refrigerator buying guide,  India
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Refrigerator Buying Guide, India, 2019

In modern times, a kitchen cannot exist without a refrigerator. The refrigerator was a thing for rich people few years back and now it has become a necessity. Refrigerators help in the storage of fruits and vegetables and keeping their freshness intact. It also provides space for delicious desserts and ice creams. Refrigerators also helps in keeping the level of nutrients in our food intact, which imparts a healthier living. Nowadays, due to the advancement of technology various types of refrigerators have been introduced in the market and thus it is difficult to make a decision on the kind of refrigerator one should buy because one needs to keep in mind the period for which he or she is planning to use the refrigerator. This decision depends on various factors, mainly capacity of storage, coverage of space, technologies introduced, consumption of energy, preferences of family members and also the budget.

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What is a refrigerator?

A refrigerator consists of a number of compartments that are designed in such a way that they can store food, beverages and necessary items like like medicines for long periods under low temperatures. This appliance is insulated thermally and hence it maintains a certain temperature on the inside that is ideal to slow down the deterioration of the quality of nutrients and thus keeping the freshness and nutrition of food items intact for long. Refrigerators also possess freezers which creates ice that are ideal for storage of meats and fish under very low temperatures.

Why do you need a refrigerator?

When healthy diet is your concern, your body requires fresh vegetables, fruits and drinks like milk and juices. In our times, our busy schedule drains all our energy, hence making it very difficult to give us with time to shop for such food item regularly. Here lies the utmost advantage of the use of a refrigerator. This is an appliance which helps in preserving the freshness level and nutrition content of the above mentioned food items. It also offers you chilled water when you are tired and wines when you are in for some fun. You can also store food which is already cooked so that you can eat it the next day and also keep medicines in storage for long periods. The refrigerators have become an utmost necessity of human beings in day to day life.

This guide for buying the right refrigerator for the customers will mention to you in details about the basic and general features of refrigerators; arrange them according to the categories as per their overall design and targeted end-users and will in turn help you to pick up the right refrigerator to meet your daily needs. You will also get to be aware of a few accessories that you should buy along with a refrigerator.

Different Types of Refrigerators

Direct Cool Refrigerator

Direct cool refrigerators are those types of refrigerators which are more basic in nature where fans are not used for cooling the fridge compartment. The cooling is a result of a natural type of convection where one part may get cooler than some other part within the compartment. Nevertheless, these refrigerators are highly energy efficient for the same cause. It includes only a few single-door refrigerators under it. Recently, some of the direct cool refrigerators have been featured with digital auto defrost technology to avoid manual defrosting.

Advantages of direct cool refrigerator:
  1. Cools with natural convection process inside the electric refrigerator
  2. Highly energy efficient design
  3. Quite affordable from price point of opinion
  4. Efficient freezer chamber
  5. Latest models feature digital auto defrost technology

Frost Free Refrigerator

Nowadays, most of the refrigerators except a few basic ones are frost free refrigerators. These frost free refrigerators consist of electric fans which help in circulating cool air inside the chambers. This avoids the formation of ice outside the freezer and helps in the controlled cooling of compartments. These refrigerators are also provided by the auto defrost technology. Moreover, frost free refrigerators are the best at keeping a consistent temperature all throughout the compartments of the refrigerator. Know more about difference between frost free and direct cool refrigerators.


Frost free refrigerators are of the following types:

Single Door Refrigerator

Single Door Refrigerators have a single door up front, which locks the cool ambience inside the refrigerator. Such refrigerators contain a freezer, a fridge and a vegetable bin. These are considered to be entry-level refrigerators and are quite affordable. Single door frost free refrigerators take up very less space and thus they are ideal for small offices, clinics, grocery stores. Single door models have a storage capacity of around 50-300 lit.

Advantages of single door refrigerator
  1. A single door up front
  2. 3 main sections as in freezer, fridge and vegetable bin
  3. Low price range and value for money
  4. Takes up less space
  5. Know more about advantages and disadvantages of single door refrigerator

Double Door Refrigerator

Double door refrigerators are bigger in size and as the name goes consists of two doors up front and offer a storage capacity of about 200-600 lit. One door covers the fridge compartments that maintain temperatures between 0 and 10 degree centigrade while the other door seals the freezer chamber which maintains the lower temperature environment. The existence of 2 separate doors reduces the chances of heat escape even when the fridge is opened frequently.

Advantages of double door refrigerator:
  1. Separate doors for the fridge section and the freezer sections
  2. Fridge and freezer are separate
  3. The freezer chamber is larger in size
  4. Varieties of shelves are installed
  5. Bigger bottles can be stored.
  6. Know more about advantages and disadvantages of double door refrigerator

Door type Capacity Cleaning process Price range
Single door 50 to 250 Liters Need to manually clean the ice 6,500 -   20,000
Double door 235 to 495 Liters Auto cleaning of the ice and the freezer is located at the top 18,000 -   55,000
Triple door 240 to 330 Liters Auto cleaning of the ice and the freezer is located at the bottom 24,000 -   37,000
Side by side door 565 to 630 Liters Auto cleaning of the ice 60,000 -   1,50,000
By www.zelect.in

Side-By-Side Refrigerator

This type of refrigerator consists of 2 doors side by side just like a cupboard. Such refrigerators have large storage capacities up to 810 lit and may have the ice and water dispenser inside. Refrigerator of this type with water dispensers lets you fill up the glasses without opening the door. The cupboard like design gives lots of space for storage and 2 doors help save on energy consumption.

Advantages of side by side refrigerator:
  1. 2 doors side by side like a cupboard
  2. Provides greater capacity freezer and fridge
  3. Offers lots of space for keeping vegetables in shelves
  4. Water and ice dispenser may be installed
  5. Efficient at saving energy.

Bottom Mounted Refrigerator

These refrigerators have a unique design where the freezer section lies at the bottom and the fridge section is on top. Such a design is more easy going because in such cases, one does not have to bend every time to take out fruits or vegetables. The bottom freezer section contains a big compartment for storing an ample amount of frozen foods and ice that are required occasionally.

Advantages of bottom-mount refrigerator:
  1. Efficiently designed
  2. More user-friendly with better access
  3. Large freezer chambers provide space for more frozen food
  4. Unique design with trendy looks

Categorization By Use

Singles

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.

  1. Frost free refrigerator, which has a capacity of 200 lit is ideal
  2. Single door or double door models are to be chosen
  3. Available floor space is an issue
  4. Portable refrigerator with 45 to 80 lit in case of space problem.


Small Family

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.

  1. 200-300 lit storage capacity
  2. Double door models are a good option
  3. Size of vegetable bin or freezer as per your requirements
  4. 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
By www.zelect.in

Large Family

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.

  1. Refrigerator with 300 to 450 lit storage capacity
  2. Floor space and budget are as per individual choice
  3. If chilled water is necessary, a model with water dispenser is ideal
  4. If the need for fresh food is high, a large double door or bottom mounted refrigerator is the best option.


Commercial Usage

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.

  1. Refrigerators with 800 lit storage capacity
  2. Side-by-side models are ideal as opening of single door cuts down heat loss
  3. 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:
  1. Shelves may be wired, acrylic or tempered glass type. Tempered glass shelves are generally the best.

  2. 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.

  3. Quick-freeze compartments or chillers are for those who need ice frequently and at a short notice

  4. Separators help to organize fruits and vegetables in the separate boxes

  5. Deodorizers keep food fresh for longer duration

  6. Checking should be done for the noise level for any humming sounds

  7. Child locks are a feature installed to prevent kids from opening the refrigerator without knowing

  8. Moisture control is very important to keep vegetables fresh.

How size of refrigerator effects electricity consumption

With the gradually increasing demands of the families in India the sizes and capacities of refrigerators are also increasing. It is evident that the bigger your refrigerator the greater is the increase in the electricity consumption of the refrigerator. It is observed that with the volume increasing by one liter, the consumption of electricity in refrigerators increase by 0.5-1 units. For example a 5 star 350 lit refrigerator will use up about 50-100 more units of than a 5 star 250 lit model every year. Hence, for people with strict daily budgets, it is necessary to choose refrigerators of right size while buying. Generally refrigerators work more efficiently when they are full and thus empty refrigerators may increase your bill. So you should get the right refrigerator for your daily needs. Moreover old refrigerator consumes more electricity than new refrigerator.


Try to exchange the old refrigerator

Do you know old refrigerators consume more power than the new one. Read more our article on energy consumption of old refrigerator. Please see it is good to get rid of old refrigerator before you by. Luckily many online portals like Flipkart are promoting this exchange offers which is very good thing. It will not only save money on new refrigerator but also the simplest way to getting rid of old refrigerator.


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. Please see refrigerator is 24*7 used home appliance. Take a look our other post unplug fridge when not in use for save energy consumption.


A few important things you should keep in mind:

The inverter technology, which finds use in air conditioners, is also used in refrigerators. It enhances the consumption of electricity of the refrigerator by controlling the power supply to the compressor. It is the most efficient model available in the market because it consumes minimum electricity. The inverter technology is available only in frost free refrigerators.

The amount of food you consume daily plays an important role in determining the type of fridge which is perfect for you. Nowadays refrigerators are on sale, according to the fridge to freezer ratio. So if you are a vegetarian, you should definitely go for 80:20 model because you would need more space for storing veggies. If case of a non-vegetarian 70:30 model is the ideal choice.

People have a tendency of overloading the refrigerator in spite of the fact that this increases the electricity consumption. Thus, it is advisable to store only those food items which might perish otherwise.


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