unless you go for a more expensive model.
Controls are often basic, with simple displays and manual thermostat dials. Freestanding models have much less storage space than American style models too.
Freestanding models are easy to install, and take with you if you move.
Freestanding fridge freezers have a standard size of 55 to 65 cm width, 180 to 190 cm height, and 60 to 65 cm depth. Slightly shallower or taller models are available if you have limited floor space or want extra storage.
You can even find undercounter models that will fit under your kitchen worktops.
Integrated fridge freezers can be slimmer and more compact than standard models.
Freestanding fridge freezers have a standard size.
INTEGRATED FRIDGE FREEZERS
Integrated or built-in fridge freezers are similar to freestanding models, but designed to be hidden by kitchen cupboards. This can help you achieve a streamlined and modern look in your kitchen.
This fridge freezer style lets you maintain the look and feel of your kitchen. If you’ve recently had your kitchen redecorated, then you don’t have to worry about ruining the aesthetics. They can also be slimmer and more compact than standard models.
The variety of integrated models available is much smaller than freestanding versions, and they’re also more expensive. Installation can be complicated, so you’ll probably want to ask the retailer or a professional to install it for you.
Integrated fridge freezers help you achieve a streamlined and modern look in your kitchen.
Not many people know that there are two different styles of door fitting for integrated designs: fixed/door-on-door or a sliding door. It’s important to pick the right style for your home as once attached, it can’t be switched.
A fixed/door-on-door fitting is where the kitchen cabinet door is attached to the fridge.
With a sliding door, the fridge door slots into a rail that’s fitted along the inside of the cabinet door. As the outside door opens, the fridge door slides along the rail.
Integrated models are usually designed to fit inside a standard 60 cm wide cupboard. They have a depth of 60 to 65 cm and are typically 178 cm tall.
There are two different styles of door fitting for integrated designs.
AMERICAN STYLE FRIDGE FREEZERS
American style fridge freezers have grown in popularity due to their increased storage capacity and sleek modern finish.
They are sometimes known as side-by-side models because they’re usually split vertically – with one side being the fridge and the other the freezer. Other options are available, such as French doors covering two fridge sections, and two large freezer drawers below. Or, you could even have a four door unit with individual fridge and freezer sections.
This style, depending on its size, has a capacity of between 300 to 600 litres. This is usually spread out over three or four fridge shelves, three freezer drawers and door shelves.
American style fridge freezers are popular due to their increased storage capacity and sleek modern finish.
The biggest advantage of this style is its much larger capacity, which can hold more fresh and frozen food than other types. American-style fridge freezers come with a host of useful features such as frost-free freezer technology, digital displays, open door warnings, and chiller cabinets. Water and ice dispensers are usually included too.
Recently, more brands are creating Wi-Fi enabled appliances which can connect to an app. These offer a range of capabilities such as temperature control, and checking your fridge’s contents on the go. Touchscreen displays are also starting to appear on high-end models. These act similarly to tablets, allowing you to shop for food, find recipes, and even be reminded of expiry dates.
Often in silver or black, modern American fridge freezers make a real statement in your kitchen. Inside, you’ll find numerous adjustable shelves and racks, so all your food can be accommodated – no matter its size. Handy door racks are ideal places for bottles or jugs, while covered door compartments will keep dairy produce cold, even when you have the door open.
You can also find features to help reduce unwanted odours by removing bacteria from the fridge. Some higher-spec models also feature smart diagnosis technology. This helps you find out what’s wrong with your appliance, and provides you with easy solutions.
Due to their increased size and range of features, American-style models can be a little pricier than conventional models. They also take up a lot of space, and can become your kitchen’s dominating feature. If you haven’t measured up your doorways accurately, you might have difficulties getting it inside the house.
These models aren’t quite as environmentally friendly, so you may find your electricity bills are higher after buying one. If you go for a model with a plumbed-in water dispenser, you may also need help when installing it, which can add extra cost.
The water dispenser will need its filters changing roughly every six months. Replacements can range in cost from £20 to over £90, so it’s worth checking prices before you invest.
The water dispenser will need its filters changing roughly every six months.
American fridge freezers are a lot bigger than standard models. They can be more than 90 cm in width, and are usually 70 cm in depth. You also need to factor in an extra 5 cm around the sides and back to give air room to circulate, so it’s important to measure the placement area accurately. Height-wise, this type is generally 175 to 180 cm tall.