American Style Fridge Freezers


The most essential thing you can do to keep your fridge, freezer or American-style fridge freezer in good working order is to ensure that the airflow is unobstructed. It is generally felt that the American-style fridge freezers are complicated, but this is not the case.

You should also be very careful not to overfill either side of your fridge freezer, as this is another way to block the airflow.  If you notice that either the fridge or freezer is feeling less cold than it should be, your could look at how you have packed in the food; you may be able to move items around to allow more space in between, and this should help to maintain the correct temperature.

A normal fridge, freezer or fridge freezer will rely on cold air falling from a cooling element, the cold air will go to the lowest point and will then gradually the temperature of the appliance will cool.

What you have in an American-style fridge freezer is one cooling circuit.  What happens is that air is drawn from the freezer compartment using a fan motor. How this works is that you also have an evaporator in the freezer, the ‘cooling’ element part of the heat exchange, and cold air from the freezer is drawn into the fridge by way of the fan motor.

If you notice that the freezer is still working well but the fridge side is warming up, you will probably have a fault with the motor.The advantage of only having one cooling unit is that the costs of running your appliance are less, however, if the motor fails then, unfortunately, you will lose the use of the whole appliance.


Although it is acceptable from a food safety point of view, you should avoid putting hot food into either the fridge or the freezer compartments, as condensation will occur.  It is better to wait for the food to cool down first if possible.

You may be surprised to learn that keeping a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables in your fridge compartment can also be a problem, as this kind of fresh food will produce water vapour that can also lead to condensation.

Condensation can build up on the ducting at the back of the unit, which can block the fan motor, resulting in a fridge or freezer that doesn’t cool.  Replacement parts can cost around £100.

External Airflow

If you look at the front of your appliance, you will probably see some kind of grill at the bottom.  This is designed to reduce the amount of dust and dirt that will get under the fridge freezer.  This grill should never be blocked by floor covering, as it will interfere with the airflow and all the problems this can cause.

You should periodically clean under the appliance if possible.  If it is not convenient to move it out completely on a regular basis, you should try and use your vacuum to draw out as much dust as possible.  This is even more important if you have pets, as the fur can easily clog up the area.  You should find that most of these grills can be taken off quite easily, as they are mainly just clipped into place.

If you are having trouble with temperature control in your American-style fridge freezer, apart from other suggestions in this article,  this should be another area to check first before calling in assistance.




Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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