Buying a Refrigerator for your house is a big decision. A fridge is something that you will be using almost everyday of your life, for a good part of the next 5-10 years. When it comes to refrigerators, each individual has a different requirement, depending on the size of the kitchen or room (i.e for those who like having a small fridge in their bedrooms or living rooms). With a wide variety of refrigerators that come in different sizes, it’s important to know the features and convenience they offer before making your final choice.
Back in the olden days in India, the standard-sized refrigerator had a freezer at the top and the normal storage at the bottom. Times have changed and these days due to advancement in technology, refrigerators come with quite a few cool features. The high-end ones, even come with water-purifiers built in!
But what’s most important is to find refrigerators that consume less power (i.e reduce your electricity bill because you can’t turn them off) and they also need to be long lasting.
The most commonly available refrigerators are priced between Rs 7,000 to Rs 3,00,000. The cheapest are also the smallest in size and offer lesser storage capacity. While the costliest of refrigerators are the largest in size and come packed with features like water purifiers, water dispenser, ice maker etc.
Here are some of the factors that you need to consider while looking for a good refrigerator:
Basic Information: Before heading out to a electronic store, look at the space where you will be placing your refrigerator. Measure the space: width, height and the depth. See to that the doors can be opened without any problem. This step is very important before buying and it will also make it easier for your to decide.
Type: There are mainly 4 types of refrigerators; Single Door, Upper freezer, Bottom freezer, Two-Door and Four Door refrigerators.
There are some good things and bad things about each type of the refrigerators
1.Single Door (50-250 Litres): Single Door refrigerators are small, take less space – but are big enough for a family of 3. It is less expensive too, ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 15,000. The higher capacity ones come with attached freezer, wired shelves, single temperature control and child lock. The disadvantage about opting for a Single Door refrigerator is the maximum storage capacity is less, so it may not be suitable for a large family. You will also have to manually defrost the freezer and the cooling is not very effective.
2. Upper Freezer (250 – 350 Litres): These are standard-type refrigerators with the freezer in the upper door and normal cold-storage at the bottom. These fridge’s are great for family of 4 with sufficient storage and reasonable price. The main advantage of buying ‘Upper Freezer’ refrigerators is that the frozen items and ice are within reach. It can store big items like pizza, cakes, bigger containers and vessels. They also usually have separate compartment at the bottom for fruits and vegetables. Some of them even have multiple temperature controls. The only downside is you will have to bend to take the fruits and vegetables. The ‘Upper Freezer’ refrigerators are priced between Rs 20000 to Rs 40000.
Buying Tip: Look for one’s with adjustable shelf that will give maximum space to keep bigger items. For your convenience, we have also listed the best ‘Upper Freezer’ refrigerator below:
3. Bottom freezer (350 – 650 Litres): This type of refrigerators are great for those who love to have everything at their eye level, fruits and vegetables can be reached easily, no need to bend down for food. Great storage capacity with adjustable shelf, much bigger storage capacity then the one with upper freezer. However the freezer capacity is less. Also comes with features like water and ice dispenser. Usually ranges between Rs 30000 to 60000.
Buying Tip: Look for one’s with freezer drawer that has separate compartments to store food, this makes it easier to pick up the food.
4. Two sided Door (650 -800 Litres): These types are usually meant for larger family with good storage capacity for freezer as well as the refrigerator. Comes with features like separate bottle storage unit, door alarm, digital multi sensors and twin cooling. It also comes with water and ice dispenser. The downside being the shelfs are narrow and not adjustable which makes it impossible to store super sized foods. Priced between Rs 60000 to Rs 200000.
Buying Tip: Look for the biggest one which can store as much as possible
5. Four sided door (600 – 800 Litres) : These are similar to that of two sided door, the only difference is that the freezer comes at the bottom and the storage unit on the top. Also comes with water and ice dispensers. If you want a refrigerator with maximum storage for both freezer and fridge, this is the best one to go. Priced between 90000 to 200000.
Energy Efficiency : It has been made mandatory that the latest models of refrigerators should provide 20 to 30 percent more efficiency than the previous models. These days almost all the refrigerators comes with stickers at the front determining the level of energy it consumes. It will be based on the ratings from 1 star to 5 star, 5 stars being the more efficient one, 1 star means it consumes lot of energy and by resulting in high expenditure. Here is a detailed example:
- Single door with 1 star consumes about 250 units and the same model with 4 star consumes about 200 units resulting in lesser expenses.
- Twin door model with bottom freezer or upper freezer consumes about 250 units with 4 star rating and consumes about 450 units with 1 star rating, here you can clearly make out the difference. It is the same case with the rest of the models.
After knowing about the types and the models, here are some of the key points to be considered and avoided before buying a refrigerator
Things to be considered:
- First and foremost look for a refrigerator with good storage, good shelf storage and adjustable one’s.
- Look for manual controlled temperature setting, dairy products and vegetables need much higher temperature then rest of the food items, so make sure you look out for one which you can set by yourself
- Door alarms to let you know when the fridge is open, this lets you prevent the food from getting spoilt and also helps you to save power
- Also look for one’s with child lock, to avoid children from using the refrigerator.
- Last but not the least look for energy efficient refrigerators.
Things to avoid:
- Avoid one’s with mirror finish, it might look nice but maintaining it is very difficult.
- Water and ice dispenser are good features but they do take a lot of power and also filter need to be replaced every year which in return could turn out to be more expensive
- Once you do buy a fridge, avoid keeping it for more than 10 years as it consumes more energy than it normally does. Get rid of it immediately.
Buying a refrigerator might look difficult at the beginning but we hope all the information above has made your purchasing decision easier. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Refrigerator Buying Guide 2017 March 09 (Last Updated Date)