Refrigerators Buying Guide
Always prefer 5 star rated refrigerators
Yes, refrigerators are rated one to five star. Five star means it is most energy efficient refrigerator. Even they are highly priced the long term return on investment will be high due to monthly electricity bill saving.
Types of Refrigerators
The EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) for refrigerators is updated annually, which makes it imperative that you check for the latest efficiency rating. The rating is set over standard test conditions – the energy use may vary depending on actual usage.
Consider a 250-litre frost-free refrigerator that consumes 1100 units of energy annually, with a 0 Star rating. Considering an average unit cost is Rs. 2.5, savings will increase if the Star rating is higher:
This technology helps save electricity and also extends the compressor’s life. It works by switching the compressor to a lower capacity when the temperature falls below the set temperature. When cooling is required, the compressor functions at maximum capacity again. This process translates to a saving of about 20 to 30 percent of the electricity consumed.
Direct cool vs Frost free
Frost-free refrigerators use electric fans to keep stored food fresh and, as the name implies, they do not need to be manually de-iced or defrosted because there is no ice build up inside the fridge. Direct cool refrigerators use natural convection and are considered to preserve food for lesser time. All direct cool refrigerators usually need to be defrosted periodically.
During power outages, the Cool Pack feature in the freezer comes to the rescue. It keeps food frozen for up to 12 hours, maintaining the temperature at 0° C or lower.
Many refrigerators have adjustable shelves which can be moved to make space for larger items. You can also look for adjustable bottle racks, bins, or split shelves, for instance.
This feature prevents the growth of fungi and bacteria on the door’s gasket. The gasket is easy to remove and clean.
Your refrigerator is bound to smell foul when odours from different kinds of food mix. The deodorizer removes odour particles using powerful filters and keeps the air fresh.
Adjustable cooling zones let you use the freezer space as a refrigerator, depending on your need. For instance, if you need more space in the refrigerator section for large bottles or large fruits, you can use the adjustable divider to reduce the space taken by the freezer, effectively enlarging your refrigerator space.
|Door type||Capacity||Cleaning process||Price range|
|Single door||50 to 250 Liters||Need to manually clean the ice||Rs.6,500 – 20,000|
|Double door||235 to 495 Liters||Auto cleaning of the ice and the freezer is located at the top||Rs.18,000 – 55,000|
|Triple door||240 to 330 Liters||Auto cleaning of the ice and the freezer is located at the bottom||Rs.24,000 – 37,000|
|Side by side door||565 to 630 Liters||Auto cleaning of the ice||Rs.60,000 – 1,50,000|
Categorization By Use
A small frost free refrigerator, which has a 200 lit capacity is the best for you if you are living single. Single doors as well as a double door model will be good choices according to your needs. Keeping in mind the space available you may go for a refrigerator with a footprint accordingly. If there is a problem with space you can go for a portable refrigerator, which has a storage capacity of 45 to 80 lit.
- Frost free refrigerator, which has a capacity of 200 lit is ideal
- Single door or double door models are to be chosen
- Available floor space is an issue
- Portable refrigerator with 45 to 80 lit in case of space problem.
A family with 3-4 members require a refrigerator with storage capacities ranging from 200 to 350 lit. Double door models serve as a better choice since it saves energy as frequent opening increases electricity consumption. According to your needs a model with larger vegetable basket or large freezer has to be selected. One should also look out for energy star ratings, for example 4 or 5 star rated models use less electricity.
- 200-300 lit storage capacity
- Double door models are a good option
- Size of vegetable bin or freezer as per your requirements
- Greater energy star rating refrigerators should be used.
|Family size||Door type|
|1 person||Single door|
|2 to 3 people||Single door, Double door, Triple door|
|4 to 5 people||Double door, Triple door|
|6 or more people||Double door, Side by side door|
A large family needs a refrigerator with a storage capacity of 300 to 450 lit. If you have a large family, double door, side-by-side and bottom mounted models are your options. The availability of floor space it as per your needs and also your budget plays a role. If you need a fridge frequently for fresh food, then a bottom mounted model will be a good choice. If members of your family prefer to have chilled water more often then you should get one with water dispenser installed.
- Refrigerator with 300 to 450 lit storage capacity
- Floor space and budget are as per individual choice
- If chilled water is necessary, a model with water dispenser is ideal
- If the need for fresh food is high, a large double door or bottom mounted refrigerator is the best option.
Small commercial establishments require refrigerators of 300 to 450 lit capacity. In case of larger commercial needs, refrigerators with over 800 lit capacity is required. A side-by-side model better in such a case because it cuts down unnecessary heat loss.
- Refrigerators with 800 lit storage capacity
- Side-by-side models are ideal as opening of single door cuts down heat loss
- For offices, size and capacity depends on the number of staff and available floor space.
Features to look out for:
Refrigerators have several features in different combinations:
- Shelves may be wired, acrylic or tempered glass type. Tempered glass shelves are generally the best.
- Ice and water dispensers are a feature mainly present in side-by-side doors used to fill glasses with cold water without opening the doors of the refrigerator.
- Quick-freeze compartments or chillers are for those who need ice frequently and at a short notice
- Separators help to organize fruits and vegetables in the separate boxes
- Deodorizers keep food fresh for longer duration
- Checking should be done for the noise level for any humming sounds
- Child locks are a feature installed to prevent kids from opening the refrigerator without knowing
- Moisture control is very important to keep vegetables fresh.