Difference Between Direct Cool And Frost Free

Difference Between Direct Cool And Frost Free

Are you looking for the best refrigerator for your family that perfectly meets your needs? You must have observed that there are two kinds of refrigerators you can choose from: direct cool, and frost-free. But what is the difference between direct cool and frost free refrigerators?

The direct cool refrigerator is the simpler version of the two. They use cooling coils, which are located on the back of the fridge, to keep the temperature inside at a nice, cool level.

You’ll find ice accumulating in the freezer and other surfaces on the interior of the direct cool refrigerator. Therefore, direct-cool refrigerators require manual defrosting.

Most single-door refrigerators feature the Direct Cool technology.

A frost-free refrigerator, on the other hand, does not let ice build up in the freezer section; instead, it uses a built-in heater to automatically melt any ice that builds up.

You won’t have to worry about defrosting your fridge—but you’ll have to pay extra upfront for this convenience plus many more features!

All double-door, side-by-side door and multi-door refrigerators feature the Frost-free technology.

What is Direct Cool and Frost Free?

What Is Direct Cool And Frost Free?

Direct cool and frost-free are two types of cooling systems used in refrigerators.

Simply put, it refers to the cooling technology that the refrigerator works on.

Difference Between Direct Cool and Frost Free Refrigerator

Direct cool refrigerators use a natural convection process to produce the cooling effect. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

They do not have a built-in fan, and they can only maintain a single temperature.

Food stored in direct cool refrigerators tends to freeze quickly and, at times, unevenly.

Direct cool refrigerators also have to be manually defrosted about once a month.

Direct cooling technology is typically used in single-door refrigerators only.


In case you missed it, you can read about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a Single Door Refrigerator along with our recommendations here.

What is the meaning of frost free refrigerator?

Frost-free refrigerators also called No Frost refrigerators use a system of vents, fans, and automatic cycles to keep the temperature constant throughout the refrigerator.

The fans help keep the temperature even when you open the refrigerator door, and they also help prevent ice from building up on any surfaces on the inside of the refrigerator.

They are more efficient than direct cool refrigerators, but they usually cost more than their direct cool counterparts.

All refrigerators other than single-door refrigerators use frost-free cooling technology.

These include the most commonly used double-door refrigerators, as well as the multi-door, French door, and side-by-side refrigerators.


In case you missed it, you can read about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a Double Door Refrigerator along with our recommendations here.

Frost Free vs Direct Cool – Pros & Cons

When deciding on a frost-free or direct cool refrigerator, it’s important to know the differences between them.

Frost-free is a relatively newer cooling technology than Direct cool.

Both frost-free and direct cool refrigerators have their pros and cons.

Advantages of Direct Cool Refrigerator

  • Lower in price as compared to frost-free refrigerators
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Consumes less electricity than frost-free refrigerators
  • More durable, tough, and rugged
  • Very compact and suitable for small families or bachelor

Disadvantages of Direct Cool Refrigerator

  • Its storage capacity is less compared to frost-free refrigerators
  • At times, the cooling is uneven
  • The freezer compartment and interior walls need to be defrosted – usually once a month

Bestselling Direct Cool Refrigerators

Advantages of No Frost Refrigerator

  • Efficient at keeping the food items fresh for a long time.
  • It prevents ice build-up inside the freezer compartment. You do not have to defrost it, unlike the direct cool refrigerator.
  • It has a large storage capacity – ranging from 200 L to 500 L or even more.
  • Ideal for big families and those who host parties at home often.


You must clean it regularly so that bacteria doesn’t grow on its surface – both inside & outside.

Disadvantages of No Frost Refrigerator

  • Usually costlier than a direct cool refrigerator.
  • Consumes a bit more electricity than a direct cool refrigerator. However, the gap in energy consumption is narrowing.
  • Available in bigger sizes – 200 L and above. May not be suitable for a small family.

Bestselling Frost-Free Refrigerators

What is Inverter Direct Cool Refrigerator?

To understand what an inverter direct cool refrigerator is, you’ll have to understand two distinct concepts:

  • Inverter Refrigerator, and
  • Direct Cool Refrigerator

When a refrigerator is addressed as an “inverter” refrigerator, it means that it runs on an inverter compressor.

In fact, a refrigerator either runs on a traditional “normal” compressor or a more advanced “inverter compressor”.

On the other hand, direct cool refers to the cooling technology of the refrigerator.

Inverter direct cool refrigerator is one that is powered by an inverter compressor and functions on direct cool technology.

Inverter Direct Cool Refrigerator

Compressor Technology


Cooling Technology

Direct Cool

As only single-door refrigerators come with the direct cool cooling technology, you’ll find the combination of direct cool and inverter compressor in a single-door refrigerator only.

Bestselling Inverter Direct Cool Refrigerators


You can read about the difference between an inverter compressor and a normal compressor in the refrigerator along with our recommendations here.

Direct Cool or Frost Free Power Consumption

Which refrigerator consumes more power – Direct cool or frost free?

This is a common question that most people ask before they buy a refrigerator.

In general, it’s said that a frost-free refrigerator consumes more power than a direct cool refrigerator.

But actually, the electricity consumption of a refrigerator depends not only on the fact whether it runs on direct cool or frost-free cooling technology but also on some other factors like:

  • size of the refrigerator
  • star rating of the refrigerator
  • type of compressor
  • features & functionality like if it’s a convertible or a non-convertible refrigerator
  • the brand
  • the model and so on…

So the opinion as to whether a direct cool or a frost-free refrigerator consumes more power can’t be generalized.

But you’ll get a fair idea by knowing that a 3 star rated frost-free refrigerator of 253 L capacity consumes about 193 Kilowatts Hours annually.

In comparison, a 4 star rated direct cool refrigerator of 192 L capacity consumes about 130 Kilowatts Hours annually.

Cooling TechnologyFrost-freeDirect Cool
Annual Power Consumption (KWH)193130
Energy Star Rating3 Star4 Star
Size (in liters)253 L192 L
Compressor TypeInverterInverter
StyleDouble Door RefrigeratorSingle Door Refrigerator
Read complete ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Best PriceView Price on AmazonView Price on Amazon

Both these models are from Samsung – the renowned brand in the Indian market.

However, you must’ve observed above that the star rating and size of both models differ – hence the obvious difference in the power consumption.

And, of course, you get more features in a frost-free or double-door refrigerator than in a direct cool or single-door refrigerator. So a little more power consumption is justified by looking at the long-term benefits that you’ll enjoy.


What is Star Rating in Refrigerator? Read here to know everything.

What is the difference between a Convertible and a Non-Convertible Refrigerator? Read here to understand.

Direct Cool vs Inverter

Direct Cool refers to the cooling technology of the refrigerator whereas Inverter refers to its compressor technology.

A refrigerator can be direct cool as well as inverter at the same time. The cooling technology and the compressor technology aren’t comparable – being two different aspects of the refrigerator.

Direct Cool Refrigerator vs Inverter

While researching for the best refrigerator, you may want to look for direct cool refrigerator vs inverter.

But these two – direct cool refrigerator and inverter – are two different concepts altogether.

It isn’t fair to compare them. Comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.

In fact, both these technologies work together for a refrigerator to function.

Which is Better – Frost or No Frost Refrigerator?

A No Frost Refrigerator is better because it effectively preserves the freshness of food items for a prolonged time.

Additionally, it stops ice from accumulating inside the freezer compartment. As such, unlike the direct-cool refrigerator, you do not need to defrost it.
It also has a big storage capacity, between 200 L and 500 L or even more.





What is the difference between Single Door and Double Door Refrigerator? Read here to know everything.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Direct cool vs frost free – which is better?

Wondering frost-free or direct cool-which is best?
Frost-free is a relatively new, advanced, and better technology.
A single-door refrigerator normally comes with direct cool technology only.
However, double-door and multi-door refrigerators run on frost-free cooling technology.

2. How to defrost direct cool refrigerator?

To defrost direct cool refrigerator simply press the defrost button. It usually takes some time for the ice to melt from the freezer and other surfaces on the inside of the refrigerator.

3. How does frost free refrigerator work?

Wondering how do no frost freezers work?
Frost-free refrigerators use a combination of heat and air circulation to remove frost and ice buildup in refrigerators.
Frost-free refrigerators eliminate the need for manual defrosting by using a small heating element in combination with a fan to circulate air around the unit. The heating element turns on automatically when ice or frost starts to build up in the refrigerator, which is typically every three weeks or so.
The heating element helps melt the ice, which is then removed by a fan that circulates air through the refrigerator and freezer compartments, removing any moisture along the way.

4. Are all refrigerators frost free?

No, all refrigerators are not frost-free. There are direct cool refrigerators also available on the market.
You’ll find direct cooling technology in most single-door refrigerators. Double and multiple-door refrigerators usually come as frost-free refrigerators.

5. Are frost free fridge freezers any good?

Yes, frost-free fridge freezers are really good. All double-door and multi-door refrigerators these days come with frost-free cooling technology only.

6. Are frost free fridge freezers noisy?

Not really. Most modern frost-free fridge freezers aren’t noisy.
Technological advancements have made frost-free fridges work almost silently.

7. How long do frost free fridge freezers last?

If handled properly, most frost-free fridge freezers can last up to 15 years and beyond.



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