What’s the difference between freestanding and built in?

In the range of our appliances, you will find both freestanding or built in units. These designations simply refer to where you can put the unit and still have it work as intended.

What is freestanding?

A freestanding unit is a unit that stands by itself. It is not meant to be installed under counters, inside cabinets, or customer wall spaces. These units require the ventilation that comes with being freestanding to allow the compressor and parts to remain cool while they chill the inside of the unit. We recommend that these units be placed with 3”-” of space between the back and the wall with no obstructions or walls around the sides.We also recommend that you do not place these units inside of a cabinet. Even if it fits and the cabinet may seem spacious, the lack of ventilation will result in the unit under performing.

What is built in?

Built in units are units that are designed to operate in tight or customized spaces. An example of a popular spot for these units is installed under counter with custom cabinets. These units will still need clearance in the back near the wall, typically 3”-4”, but they will allow you to have a tighter fit on the sides. Many units will still need 1” of space along the sides and top, unless otherwise designated by the product specs.

What happens if I put a freestanding unit in a built in spot?

Freestanding units require adequate ventilation to perform well. If they are installed as a built in unit would be, the heat from the compressor will begin to build up, causing the unit and electronics to work harder to compensate for the heat. This will cause the unit to either not work at all or “freeze up.” Freezing is when there is visible ice inside the unit or on the evaporator. Although ice is there, this ice build up actually prevents the unit from cooling correctly and the units will have consistently higher temperatures than the temperature that you have set. The only way to resolve this would be to relocate the freestanding unit, let it defrost for 24-48 hours, and then use it in a freestanding location.