Refrigerator Buying Guide
Whether you are a bachelor or living with a family, you always need a fridge. But with lots of models and their various aspects, choosing one becomes a little tricky. To prevent your problem and make the purchase easy, you should know some major points while finding the right fridge.
You need to know the features and technologies before jumping into the pool of products. This buying guide helps pick the Best Refrigerator in India among dozens of refrigerators available in the market.
How to choose the right door style?
Fridges are not designed in the same way. There are a lot of options to choose the best one. Let’s check the different arrangements of refrigerators.
Side by Side Refrigerators
This style has become more common over the last few years. They involve two-door with the fridge being on one side and freezer on the other. Also, these sections can be on any side, not a fixed pattern like in the old days.
The Side by Side Door Refrigerators is less expensive than the French door fridge. On the contrary, they have less capacity for packing in food items. Sometimes you can find it difficult to reach around packed shelves to get an item at the back. SO, it all depends on the capacity you choose; there are other options where plenty of large side by side door refrigerators with more storage volume than smaller French Door Fridges.
French Door Refrigerators
A French door refrigerator has a refrigerator on top with two outward-swinging doors in the centre and a sliding freezer door underneath. It provides a luxury and excellent look to your kitchens. They also offer tremendous space that’s easy to access. The slide-out freezer door on the bottom makes it easy to pull out the items. Apart from it, the french door refrigerator tends to carry a high price tag.
The space-saving and small swing doors added the value of opening only the half fridge when you are storing smaller items. The two top doors open to a full-width fresh food compartment whereas, the bottom drawers pull out to a full-width freezer.
Double Door Refrigerator
We’re talking about a double door fridge that is the most popular type you will find in Indian houses. There are many types of fridge with different door styles, but double doors provide ease, as it has two sections. The upper section offers a freezer and is situated above the leading fresh food storage. Some brands somehow make this section vice versa. In some models, you will get a freezer at the bottom and main storage above it.
As compared to a single door refrigerator, a double door needs more power to run. However, thanks to energy-efficient star ratings that let you know how much energy it will consume. Unlike a single door fridge, the double door arises with frost-free technology. It allows for even the spread of cool air inside the refrigerator.
As we mentioned, there are two types of the double door – Top Mount and Bottom Mount. So let’s know them a little briefly –
Top Mount Refrigerator: This is a truly classic type in Indian kitchens for decades. Simultaneously, the top mount refrigerator implies having the freezer on top and the primary storage section at a lower level. This style is hands-down for some users as it is the most affordable option in the budget. Also, this style is available in various sizes to suit any kitchen.
Bottom Mount Refrigerator: This style is trendy for a good reason. Those who have back problems can go for this model. It is a vice versa design of a top mount fridge. You will get a freezer section on the bottom. You will find yourself leaning a lot lesser, and the upside-down look makes it attractive.
What size fridge should you get?
The capacity of the fridge is one of the main factors that affect your choice. Depending upon the storage requirements and family size, look for the size and capacity of the model that you want to buy. For a family of 3 to 4 members, a fridge with a storage range from 200 to 300 L is perfect.
|Suitable For||Capacity||Door Types|
|1 person||50 to 250 Liters||Single door|
|2 to 3 people||250 to 300 Liters||Single door, Double door|
|4 to 5 people||280 to 350 Liters||Double or Three Door|
|6 or more people||565 to 630 Liters||French or side-by-side|
Defrosting: Direct Cool Vs Frost Free
All refrigerators need cold air conditioners like circulation in their cells divided into two types – Frost free and direct cool refrigerator.
Direct Cool Refrigerator: In a Direct cool type refrigerator, natural air circulation is used throughout the appliances. It produces coolness by using a natural convection method. So, you can’t control the cooling setting distribution inside the refrigerator. As a result, it leads to uneven cooling, and in the output, it creates a frost collection. The freezer has to defrost to avoid the ice growth regularly.
The fridge with this technology comes in a Single Door Refrigerator. They demand less electricity, low maintenance. So, for a small budget and less space, it is the best option.
Frost Free Refrigerator: The frost-free technology works on the law even distribution of chilled air inside the appliance by electric fans. There is no formation of ice. However, it consumes more energy than others but gives an extended duration.
As the name suggests, there’s no frost or ice to deal with. It doesn’t allow ice to form inside the compartments and hence don’t need to burn the freezer. It consumes more electricity than direct-cool due to the usage of fans.
The standard fridge to freezer ratio is around 8:2. With this refrigerator, you can make stocks of vegetables and fruits in the central fridge unit. In this way, the freezer is almost unusable for vegetarians. However, when you lack space in the freezer, a technology fulfils the demand for space.
With the conversion amenity, you can change your freezer into a fridge that helps you put ordinary things. This is the best decision for those people who have space crunch issues.
Some Important Functional Factors
1. Cool Box
When a power cut occurs, the Cold Box is another feature that works well for some time. The modern machines come with the technology of Cool Box. It permits the refrigerators to stay crisp and fresh when light has been gone for long hours. After the power cut of 2-6 hours, it will remain intact with the milk, veggies and fruits. For the area where power cuts are often, they need to get a hold of this method.
2. Eco-friendly Refrigerant
The common refrigerant in practice is CFC. It causes damage to the environment as well as some health hazards. It attacks the atmosphere where you placed it. Some of the Refrigerators have environment-friendly coolants. The best alternatives for the coolants are R134a, R600a. They are never toxic to nature but give long life.
Air conditioners also use coolants that are green substance never hurt the planet. For the clean air, we can take the Air Purifiers unit that works on the Refrigerants.
3. Stabilizer Free Operation
The voltages changes are a strange thing to the households, so you need a Stabilizer. They generally protect against the short circuit and voltage gain or drop. As technology becomes advanced in recent years, now the Refrigerator in India comes with an inbuilt stabilizer.
These built-in Stabilizers control the voltages variation and a sudden surge of tensions. Without buying the external Stabilizer reduces the cost and increases the energy efficiency of your device. So power fluctuations shouldn’t be a problem anymore. With the help of an in-built stabilizer, the fridge can work on a 135V lower power supply.
4. Functional drawers & Shelves
It would help if you always preferred the adjustable customized shelves that can move according to the load. Having flexible shelves and drawers is helpful. They gave you the ease of storing things gently. There are mainly three types of racks –wired, acrylic and tempered glass. Among all of the tempered glasses are the most potent and certified. They are durable and hold more vessels and containers.
The older model emits much noise than the latest model of Refrigerators. The noisy appliance doesn’t provide comfort in the home. So, it is necessary to check the noise level of the fridge before buying. The best appliance from a reputable brand does not make much noise.
What about energy efficiency?
With less power comes superb savings. The star rating known as EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) lets you know how much your fridge needs power. The higher the number of stars, the less power it will consume.
Let’s take a rough estimate of how the stars perform –
|Star Rating||Unit of Energy Consumed||Annual Savings|
|1 Star||997 units||₹308/-|
|2 Stars||782 units||₹795/-|
|3 Stars||626 units||₹1185/-|
|4 Stars||501 units||₹1497/-|
|5 Stars||400 units||₹1750/-|
Note: We have taken the value of a regular 250 Litres, Frost free fridge that uses 1100 units of energy annually with an average unit cost of Rs.5 per unit.
However, a 5-star refrigerator costs you more than a 2 star, but this will help cut down the overall prices long.
The Rating-test is an ultimate testing method for the refrigerator. It allows the Star Energy Rating value to tell you how much power consumption your fridge will consume per unit. The higher the number of a star lesser the energy uses.
So, the cost is directly equal to the rating. Typically, a 5-star fridge costs more than a 2-star rated. But this will help cut down overall costs in the great run. It is your lifetime purchase, at least for 10-year, so buying a good grade model will never hurt you.
Inverter Compressor Technology
This technology helps in saving power and also increases the compressor’s life. The refrigerators with inverter compressors cut your bills down and prolong the life of your refrigerator too. It works by changing the compressor to a lower limit when the temperature falls below the set temperature. Like, the inverter compressor varies power to produce more energy during the day to adapt to frequent use and less at night.
As a result, you get an extremely efficient operation to achieve energy savings, less noise and quick, powerful cooling. This process alters to save about 20 to 30 % of the power used. There are two types of compressors – the inverter and the general. Both comes with some pros and cons, the following table showcase each –
|Traits||Inverter Compressor||Regular Compressor|