Refrigerator Buying Guide

Everything
  • You
  • I
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need to know before buying a new refrigerator

If you are seeking an in-depth explanation of all the aspects you need to keep in mind to make your decision about buying a new refrigerator, then you are at the right place. We’ve listed and explained the key points everyone must know to make a smarter buying choice.

Like everything else, even the refrigerators have upgraded in the past few years and now they do a lot more than just keeping our food cool. That’s why it’s important to understand these features before making a decision.

Capacity

One key factor to consider is the capacity of the fridge. Fortunately, the range from the lowest capacity to the highest has grown exponentially these days. The capacity you should choose depends upon the size of your family because ultimately this determines the volume of food you will be keeping in your refrigerator.

A 150-250 litre capacity refrigerator should be sufficient for a family of 3 (couple with 1 kid). You might want to get a 250-500 litre refrigerator for a family of 4 -5 people. If there are 2 adults and 2 children, then 250-300 litre capacity should suffice.  Larger families with 6-7 people will require 550-850 litre capacity refrigerator.

One key factor to consider is the capacity of the fridge. Fortunately, the range from the lowest capacity to the highest has grown exponentially these days. The capacity you should choose depends upon the size of your family because ultimately this determines the volume of food you will be keeping in your refrigerator.

A 150-250 litre capacity refrigerator should be sufficient for a family of 3 (couple with 1 kid). You might want to get a 250-500 litre refrigerator for a family of 4 -5 people. If there are 2 adults and 2 children, then 250-300 litre capacity should suffice.  Larger families with 6-7 people will require 550-850 litre capacity refrigerator.

Space

How big is your kitchen (or the room you want to install the refrigerator in). Will it accommodate a bigger refrigerator or a medium-size one? You can always check the dimensions of the refrigerator online. You also need to keep in mind the space its doors will take when they are open. In addition to this, you need to have at least an inch of space on the top and back of the fridge for proper heat dissipation.

To avoid any hassle bringing the fridge in the kitchen, checking the access to the kitchen is always beneficial. The staircase or elevator, short turns, and small passages might become hindrances.

Defrosting

Every refrigerator requires to circulate cool air inside its compartment. In ‘direct-cool’ this is done through natural convection without any external help. The downside of this is that it results in an uneven distribution, which leads to the forming of ice in the refrigerator.

Hence, as you guessed by now, it needs to be defrosted manually. Though the benefit of ‘direct-cool’ is that it consumes less electricity.

On the other hand ‘frost-free’, as the name suggests, does not let the frost or ice build-up. The cool air is circulated evenly in all compartments using the electric fans. This ensures that your food doesn’t get freezer burn.

‘Frost-Free’ refrigerators are costlier than ‘direct-cool’, and they consume more energy due to the electric fans.

Types of Refrigerators

Mini Fridge

Single Door Fridge

Double Door Fridge

Triple Door Fridge

Side by Side Door Fridge

Refrigerators are classified into 5 main types depending upon their size and the way they are built –

Mini

These refrigerators are tiny in size and offer basic cooling to keep your food cool and fresh. These can be upto 100 litres in capacity. These might have a small freezer integrated into them, but that’s very rare. Mini refrigerators are always ‘direct-cool’ in nature.

Single Door

These refrigerators have just one main door and typically range from 150-250 litres capacity. These are the most budget-friendly and economical options available in the market. Apart from the food storage space, they even offer modest freezer space.

Single door refrigerators are mostly the ‘direct-cool’ in nature but nowadays many companies are introducing digital auto defrost feature in single door refrigerators too.

Double Door

These refrigerators have 2 doors one on top of the other. Earlier, the typical alignment was to have the upper compartment as a freezer and the lower compartment for regular usage, but this has changed recently and now we also get refrigerators where the freezer compartment is the lower one and the regular compartment is the upper one. Just not that, now we also get where you get an option to convert any compartment a freezer or a regular as per your requirement. These are called convertible refrigerators.

Double door refrigerators usually have a capacity between 250 and 500 litres. These are usually frost-free refrigerators and are made energy efficient to consume less electricity. They come with toughened glass shelves.

Triple Door

Triple door refrigerators are slimmer and taller, therefore they are good for homes with less floor space. They usually come in a capacity between 250 and 350 litres.

The typical alignment of the compartment is that the upper one is a freezer, the middle one is the regular one and the bottom compartment is a vegetable drawer (a crisper). Like double-door refrigerators, even triple-door refrigerators are energy efficient and come with toughened glass shelves.

Side by side

The most expensive models in the market are side-by-side door refrigerators. They also come equipped with the latest technologies. These refrigerators come with a capacity ranging from 550 to 850 litres and therefore offer huge storage with multiple sections for better organization and ease.

Some are even equipped with water and ice dispenser and even an LCD display in the front which shows what’s inside the fridge without opening the door. They are of course frost-free and come with toughened glass shelves.

Additional Features

Modern refrigerators offer plenty of useful features to make your life easier.

Water/ice dispensers

Water and ice dispensers are mostly equipped on side-by-side door models. They help you get water or ice without opening the fridge. Press your glass against the lever and get the water or ice as needed.

Toughened glass shelves

Toughened glass is more durable than plastic and therefore it lasts longer. If you want to use the fridge for long-term, then look for the one which has toughened glass shelves.

Adjustable shelving

Have you been in such a situation where you have something which is not getting fit into the fridge shelves, like a big cake or a big jug? Adjustable shelves come to the rescue and allow you to remove a few shelves to store bigger items.

Convertible fridges

These fridges allow you to convert any compartment into a regular compartment or a freezer. This is very useful if you always find yourself running out of space in your fridge. In those party times, you can convert the freezer compartment into a regular one and store all your food without the hassle. This can also be done vice-versa and you can convert the regular compartment into a freezer should you need that much ice.

Cool pack

Cool pack is a feature to keep the freezer cool for up to 12 hours without any power supply. Such refrigerators are very handy in areas where there are constant power cuts.

Voltage stabilizer

Frequent electricity voltage fluctuation is a problem vast spread in India even today. That’s why most modern refrigerators come equipped with a built-in stabilizer. A built-in stabilizer protects the compressor from high voltage fluctuations.

Deodorizer

As the name suggests, it removes the odor from your fridge using powerful filters, ensuring there is no foul smell when you open your fridge.

Smart refrigerators

To bring the refrigerators in-line with the IoT progression, modern refrigerators are being equipped with smart features. Smartphone integration is one thing, but some models even come with huge displays of their own that showcase stuff like tasks, calendars, photos, videos, and more. The giants like Samsung and LG have launched such smart refrigerators in the market, of course with hefty price tags of a couple of lakhs.

We hope this guide helped you in your endeavor to buy a new refrigerator.