How Do French Door Refrigerators Compare To Side By Sides?

I was just wondering if the cubic footage in a side by side refrigerator/freezer does not have to be as large in a French door style refrigerator (freezer on the bottom), because the latter has easier access to the products. Any opinions?


Let me re-phrase this question: Is a 24 cu ft side by side fridge equivalent to a 20 cu ft French door style?

Holly from Richardson, TX

July 13, 20070 found this helpful

They are definitely not equal. A 24 cubic ft has 4 more square feet than a 20 cubic sq foot--PERIOD. Access is irrelevant, a personal thing, like a tall person wanting a top freezer or a shorter person wanting a bottom freezer. The chief difference is your lifestyle: you cannot fit certain large items in a side-by-side freezer, so if you often freeze large pizzas or lasagnas or large frozen turkeys, it may not be the best choice for you. Likewise, if you have a disability, one style may be more convenient over another. Mainly personal preference, kitchen style, price, and space requirements dictate size and style chosen.

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July 13, 20070 found this helpful

We put everything in the front, the narrow end of the rectangle, because food freezes in the back on the top and bottom shelves due to poor design.

So, in my case, I can't use the 24 cu ft, because that ruins food. Am getting by with less.

But you brought up a good point.

Don't buy Kitchenaid side by side Refrigerators. Or if you do, make sure they have a warranty that you enforce. I told the appliance store mgr. about the problem, and he said that all the fridges that were non-freon have that problem and that they should have done more R&D because they knew the cut off date was coming. So, he refused to take it back, saying he couldn't help.


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November 29, 20070 found this helpful

You should not confuse the manufacturer's claimed cubic foot capacity with the actual "usable" capacity. I have a consumer reports account and they list each rated fridge's actual usable capacity.

To give you a very unscientific example, a Whirlpool side-by-side fridge has a claimed capacity of 25.4 and a total usable capacity of 16.4. Another Whirlpool French Door fridge has a claimed capacity of 24.8 and a total usable capacity of 17.4.

Now, these numbers are affected by things like ice makers and water dispensers. However, I think that French Door fridges are a little more space-efficient (if you will). In the end, I am planning on buying a French Door fridge because that is the style I want.

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