What Are the Problems Of French Door Refrigerators?




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In quick succession, French-door refrigerators have gained so much popularity, becoming a contender to the traditional side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators. The unique features and clean designs of the French door refrigerators draw the attention of a lot of customers. But before you switch to a French door refrigerator, there are a few things that you need to consider.

Unfortunately, there are some problems with French door refrigerators. The price of the refrigerators, vulnerability to malfunctioning, repair cost, less space, and other cons of the French door refrigerators can force you to second guess your decision to buy one.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of these potential deal breakers for French-door refrigerators.

Common Problems With French Door Refrigerators

What Are The Key Features Of A French Door Refrigerator?

French door refrigerators are a revolution in the design of refrigerators. The main difference between a French door refrigerator and a traditional side-by-side refrigerator is that it has two outward-opening doors with a partition in the center. You can open the doors one by one or both at the same time.

You can easily give yourself a better view of the inside by opening both doors at the same time. They usually have a single or couple of freezer drawers below the fridge compartment. This is useful because most individuals use the fridge regularly. In addition, the lower freezer drawers occupy a large space, allowing for more orderly storage.

Plus, many French door refrigerators come with water dispensers and ice makers. This is an amazing feature to have.

The Problems With French Door Refrigerators

Besides creating hype with its design, the French door refrigerator came up with its disadvantages. They’ve been around for a while, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

But these problems with French door refrigerators aren’t a big deal for some people. They will become a problem when you don’t have the things required to keep one.

The consumer and electronic appliances critics have reported some problems with the French door refrigerators. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • smaller freezer compartment, as well as less vertical diameter.
  • It requires more space to fit in.
  • It requires more energy.
  • Repair-prone dispenser
  • Higher price

Let’s talk in-depth about these problems.

Smaller Freezer Compartment

The freezer section in the French door refrigerators is located at the bottom. The designs are specialized for creating a bigger space in the fridge. But this caused the freezer section to be more compact.

There is a deep freezer drawer inside a French door refrigerator. Some say this is an advantage, while others beg to disagree. The freezer compartment is smaller than a traditional side-by-side refrigerator, and this drawer takes up additional space.

 You can store your food in this box at a well-controlled temperature, but you will end up losing the freedom to store containers that do not fit inside this box.

The freezer compartment in a French door refrigerator has a smaller vertical diameter. It is quite easier to store upright bottles in a top freezer model or a side-by-side refrigerator. However, in a French-door refrigerator, it may be difficult to do so since the fridge sections are often tightly piled, limiting the quantity of upright storage.

Nowadays, French door refrigerators have divided shelves, which allow you to store larger dishes and bottles by sliding one compartment away from the freezer. Despite having this feature, keeping a large dish, turkey fryer, or other large items may be difficult in these models.

French Door Refrigerators Require More Space

You will have an issue if you are trying to place your French door refrigerator in between two cabinets. Imagine fitting a mammoth into an escalator, and you’ll get a good idea of what I’m talking about. Big refrigerators are simply not meant for smaller spaces.

You might consider looking for a different model of refrigerator unless you intend to remove some cabinets. French door refrigerators require more space on both sides to open the doors. Also, the height of the refrigerator makes it difficult to fit into a kitchen with low ceilings.

If your kitchen is compatible with modern home appliances, you’ll likely consider purchasing one of these freezers. A French-door refrigerator, on the other hand, cannot be used in a retro-themed kitchen.

 A vintage kitchen theme will not work with it. In a retro kitchen, you want to restore the simple design of the past while maintaining both charm and usefulness. But the French door refrigerator is all about a stainless-framed refrigerator with a cool design.

More Energy Requirement

The French door refrigerators consume more energy to function as they offer more features. Since it has a big interior compartment, it requires more electricity to cool. French door refrigerators have a water dispenser with them. The ice makers and water dispensers use additional energy to supply you with ice cubes and cold water.

But the updated models require less energy than the older versions. This is because they have specialized converters for saving energy. But in spite of having these features, they use more electricity than traditional, smaller fridges. 

Repair Prone Dispenser

Consumers and analysts reported that French-door refrigerators were more repair-prone. Most French door refrigerators have built-in water dispensers and ice makers through the doors.

 In most cases of refrigerator failure, the icemaker and water dispensers are the most common sites. So, the models that have a water dispenser are more vulnerable to malfunctioning. Before you buy a French-door refrigerator, make sure you’ve checked the reliability data to find out which models have the least repair rate.

The usual cost of repair is 26% higher for a French-door refrigerator than a side-by-side refrigerator’s repair cost. A broken ice maker, an imbalance in the internal temperature, loud sounds, and a leaking icemaker are amongst the most common malfunctions.

Higher Price

If you haven’t bought a refrigerator in a long time, the prices of French-door refrigerators will surprise you. The price depends on the manufacturer and the model. There are two types of French fridge doors available on the market three-door and a four-door variant.

The ones with three doors will cost around $2,000 to $3,000. And four-door variants start at $3,000 and can be as much as $5,000.

Some French door fridges are available for less than a grand. But in this case, you may have to opt for a conventional bottom freezer option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you lose space with a French door refrigerator?

Answer: French door refrigerators allow you to have a wide space and more organized storage in the fridge section. But most French door refrigerators lack enough space in the freezer section. Because of its design, the freezer compartment is located at the bottom of the refrigerator, leaving a small amount of space compared to that of the refrigerator section.

Do French door refrigerators have more problems?

There is no definitive answer to whether French door refrigerators have more problems than other types of refrigerators. However, some common issues that have been reported with French door refrigerators include problems with the ice maker, difficulties with temperature regulation, and issues with the doors not sealing properly.

If you are considering purchasing a French door refrigerator, you should research the specific model and read reviews from real customers. It will help you to stay away from problematic models. In addition, proper maintenance and care will keep your refrigerator from frequent problems.

How long do French door refrigerators last?

Answer: Like other electronic home appliances, there is no proven data on how long a French door refrigerator lasts. It depends on the quality of the fridge and the reliability of the manufacturer. But on average, a French refrigerator lasts 10 years.

Is a French door refrigerator better than a side-by-side?

Answer: It depends on what you want from your refrigerator. A French door refrigerator has more space in the fridge, allowing you to store more fresh foods and large-sized dishes. But in a side-by-side refrigerator, you get more freezer space. So, if you want a wider space where you can store foods for daily use, a French door refrigerator is better than a side-by-side refrigerator.

Which French door refrigerator has the least problems?

Answer: Whirlpool and KitchenAid were mentioned as the most reliable brands of French door refrigerators by the technicians. Because of the easy accessibility of their parts, they are also easy to repair. A survey has also named Samsung and LG as the most reliable refrigerators.

Answer: Because of their smart outlook, sleek designs, and wider storage capacity, French door refrigerators have established a good dominance in the market. You can easily store a large-sized dish inside a French door refrigerator. This is so beneficial for people who host a lot of parties and guest dinners.


French door refrigerators are the newest additions to the world of refrigerators. Some love them for their sleek, smart, and well-furnished designs, while some find them unnecessarily big. So if you’re planning to replace your old refrigerator, keep in mind that there are some problems with French door refrigerators.

Although refrigerators with French doors come in a variety of styles and unique features, evidently they won’t meet everyone’s demands. A French-door fridge could be just what you need if you are looking for something that can store a decent amount of fresh foods or you need a little more room to admire your creative dishes. So, make sure the features meet your expectations.

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2 responses to “What Are the Problems Of French Door Refrigerators?”

  1. Kate Avatar

    We would like a french door fridge without a water dispenser and will not hook up the ice maker, do you have any recommendations? We need a 22 cf to 21.8 cf to fit into our built in site. thanks!

    1. Kathy Lawrence Avatar
      Kathy Lawrence

      hey kate, to see my recommendation list of french door refrigerators, you may follow this link.
      They come without water dispenser and less problematic than others.

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