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Business News/ Technology / Gadgets/  Refrigerator buying guide: Know all important details such as types, main features before you opt for a fridge
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Refrigerator buying guide: Know all important details such as types, main features before you opt for a fridge

Buying guide for refrigerators: Every time we step out to buy a new product, say a fridge, do we know what we are looking for? Here's our buying guide where we discuss in detail different factors one must keep in mind while shopping for fridges.

Here's a buying guide on how to buy refrigerators. Premium
Here's a buying guide on how to buy refrigerators.

Life without refrigerators is hard to imagine today. As more and more family members step out to work and break down of traditional family setups, families struggle to shop daily for fruits, vegetables, meats, and other perishables. Cooking fresh food too is challenging in urban centres without stay-at-home homemakers. Powerful refrigerators, therefore, become essential for food storage as well as food preservation. When we step out to buy a new refrigerator, many aren't clear what we expect from our purchase. Here's a buying guide to refrigerators, a detailed deep dive into various facets of refrigerators we must keep in mind when we go shopping.

Types of refrigerators

Gone are the days of single door, limited capacity refrigerators. Today, customers are spoilt for choice, often confusingly so. Here's a detail discussion on the different kinds of refrigerators that are available in India today.

Single Door

Single door refrigerators are compact, affordable, and energy-efficient, ideal for small families or single users. They typically feature a freezer compartment, adjustable shelves, and simple temperature controls. Advantages include lower cost and space-saving design. Disadvantages are limited storage capacity, smaller freezer space, and the need for manual defrosting, making them less convenient for larger households.

Double Door

Double door refrigerators offer separate compartments for the freezer and fridge. This helps in increasing organization and efficiency. They feature larger storage capacity, frost-free technology, and adjustable shelves. Advantages include better energy efficiency, more space, and convenience. Disadvantages are higher cost, increased space requirement, and sometimes higher energy consumption compared to single door models. These fridges are ideal for medium families.

Side-By-Side

Side-by-side refrigerators have vertically split compartments, offering ample space and easy access to both fresh and frozen foods. Unlike single and double door fridges, they provide equal access to both sections without bending. The main advantage is their large storage capacity and organization. However, they are more expensive, occupy more space, and may consume more energy. Ideal for large families and houses with large spaces, don't consider it you have a singles' household or have a small family.

French Door

French door refrigerators feature two upper doors for fresh food and a bottom freezer drawer. Unlike Side-by-Side fridges, they offer wider fridge shelves. The main advantage is their spacious, easily accessible fresh food section. Overall, they provide ample storage and stylish design, but are costly, require more space, and may have higher energy consumption. Opt for such fridges only if you have a large family and have ample space in your home.

Refrigerators with ice and water dispensers

Such refrigerators provide instant access to chilled water and ice cubes and give a fillip to convenience. No need to open the fridge to access water and ice. They eliminate the need for ice trays and reduce water spillage. However, they may require plumbing installation and consume additional energy. The convenience of quick access to cold beverages and ice for parties outweighs these drawbacks, making them popular in households where frequent house parties and higher water consumption are norms.

Mini refrigerators

Mini fridges are popular among travellers and for use as secondary fridges. Ideal for long car journeys or small spaces, they offer compact storage for snacks, drinks, and medications. They're also convenient for vegetarians who prefer separate storage for dairy and vegetarian items. Their portable size and versatility make them a practical choice for anyone needing on-the-go refrigeration or supplementary storage at home.

Also read: Best refrigerator in India 2024: Explore our top 10 picks for your home

Which refrigerator is best for you?

Now that we have an idea of the different kinds of refrigerators that are available in India, it would help if we could know the parameters to bear in mind when we plan on picking up an refrigerator.

Capacity

The capacity of a refrigerator is among its most significant requirements in modern households. With the need to stock up on fruits, vegetables, and meats, ample space is essential. Many people also creatively use refrigerators to store groceries. Gone are the days of buying groceries like flour, grains, pulses, and nuts in precise amounts; now, they come pre-packaged, often in larger quantities. If you need 200 grams but the supermarket offers only half a kilogram, you end up buying the larger portion. Dry food items often spoil in hot and humid places when kept out. Thus, a fridge with ample capacity is ideal, especially for larger families. If space and burgeoning electricity bills aren't a concern, then smaller families too can find many benefits. In Indian markets, refrigerators are available in various capacities: compact (50-100 litres), medium (150-300 litres), large (300-500 litres), and extra-large (500+ litres).

Electricity Consumption

In India, annual energy consumption for refrigerators varies across different size categories, catering to diverse household needs. Compact refrigerators (50-100 litres) typically consume between 100 to 200 kWh per year. These units are suitable for smaller households or as secondary refrigeration options due to their lower storage capacity and energy requirements. Moving up to medium-sized refrigerators (150-300 litres), energy consumption increases to approximately 200 to 400 kWh annually. These models are popular among average-sized families, offering a balance between storage space and energy efficiency.

For larger households seeking more storage, such as those opting for large-capacity refrigerators (300-500 litres), annual energy consumption ranges could go up to 400 kWh. These refrigerators provide ample space for storing fresh and frozen foods while maintaining moderate energy efficiency. Extra-large refrigerators (500+ litres), designed for extensive storage needs, consume higher energy, often exceeding 400 kWh per year. Despite their larger footprint, advancements in technology strive to enhance energy efficiency, making these units viable for households prioritizing storage capacity without compromising too heavily on energy consumption.

Star rating

Star ratings for refrigerators indicate energy efficiency levels, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Higher star ratings signify greater efficiency, with 5-star models consuming the least energy. Consumers opting for higher star ratings can save on electricity bills while minimizing environmental impact, making them a sustainable choice.

Also read: Best refrigerator brands in India: Choose from 10 premium models priced over 30000 with impressive features

Special Features

Now lets talk about special features that one can find in refrigerators that can play critical role in decision-making.

Auto defrost

A common memory for 1970s and 1980s' kids is seeing our mothers cleaning fridge after defrosting it. Modern refrigeration has helped do away with this cumbersome issue. Auto defrost in many modern refrigerators automatically prevents ice buildup, ensuring efficient cooling without manual intervention. It periodically melts ice using a heating element and evaporates the water, maintaining optimal temperature and reducing maintenance. This feature is convenient, ensuring hassle-free operation and preserving food freshness by preventing ice buildup.

Curd maker

If you have been observant, you must have seen a number of fridge ads on TV talking about the curd-making refrigerators. Lets talk about them and see how can influence buying preferences. Such refrigerators with a curd maker feature provide convenience by automating the curd-making process. However, they may require additional space within the fridge, limiting storage capacity. The advantage lies in easy homemade curd production, while the drawback could be reduced storage flexibility depending on the model.

Stabiliser-free operations

If you recall in the decades gone by, any electrical appliance in Indian homes had to have a stabiliser. In fact, for this writer, they are still a staple for air conditioners. However, modern refrigerators offer advance technology can make fridges work without external stabilisers. Now, refrigerators come with inbuilt stabilisers. Refrigerators with this feature ensure protection against voltage fluctuations, eliminating the need for an external stabiliser. This enhances convenience, saves space, and reduces energy consumption, making them ideal for modern households.

Refrigerators with digital inverter compressors

Many modern refrigerators come with what are called digital inverter compressors. In refrigerators, they adjust their speed based on cooling demand, ensuring energy efficiency, quieter operation, and longer lifespan compared to conventional compressors.

Anti fungal feature

Modern refrigerators often incorporate anti-fungal features to inhibit mould and bacterial growth, prolonging food freshness. However, with global warming causing higher ambient temperatures, food stored even in refrigerators can decay faster. Addressing this issue is crucial to maintain food quality and safety amidst changing climate conditions.

Adjustable shelves

Another practical feature that one can find in modern refrigerators are adjustable shelves. Such shelves allow flexible storage configurations to accommodate varying item sizes. They enable users to customize shelf heights based on one's needs. What you get is efficient organization and storage capacity. This feature enhances convenience and usability.

 

What is a smart refrigerator?

Very often we hear the word ‘smart’ thrown at us when talking about different kinds of appliances, particularly large appliances. This is true of refrigerators too. So what is a smart refrigerator? Let's analyse. Smart refrigerators integrate advanced technology like touchscreens, Wi-Fi connectivity, and voice control for enhanced user convenience. They offer features such as food management apps, remote monitoring, and energy efficiency insights. Collectively, such features can completely transform one's kitchen experience with modern functionality and connectivity.

Conclusion

Modern refrigeration technology emphasizes energy efficiency, advanced cooling systems, and smart features like digital controls and app integration. It ensures optimal food preservation, reduces environmental impact, and adds to user convenience. With innovations like inverter compressors and eco-friendly refrigerants, modern refrigerators offer superior performance while being sustainable.

 

More articles on refrigerators for you

Best smart refrigerators: Upgrade your modern home with sophistication with top 10 options

Best 5 star refrigerators in India: Top 8 options to ensure energy efficiency and lower bills

Best refrigerators in India: Top 5 multi-door models for your home

Best 5 star Samsung refrigerators: Our top picks to keep your food fresh for longer duration
 

Disclaimer: At Livemint, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Mint has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nivedita Mishra
I have more than 27 years of experience writing and editing across a raft of domains such as entertainment, health, lifestyle and beauty. I focus on providing valuable information readers require to make purchase decisions on a range of products on health, wellness and beauty.
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Published: 13 Jun 2024, 06:18 PM IST
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