Are you planning to buy the best refrigerator for your family?
If yes, you are very likely to come across the terms like inverter fridge, frost-free refrigerator, side-by-side refrigerator, and more. Want to know about different types of domestic refrigerators?
Don’t worry; it’s all a part of the research process. And we are here to guide you thoroughly and make your purchase a pleasurable one! 🙂
A refrigerator is a significant investment. Buying anything you’ll use every day for at least the next ten years needs to be really well-researched.
And if you are looking to buy the best refrigerator for your wonderful home, you might be confused by today’s refrigerator choices.
As such, we want to make sure you’re well-informed – right from the basics to the advanced understanding.
✅ Be rest assured that you will have an in-depth knowledge about the refrigerators, their types, the technology used, and many other considerations and terms which are associated with buying the right refrigerator for yourself.
So, as promised, we begin from the basics and move to the advanced concepts as we proceed. Let’s take a deep dive!
What are refrigerators?
Wondering what are fridges? A refrigerator (also known as a fridge) is a home appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump (mechanical, electronic, or chemical).
It moves heat from its interior to its external environment, allowing the interior to be cooled to a temperature below room temperature. (Courtesy – Wikipedia).
It is used to store food and drinks to keep them fresh (well-preserved) or cold for a longer time.
What is Fridge and Freezer?
What is refrigerator and freezer? – Let’s understand.
The refrigerator, as a modern-day appliance, contains two separate compartments – a fridge and a freezer.
A fridge also called a refrigerator, is typically used to denote the fresh food storage compartment of the appliance. It can be understood as the main refrigeration unit.
A freezer is the other compartment of the refrigerator that keeps food at sub-zero temperatures. The temperature inside a freezer is typically about -18 °C (0 °F).
What is the use of a refrigerator?
A refrigerator is used to store raw as well as cooked food such as vegetables, milk, drinks, and beverages. Since bacteria reproduce at a slower rate at lower temperatures, the refrigerator decreases the rate of spoilage. As such, it helps to preserve and maintain the freshness of the foodstuff for a longer time.
What is the use of freezer?
Freezers are used in refrigerators in homes, as well as in commercial establishments. Frozen food can be kept for a longer period of time in the freezer than it can be kept at room temperature.
How refrigerator works ?
A refrigerator works by converting the liquid refrigerant circulating within it to a gas. This method, known as evaporation, cools the area around it and creates the desired effect.
The refrigerant is circulated by the compressor. It applies pressure to the warm circuit and heats the refrigerant.
Next, the part called the condenser cools down the refrigerant and converts the gas back to liquid form.
After this, the part called the evaporator comes into the picture to make the foodstuff kept in the refrigerator cold. The refrigerant cools the atmosphere around it as it evaporates from a liquid to a gas, creating the ideal temperature for storing food.
What are the Different Types of Refrigerator?
Modern-day refrigerators come in different variants, and sizes. They run on different technologies and have features that are segment-specific.
Most brands are offering the best-in-the-class functions in their refrigerator models that set them apart from their competitors.
Explained below are the different types of refrigerators and the basis on which they are different:
On the basis of cooling technology:
· Direct Cool Refrigerator
· Frost Free Refrigerator
On the basis of the style of doors:
· Single Door Refrigerator
· Double Door Refrigerator
· Side-by-Side Refrigerator
· French Door Refrigerator
· Counter-Depth Refrigerator or Built-In Refrigerator
Double door refrigerators are further of two types on the basis of where the freezer is located:
o Top-Freezer Refrigerator
o Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
On the basis of the size of the refrigerator:
· Regular Fridge
· Mini Fridge
On the basis of the functionality of the freezer:
· Convertible Refrigerator
· Non-Convertible Refrigerator
On the basis of type of compressor:
· Inverter Refrigerator
· Non-Inverter Refrigerator
On the basis of connectivity to the internet:
· Smart Refrigerator or Wi-Fi Refrigerator
· Non-connected (Normal) Refrigerator
Let’s look at what each one of the above actually is.
What is Direct Cool Refrigerator?
Wondering what does direct cool refrigerator mean?
Direct-cool refrigerators produce the cooling effect by a natural convection process. Therefore, direct-cool refrigerators require manual defrosting of the interior. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Most single-door refrigerators feature the Direct Cool technology.
What are the advantages of Direct Cool Refrigerator?
Mentioned below are some of the significant advantages of Direct Cool Refrigerator:
· More affordable – Direct cool is less expensive
· Uses less power – Direct cool refrigerator is energy-efficient as it consumes less electricity.
· Compact – Ideal for a small family of 2 to 3 members.
What is Frost Free Refrigerator?
Frost free refrigerators, also called no frost fridge, as the name suggests, don’t need to be defrosted manually. Within the unit is a small element that melts the ice that has accumulated.
This is accomplished without interfering with the natural cooling cycle needed to keep food refrigerated throughout.
What are the advantages of Frost Free Refrigerator?
Mentioned below are some of the prominent advantages of Frost Free Refrigerator:
· No manual defrosting – Manual defrosting or clearing of ice is not needed with frost-free refrigerators. It’s taken care of automatically.
· Effective cooling – No-frost refrigerators are effective at maintaining constant temperatures thereby keeping the food items fresh for a long time.
· Wide choice of sizes – Ideal for medium and large families having more than 3 members.
In case you missed it, read learn more about the direct cool and frost-free refrigerators here.
What is Single Door Refrigerator?
A single-door refrigerator has only one main door on the outside. The freezer is located within the main door. To get to the freezer, you first have to open the main door and then the freezer unit’s door.
You can read the merits and drawbacks of single-door refrigerators here.
What is Double Door Refrigerator?
A double-door refrigerator has two doors: separate for the freezer as well as the refrigeration compartment. These refrigerators have a separate freezer unit.
In most cases, the freezer unit is smaller than the refrigeration compartment.
You can read the merits and drawbacks of double-door refrigerators here.
And you can understand the difference between a single-door and a double–door refrigerator here.
As already mentioned, the Double Door Refrigerators further come in two variants depending on where the freezer is located – Top Mount Refrigerator and Bottom Mount Refrigerator.
What is a Top Mount Refrigerator?
A Top Mount Refrigerator, also called Top Freezer Refrigerator, has the freezer compartment located at the top and the fresh food compartment at the bottom.
This is the most common type of refrigerator in Indian households as it’s been around for many years now.
What is a Bottom Mount Fridge?
A Bottom Mount Refrigerator, also called Bottom Freezer Refrigerator, on the other hand, has the freezer compartment located at the bottom. The fresh food compartment is housed on the top.
These types of refrigerators are relatively new. In a typical Indian home, you need to access the fresh food compartment more often. The top-located compartment adds convenience as you need not bend your back (or sit) to access it.
What is a Side-By-Side Refrigerator?
A side-by-side refrigerator has two separate vertical compartments. The freezer compartment is on one side, while the fresh food compartment (main refrigeration unit) is on the other. The doors for both the compartments are separate.
You can view the review of the best Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator here.
What does French Door Refrigerator mean?
French door refrigerators have a large fresh food compartment on the top that is divided vertically in half by two side-by-side doors.
And the freezer is located in a separate compartment on the bottom.
What is meant by Counter Depth Refrigerator or Built-In Refrigerator?
A Counter Depth Refrigerator also called a Built-In Refrigerator, is a relatively modern concept in refrigerators. The depth of the refrigerator is somewhat similar to the depth of other counters (slabs, counters, or cabinets) in your kitchen.
These types of refrigerators are meant to easily blend into your kitchen layout. They are roughly between 27 and 30 inches deep and occupy less space in terms of depth.
What is a Mini Fridge?
A Mini Fridge also called a Compact Refrigerator, is smaller in size. It is suitable for smaller kitchens, bedrooms, or offices.
These are best suited for students or working bachelors who are staying away from their homes and have limited requirements.
These, too, are available in a variety of designs and sizes.
What is a Convertible Refrigerator?
Based on the functionality of the freezer, the double-door refrigerators come as Convertible Refrigerators and Non-Convertible Refrigerators.
Wondering what is meant by convertible refrigerator? This, too, is a comparatively new feature.
The convertible refrigerator also called a convertible freezer, allows you to convert the freezer to a fridge, whenever you need that extra space. Further, you can convert it back to the freezer as you please.
Watch the video and experience the magic of Freezer to Fridge conversion at your convenience.
What is a Non-Convertible Refrigerator?
A refrigerator which does not have the above functionality of a convertible refrigerator is called a non-convertible refrigerator.
In case you missed it, you can learn everything about convertible and non- convertible refrigerators here.
What is Inverter Fridge?
Inverter Fridge refers to the model of the refrigerator which features a more advanced “inverter compressor”.
Many of us tend to (mis)understand an Inverter Refrigerator as the one which can run on the home inverter, in case of a power failure, as other electrical appliances do.
Let’s bust this myth. 🙂
When we are referring to an Inverter Fridge or Inverter Refrigerator, it essentially means that its compressor is driven by a superior “inverter technology”.
What is Inverter in Refrigerator?
Inverter in refrigerator means that the refrigerator runs on an inverter compressor.
What is the use of Inverter in Refrigerator?
The compressor is the component of the refrigerator that is responsible for cooling it down. A traditional compressor manages the temperature in the refrigerator by running at full speed when it needs to cool down and stopping when the desired temperature is reached.
On the other hand, an inverter compressor begins slowly, increases its speed, and then decreases it, instead of stopping altogether. All this is done automatically in order to maintain the set temperature.
Are Inverter Refrigerators Better?
If you are wondering “are inverter fridges better?” – the answer is yes.
This is because they use the more innovative Inverter compressors. The following are the advantages of Inverter Refrigerators:
· Saves Electricity – The inverter compressor uses considerably less energy than a conventional compressor because it operates more consistently and at regulated speeds.
· Longer lifespan – The compressors, in most cases, get damaged only at the time of starting up. This happens due to the high electric current which suddenly passes through it.
However, inverter compressors begin slowly, thereby increasing the overall life of the refrigerator.
· Enhanced Freshness – The temperature in the refrigerator is more consistent since the inverter compressor does not stop entirely, but just slows down, resulting in the enhanced freshness of your food.
· Quiet: Inverter compressors make less noise due to their continuous operation.
What is Non Inverter Refrigerator?
Simply said, a Non Inverter Refrigerator is one that does not feature the inverter compressor. These are the traditional form of refrigerators where the compressor completely stops on reaching the specific temperature. It starts again when the temperature increases.
It uses this start & stop technology to maintain the set temperature of the refrigerator.
Don’t miss reading the very informative article about the inverter and normal compressors here.
What is Digital Inverter Refrigerator?
A Digital Inverter Refrigerator refers to a fridge that features a “Digital Inverter Compressor”. Being operated by a digital inverter, the compressor operates at flexible speeds – from 1,100 to 4,300 rpm.
This means that the refrigerator runs efficiently and maintains a constant temperature.
It also means major cost savings, less noise, and a compressor that lasts longer.
Samsung has been a pioneer in developing this technology and a forerunner in offering efficient models featuring this technology. Watch the video explaining Digital Inverter Refrigerator.
What is smart fridge?
A smart refrigerator also referred to as an internet refrigerator and a wi-fi refrigerator is one that can connect with the internet.
This type of refrigerator is often designed to detect when a food item requires replenishment. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
The recent development in this segment has led to the addition of considerable ‘smart’ features to these models.
What can Smart Fridges do?
Smart refrigerators normally have a built-in monitor that allows you to order food, listen to music, and do many more things.
Wondering what can smart refrigerators do? Using them you can:
· Access the internet without leaving the kitchen.
· Create and share shopping lists.
· Shop for groceries and have them delivered.
· Plan meals based on the food inside your refrigerator.
· Get instant access to recipes, photos, and videos, including ratings and reviews
· View and sync your family’s calendars and events.
· Leave personal notes for anyone in your family.
· Manage chores for all members of the family.
There are just a handful of brands that are offering smart fridges. Samsung is offering one such model – Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator.
What is a Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator?
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is a smart refrigerator offered by the globally renowned South Korean brand – Samsung.
The fridge is capable of doing all the above and more. With this smart fridge, you can also
· See inside your refrigerator from anywhere, with three built-in cameras.
· Find deals and coupons for stores in your area, and add deals to your shopping list.
· Display digital photos and videos directly on your refrigerator.
· Control the temperature and ice maker, and check water-filter status.
· Request a ride.
· Stream your favorite music.
· Listen to online radio.
· See, hear and speak to who’s at your front door directly from your refrigerator.
· Use your voice for hands-free navigation.
Are smart fridges worth it?
The smart fridges have come too far and have really caught everyone’s attention. But like all other innovations, they are also being upgraded each day.
The reputed brands like Samsung, LG, and GE are a little more ambitious when it comes to loading those ‘smart’ features in the humble refrigerator. The wish list of ‘smart features’ is bigger than this modest appliance can probably handle.
There is absolutely no doubt that most smart refrigerators perform perfectly fine as far as their primary task of refrigeration or cooling is concerned.
And while most of the ‘smart features’ function the way they should, some of them are still struggling to gain perfection. (Courtesy – consumerreports.org)
So, if you are looking for an answer to the question “are smart refrigerators worth it?” you need to carefully go through the ‘smart features’ which you care for and measure their performance before making the purchase.
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