A refrigerator is a fundamental home appliance that you will find in every household in India. It is simply because the refrigerator keeps any perishable items secure by slowing down bacterial growth and preserving them.
Refrigerators are also an expensive investment which is why people tend to spend a huge amount of time trying to figure out what fridge type, size, features, and pricing suits them the best. Let’s dive into a detailed buying guide for refrigerators in India right and help you make an informed decision.
Also Read: 5 Best LG Refrigerators In India August 2022
Refrigerator Buying Guide in India
1. Choose the apt capacity
Individual: If you are an individual, a single-door fridge with 40-190 litres of capacity is more than enough unless you tend to keep a lot of groceries and other perishables stocked in the fridge in which case, the capacity might differ.
Couple: For a family of two, a double door fridge with 190-300 litres is ideal which isn’t too small and neither too big for the two members.
Small family: A family of 3 to 5 members should practically buy a refrigerator between 300 to 500 litres of capacity. It could be a double or a triple-door fridge.
Large family: If you have more than five members in a family, you can opt for a higher 500 to 850 litres capacity side-by-side door fridge which is apt.
Note: Litres is used to denote the volume of a fridge from the inside. The mentioned capacity for the given members is average and the actual requirements might differ based on your family’s stocking and eating paradigm.
Also read: 5 Best Refrigerators Under 10000 In India
2. Choose the style of fridge
Single Door Fridge
It is the most common type of fridge available in India. Available with varying capacities, a single-door fridge is an entry-level model offering direct cooling technology. It is cheaper and has single-door access with a compartment for the freezer at the top, and a small vegetable storage capacity at the bottom. This is usually well suited for a single person or a small family.
Double Door Fridge (Top Mount / Bottom Mount)
These are the most popular type of refrigerators and are usually found in all homes. A double-door fridge as the name suggests features two doors with a dedicated top section as a freezer with a separate door. These types of refrigerators usually have higher storage capacities and arrive with a myriad of features such as toughened glass shelves.
Also read: 5 Best Double Door Refrigerators In India
While we have two types of Double Door refrigerators, the one with the Freezer at the top is known as Top Mounted refrigerator. While we also have variants with a freezer at the bottom and these are called Bottom Mounted Refrigerators. These types of refrigerators are gaining popularity these days as they have a fridge compartment at the top and is easily reachable without bending much. And the freezer compartment is at the bottom which is usually not used that often.
Triple Door Fridge
Triple Door refrigerators are not that common and these have a top freezer, fridge at the centre and a dedicated vegetable storage section at the bottom. This helps maintain the freshness of the vegetables as the bottom vegetable section features dedicated technologies in place that can help keep the fruits fresh for long. Some of these technologies are Whirlpool’s Zeolite Technology which absorbs ethylene emissions from fruits and vegetables and helps keep them fresh.
Side by Side Fridge
A side-by-side door is a two-doors fridge offering a freezer on one side and a refrigerator on the other. It can have a higher capacity of 850 litres or even more, depending upon the model along with features like door ice dispensers, temperature-controlled bins, water purifiers, etc. These refrigerators usually come with large capacities ranging from 500-800 litres.
French Door Fridge
A French door fridge is a modernist take on a fridge with multiple door options including drawer-like opening doors. They are efficient and opening a particular drawer won’t cause a massive loss in cooling compared to other styles of fridges.
A French Door Refrigerator is a mix of a bottom-mounted refrigerator and a side-by-side door setup at the top. These types of refrigerators are usually large and come with optional ice makers, water purifiers and smart features as well in some variants.
This is a compact fridge available for those who don’t have much space in their kitchen or room. Smaller than a single-door fridge, a mini fridge is exceptionally portable and easy to install and transport.
Note: Although the door-wise nomenclature is pretty self-explanatory (except for the added features that brands might offer), brands may use different nomenclature although the underlying definition is the same as the one mentioned above.
3. Measure the Dimensions of the Fridge
You can’t just go to an electronic store and pick up any random fridge you liked only to find out it is too big for the house or it can’t even adjust in the doorways. All fridges have dimensions mentioned that you can refer to find the apt size of a fridge that fits right away. The most important thing to measure is its width and see if it fits perfectly in your space. Note that the doors also need room to open as well so when choosing the type of fridge, give the size of a fridge an authority as well.
4. Fix Your Budget
Pricing is an extremely important factor in deciding when looking out to buy a new refrigerator. It could make or break a purchase and thus, you must have a budget planned out for a better selection of apt fridge models.
Generally, a basic single-door fridge will cost you between Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 20,000 while as you go ahead with higher numbers of doors, capacity, and features, the pricing tends to rise.
A double door fridge would cost anywhere between Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 55,000 and similarly, a French Door Fridge would start from Rs. 75,000 and even more based on what particular model you select.
4. Direct Cool Vs Frost-Free: Refrigerator Buying Guide
If you are searching for the best refrigerator that suits your requirements, you will come across two major technologies used in fridges – Direct Cool and Frost-Free. Now, you need to decide which one to go through with.
Direct cool technology uses convection to circulate cool air inside the fridge. Although it gets the job done, the cooling distribution is uneven which causes ice to form on the compartments receiving the most cooling. Since direct cool fridges don’t have an automatic method to clean the frosting, a manual de-frosting or de-icing procedure is required from time to time to keep the fridge in the right shape. It is cost-efficient, energy-efficient, and keeps the food fresh for more time, however, it requires manual defrosting and eats away some space in a fridge due to frosting.
A frost-free technology uses control mechanisms to circulate cool air inside the compartments evenly. It uses electric fans for convection and prevents frosting. It means the fridge can have more space for storage, offers greater control over the distribution of cool air, and is easy to maintain because there’s no need to manually defrost it. However, fridges with frost-free technology are generally expensive and consume more power than their direct cool counterparts.
5. Types of Compressors
The compressor in a refrigerator is a vital component that pressurises the refrigerant throughout the system and helps maintain the temperature inside a fridge using a refrigeration cycle which is a continuous process. Most entry-level fridges have conventional compressors whereas as the price segment increases, manufacturers make a shift to inverter compressors.
Just like in an air conditioner, a general compressor will run at a high speed and will maintain the speeds at a constant pace. Here, the general compressor will continue to run until optimum cooling is achieved irrespective of whether there’s a loss of cooling or not. It tends to switch off on attaining a certain temperature only to start again when the temperature goes down.
An inverter compressor, on the other hand, is capable of running at variable speeds and thus, offers better cooling than a fixed-speed general compressor. It generally starts at a low speed and raises the bar when there’s a loss in cooling with fine adjustments in-between making it more efficient than the former.
6. Mind the Energy Rating Carefully
When buying a new Refrigerator, it becomes mandatory to check out the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) ratings from BEE. It gives you an estimated figure on how power efficient your appliances are. Following is the data in tabular form that will help you understand it better.
|BEE Star||EER Rating||Estimated Savings Per Year|
|1 BEE Star||2.7 EER||INR 300/-|
|2 BEE Star||2.9 EER||INR 800/-|
|3 BEE Star||3.1 EER||INR 1,200/-|
|4 BEE Star||3.4 EER||INR 1,500/-|
|5 BEE Star||3.5 EER||INR 1,800/-|
Note: Although the BEE Star gives you an idea of how power-efficient an appliance is, these savings are based on suitable conditions and thus, the actual value might differ.
A 1-star refrigerator will be available at a cheaper upfront cost but with higher power consumption while a 5-star refrigerator is expensive but relatively cheaper in terms of power consumption. So in the long run it is a good idea to buy refrigerators with at least a 3-star rating. And if your budget allows go for an inverter compressor refrigerator with a 3-star rating.
7. Additional Features to look out for in a Refrigerator
As the technology is taking leaps and bounds, manufacturers are porting new features to their fridges with each iteration. ‘Convertible Modes’ lets you adjust cooling zones based on your preference, adjusting the fridge, the freezer, or both. The ‘Antifungal removable gasket’ prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi and makes it easier to clean. A ‘Crisper Technology’ offers dedicated storage for vegetables to keep them fresh in optimum conditions.
You will find some refrigerators with ‘Curd Maker’ which allows users to make curd without any hassle. A ‘Deodorizer’ feature keeps the unpleasant odour caused by germs and bacteria out of the air circulation in a fridge. Moving on, we have an ‘Ice Dispenser’ which basically dispenses ice cubes from outside of the fridge with a click. ‘Water Dispenser’ works similar to the ice one but for filtered water. These are the only features you can look out for as based on what make and model you pick, the features will vary greatly.
It’s wise to pick the features that are essential to you and most of the features turn out to be a gimmick in the long run. Decide whether it is worth it to spend extra on a particular feature or not.
Do You Need Smart Refrigerators?
As the name suggests, a smart refrigerator is equipped with smart features such as a smartphone app, a touchscreen panel or even a full-fledged smart display. These smart refrigerators can be paired with the internet and the touchscreen lets you control the fridge as well as lets you connect with apps like YouTube and a lot more. A built-in browser lets you browse the web on the fridge while an interior camera would let you keep an eye on what’s inside the fridge without opening it.
These new smart refrigerators are quite innovative but these do come at a higher cost. It is important to decide are these smart features important to you or not. For example, all the LG Smart ThinQ Refrigerators can be connected to Wifi and can be controlled via a mobile app. This in my opinion is a good feature to have as you can directly control the temperature of your refrigerator from your smartphone even when you are not at home.
When buying a refrigerator, it is not just about size, style, capacity, features, and pricing but also about the warranty the brand offers. A brand offering more years of warranty on the compressor and other components gives you an edge over those brands that offer fewer years even if it means paying the former a bit more. Brands like LG and Samsung have a reputation for offering extended warranties as well. It becomes a no-brainer to shell out a few extra bucks when you are making such sizable spending on buying a refrigerator.
Also Read: Top 10 Refrigerator Maintenance Tips
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