How to Choose the Best Refrigerator in 2020
It’s no secret that Refrigerators or fridges, as they are called have become an integral part of our lives. Be it quenching your thirst, storing your vegetables or preserving your delicacies, your fridge is always there for you. Such is the importance of fridges today that it is impossible to even imagine a house without it. Read How to Choose the Best Refrigerator.
Today, the fridge market has exploded with more than a hundred brands with over ten thousand fridges sold every day. There are many types of refrigerator systems available. This makes it all the more confusing for the buyer as they have to choose from a plethora of options. But don’t worry, we at homelectrics have just got what you need. Our fridge buying guide covers all the topics you should know before buying a fridge.
|Note: It is recommended that before buying a fridge, you must go through our detailed Best Fridge Buying Guide. Our guide will provide you will all the important technical knowledge you need and most importantly, the latest features and Refrigerator Technologies used.|
Let us take a look at what factors one should consider before buying a fridge.
If you are looking to buy a Refrigerator, You must read our list of Top 10 Best Refrigerators In India (2020)
How do Refrigerators Work
A refrigerator works in a refrigeration cycle which is based on three thermodynamic processes; compression, condensation and finally evaporation. The important components of a fridge include the following: Fluid Refrigerant, Compressor, Condensor coils, Evaporator coils and Expansion valve.
The compressor raises the pressure of refrigerant vapour by constricting its flow and sends it to the outside coils of the refrigerator. As the hot gas present in the coils is released in the surroundings, it cools down and turns into liquid. Thus, the high-pressure liquid refrigerant flows in the freezer and fridge coils and ultimately cools down. The heat within the fridge is absorbed by the refrigerant, thereby cooling the air. Finally, the refrigerant gets evaporated and it returns to the compressor. Thus, a new cycle starts again.
What capacity refrigerator to buy? The capacity of a fridge plays an important role in purchasing a fridge. Knowing your capacity requirements can help you in determining the perfect fridge for you and ease out the buying process. Generally, a fridge of the capacity of about 200 litres would be sufficient for a bachelor or a family of 2 members. For a family with 3-4 members, a fridge with a capacity of 250-350 L would be enough. Joint or extended families with 5 or more members would require a 400 L or above the fridge.
Haier 335 L 3-Star Double Door Fridge (https://amzn.to/2miJroh)
Samsung 255 L 4-Star Single Door Fridge (https://amzn.to/2mW4qO7)
LG 420 L 4-Star Double Door Fridge (https://amzn.to/2nXPBdJ)
In the market, there are basically three types of refrigerators: single door refrigerators, double door refrigerators and side by side door refrigerators.
Single Door Refrigerators
Single door refrigerators, as the name suggests have one door. The freezer is present as the upper compartment of the fridge. They generally have a capacity of not more than 250 L and are more suited for a small family with 2-3 members. These fridges are generally based on direct cool technology. They are relatively cheaper than double or side by side doors variants. Apart from being budget-friendly, they consume about 30%-40% less electricity than double door or side by side door types. But they have their fair share of disadvantages too. Most of the single door refrigerators have to be defrosted periodically. Apart from that, it is not suitable for non-vegetarians who store meat, fish and other non-veg items, as the freezer space is less. Thus if you are looking for a small and inexpensive refrigerator, look no further than single door refrigerators.
LG 235 L 5-Star Inverter Single Door Fridge (https://amzn.to/2n7jmJ3)
Double Door Refrigerators
Here, the freezer compartment has a separate door. Double door refrigerators are called frost-free refrigerators which means they come with a heating element, which prevents frost formation. Their size usually varies from 250-400 L, meaning they are perfect for small families with 3-4 members. They use automatic fans for circulating cool air and thus consume 20%-30% more electricity than the single door models. But, in terms of energy efficiency, they are ahead of the single door refrigerators.
Double door refrigerators come in two specifications. The most commonly used variant is the Top Mount Refrigerator in which the freezer compartment is at the top portion of the fridge. In the Bottom Mount Refrigerator, the freezer is present at the bottom portion of the fridge. These fridges, however, consume more energy than the top mount models.
Haier 320 L 3-Star Double Door Fridge (https://amzn.to/2nO6Vlv)
Side by Side Door Refrigerators.
These refrigerators come in sizes between 500-800 L, thus they are suitable for large families. They are the most expensive of all and come with a ton of features and functionalities. Inbuilt water dispenser technology can be found here.
BPL 564 L Side-by-Side Fridge (https://amzn.to/2n4Nvss)
In India, the average freezer size is about one-fifth of the total fridge size. However, non-vegetarians need more freezer capacity as mentioned above. Thus, variants of a fridge where freezer size is about one-fourth of the total fridge capacity are more popular among them.
However, with the conversion technology available, users don’t need to sacrifice their freezer space anymore. This technology enables the users to convert the freezer into the fridge and vice versa. This literally gives control of the usage in the user’s hands.
Samsung 253 L 4-Star Convertible Fridge (https://amzn.to/2n8yRQW)
Be it AC or fridge, Inverter Technology in the fridge has become a trending topic among buyers. In Layman’s terms, Inverter Technology is based on optimizing compressor power. In refrigerators without this technology, the compressor switches on and off at regular intervals of time. Thus the compressor works at a single speed. Due to this reason, these refrigerators consume more energy.
But, in fridges with this technology, the compressor is allowed to work at different speeds and gives different outputs (levels of cooling) as required. Due to its variable speed, the compressor consumes about 30%-40% less electricity than non-inverter compressors. As they do not run at a constant speed, they can function properly for a long time. This is their biggest advantage. They generally come with a warranty of up to 10 years.
However, due to a variable compressor speed, these fridges are not given ISEER ratings. This is because these ratings are based on annual electricity consumption at a fixed rate. More on ISEER ratings in the next section.
Whirlpool 292 L 4-Star Inverter Fridge (https://amzn.to/2mf3ROO)
Energy Efficiency Ratings
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has devised a method to rate the energy efficiency of appliances. These ratings are called Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER). The appliances are given a star rating of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least efficient and 5 being the most efficient. The higher the ratings, the less the energy consumption and the more you save. As a result, the 4-5 star fridges are the most expensive.
Buying a 4-5 star fridge can cost you more initially but, in the long term, it will significantly reduce your electricity bill. Thus, somehow offsetting their extra price as compared to lower-rated models. A 2-3 star inverter fridge is equally efficient as a 4-5 star non-inverter fridge.
Note: The ISEER ratings change every 2-3 years as fridges become more energy-efficient than ever. Thus a 5-star fridge from 2016 would be no more efficient than a 4-star fridge in 2020. So, it would be better to purchase the latest models like the Samsung fridge or Whirlpool fridge.
Features you might want in Your Fridge
|Moisture Control Technology: Ever seen fruits and vegetable all dried up and wrinkled at one corner of the fridge. It is because all the moisture in them is lost. Similarly, if they are rotting, it means there is excess moisture. Today, fridges come with moisture control technology which senses the type of food and controls the moisture as required. So you don’t have to worry about storing stuff in your fridge.|
|Antimicrobial Technology: In fridges with antimicrobial technology, the drawers are coated with microbe-resistant material. They inhibit the growth of microbes and reduce odours. This helps in keeping the food fresh and healthy and thus prevents diseases.|
|Eco-friendly Refrigerants: Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are the most commonly used fridge refrigerants in India. But, they are a great contributor to global warming and are thus pose a threat to the environment. Therefore several new environment-friendly refrigerants are coming to the scene. Some of them include R130a, R290 and r600a.|
|Built-in stabilizer: Nowadays, fidges come with built-in stabilizers. They are designed to protect your fridge and its components from overloads.|
|Digital Temperature Control: It is a relatively new technology which is becoming quite a favourite among buyers. Coupled with a digital screen, you can control the temperature of various compartments of the fridge. All you need is just a simple touch or press of a button.|
Best Refrigerator Brands (India)
LG is one of the largest refrigerator brands in India. It has a great variety of products and advanced technologies, some of its unique features in a refrigerator are Adjustable shelves, Water and ice dispensers, Antibacterial gasket and Moisture control.
Samsung is considered as the best home appliance brand in India. It is because it has a very budget-friendly range of products, its refrigerators have a larger capacity than the other brands and even higher ratings but consume more energy as compared to others. It includes features like Big bottle guard, Toughened glass shelves, Antibacterial gasket, Deodoriser and Ice dispenser.
Whirlpool has the best innovations and ideas for the fridge. Whirlpool has the most advanced and user-friendly features, it uses Insulated capillary technology, Antibacterial gasket, Door lock, Anti-odour and Deep freeze technology.
Haier refrigerators have a very high demand in India. Bottom mount fridge is a new featured fridge from Haier. They are more affordable than the other. It provides functions like Holiday function, Automatic temperature control and Adjustable humid control.
Bosch is a large German brand which offers the best products for every customer. Its products are attractive and energy convenient. Bosch fridge has a magnificent storage space. It is favoured by all because of its unique features like Bottle grid, Multi airflow system, Natural shelf, Big box, Fresh sense and also Less noisy.
After reading this buying guide, you might have an idea of what things to consider while buying a fridge. For a device as important as a fridge, it is necessary to know what suits you and whatnot. After all, it’s about your taste and preferences. Investing some time in choosing the best fridge for yourself can save you a lot of hassle and money. Also, your precious time will be saved too.
For any queries and doubts related to choosing the best fridge for you, drop your comments in the comment box below. We at homelectrics will try our best to give you the best answer.