Welcome to ‘Kagoo Explains’ - a series of short articles de-mystifying some of the confusing terminology used to describe tech. Today we’re looking at American Fridge-Freezers, and how they differ from normal models.
Fridge-freezers are a standard sight in many smaller kitchens, since they allow for both a fridge and a freezer without having to find floorspace for both. For this convenience you must sacrifice capacity - a single fridge-freezer is never going to have quite as much space as two separate appliances. However, what if you didn’t have to sacrifice anything? That’s where American Fridge-Freezers come in.
A wardrobe full of food
At their most basic, American-style fridge-freezers are simply much bigger models of fridge-freezer. While a traditional fridge-freezer may only have 300 litres of space, split between fridge and freezer sections, American fridge-freezers may boast 300 litres for the fridge alone, and 600 litres in total!
These appliances are enormous, which necessitates a different design from the norm. So while a standard fridge-freezer may have a fridge stacked on top of a freezer, American fridge-freezers use a side-by-side ‘wardrobe’ design with two doors. One side (normally the left) is the fridge, the other the freezer. This allows the appliance to maximize the space available, without being so tall that people struggle to reach the very top.
As you’d expect, American fridge-freezers are both wider and deeper than standard appliances - approximately 30-50% wider, though they vary from model to model. So while they require more floor space, they still have a significantly smaller footprint than two individual appliances - making them perfect for maximizing the space inside your kitchen.
High tech, high price
It’s not just the size the differentiates American fridge-freezers. They also tend to include the latest technological innovations - running the gamut from helpful to faddish. These include things such as:
Door-mounted ice & water dispensers
Internal cameras, showing a view of inside the fridge
Wi-fi & smartphone functionality
Computers or tablets built into the doors
‘Door-in-door’ systems, where a section of the fridge can open independently, like a minibar
Artificial Intelligence systems
Some of these are of negligible help (do you really need Spotify on your fridge?) and some feel ripped from the pages of a sci-fi novel (an AI-powered fridge that recognises items placed inside, and can suggest recipes). However others are legitimately helpful - cold water dispensers are a blessing of modern convenience, and being able to view your fridge from your phone is helpful to double-check what you need while shopping.
While you may have mixed feelings about being able to watch Baby Shark on your freezer, much of the tech crammed into these large fridge-freezers is aimed to make life easier and more convenient, though at a cost.
There’s no getting around it - American fridge-freezers are expensive. The combination of large capacity and shiny extras means you will pay a significant premium to add one to your kitchen. Models can easily exceed £1,000, while Samsung’s giant ‘Family Hub’ retails at nearly £3,000!
Who would best benefit from an American fridge-freezer?
With their enormous capacity, high-tech features and hefty price-tag, American fridge-freezers are aimed at larger families who would easily fill up a standard fridge-freezer. Couples and small families would find themselves only using a fraction of the space available, and the prohibitive cost means it’s not worth investing just for the helpful technology.
For larger families however, this appliance may prove a real boon. The space is the big draw, but the technology included with many newer models can ease the smooth running of a busy house - and if all else fails, just get the fridge AI to suggest dinner!