Refrigerators are one of the home appliances that we expect to work for a decade! And, the majority of them meet our expectations fine.
So when we want an appliance to work for 10 years, from a customer side it is necessary to do a thorough research before clicking on that Buy Now button.
Because purchasing the wrong product and going through hundreds of emails and support tickets to replace the refrigerator is not an easy task.
If you bought it from a retail store in India, you can forget about replacing it and the only option you have is to feel guilty whenever you see it!
Instead of going through such situations just spend an extra 10 minutes reading a proper buying guide to understand exactly what kind of refrigerator you actually need.
In this refrigerator buying guide, I will explain what all things you must consider before purchasing a new refrigerator so that you don’t need to live with guilt like others.
How To Choose Refrigerator For Home?
Consider doing these 5 parameters before purchasing a refrigerator,
When you do all these steps effectively, the total number of options will be narrowed down to a few models which seem like “made for you”.
Apparently, you don’t need to get confused by seeing hundreds of models again.
Let’s dive deeper into each of these steps to make it easy for you to choose the perfect option.
Deciding on how much capacity you need is the first big question you need to answer.
While answering this, don’t just consider only the present condition, rather think about the changes that will happen in the next couple of years.
For example, if you are a bachelor now after a few years you might get married and become a couple. Or if you are a couple now, but in a few years, your parents may come and stay with you.
Having a 190 L refrigerator makes perfect sense if you are a couple, but if parents join you in another two years you might have to consider choosing at least 250 L models.
As a general rule of thumb, follow the below table to find out how much capacity you need.
|No of people in family||Capacity needed (Litres)|
|1-3||181 – 220 Litres|
|4 – 6||220 – 400 Litres|
|7 – 9||400 – 650 Litres|
As I already said, this is a general rule. If you are a kind of person who stores only raw food items and vegetables inside a refrigerator, then you may choose a lower capacity compared to the table.
Another important thing to consider while deciding about capacity is to check about dedicated freezer capacity and fridge capacity.
If you store a lot of frozen food like meat or ice creams, you should purchase a refrigerator with higher freezer capacity.
Alternatively, if you want to store a lot of vegetables or fruits, then you should invest in a refrigerator with a big vegetable box.
2. Cooling Type
The main function of a refrigerator is to store the items in a cooler temperature.
And, refrigerators use two different technologies to maintain the cooler temperature throughout the fridge. They are Natural Convection and Electric Convection.
Since refrigerators keep the food items at a very low temperature, ice or frost is formed near the freezer area. But this is only true in the case of Direct cool refrigerators and not in frost-free models.
Direct cool refrigerators use natural convection, that is cool air inside the refrigerator is transferred to various parts of the refrigerator naturally.
But in the case of frost-free refrigerators, the chilled air is supplied or transferred with the help of electric fans thus reducing the chance to build ice over time.
Currently, all the single door refrigerators use Direct Cool technology, whereas multi-door refrigerators use frost-free technology.
Check out the below table to understand the pros and cons of both technologies.
|Direct Cool Technology||Frost Free Technology|
|Single door refrigerators||Multi door refrigerators|
|Lower energy consumption||Higher energy consumption (extra fans)|
|Manual defrost||Automatic defrost|
|Low preservation time||High preservation time|
|Natural convection cooling||Electric fans cooling|
|Lower cost||More expensive|
In direct cool refrigerators, there will be a switch provided near the freezer area for you to press periodically to defrost.
3. Door Type
Door type is often looked at as a small parameter while purchasing a refrigerator.
Some people even just neglect it. But according to me, you should not neglect it completely.
In India, I often feel the refrigerator is not just an appliance but also a showpiece! It is because I’ve seen many people keeping a refrigerator in the hall, not in the kitchen!
If that sounds like you, then you need to give more importance to door type, because certain door types are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes (expensive though).
Other than physical appearance, the number of doors have a direct relationship with the capacity and cost of the refrigerator.
As the number of doors increases capacity and price increases.
In India, we have access to 5 different kinds of refrigerators according to door type.
Check out the below table for more details.
|Door Type||Capacity Range||Price Range|
|Single Door||150 – 250 Litres||Rs 8000 – Rs 25000|
|Double Door||230 – 550 Litres||Rs 17000 – Rs 55000|
|Triple Door||240 – 400 Litres||Rs 22000 – Rs 45000|
|Side By Side Door||400 – 700+ Litres||Rs 40000 – Rs 2L+|
|French door||450 – 700+ Litres||Rs 50000 – Rs 2 L+|
In India, the single door and double door refrigerators dominate the market.
Only recently people started showing interest in the side by side category, but still, french door refrigerators are only reserved for the elite class because of its high price.
4. Power Consumption
All the new refrigerators use less energy compared to the older generation models.
So if you are looking to upgrade your existing refrigerator then you will definitely experience a reduction in electricity bill after you upgrade.
In India, refrigerators are given star ratings based on the energy consumption by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency).
But currently only single and double door refrigerators come with star ratings.
A typical BEE label in refrigerators looks like this.
From the image, it can be easily understood that it is a 5 star rated model. The number below the stars represent the approximate units of electricity it consumes annually. In this case, it is 248 units.
The label period represents the time duration in which this rating is valid.
Once the duration is passed, the 5-star does not hold the same value. Generally, a 2019 BEE 5 star rated refrigerator will become 4-star in the next labelling year and then 3-stars and so on.
The factor that influences the energy consumption of refrigerators are the type of compressor and fans used.
Latest generation of refrigerators come with Inverter compressor, which runs at varying speed according to the load present inside the refrigerator.
But, older generation compressors run full speed even if the refrigerator load is half or full thus consuming more energy.
The below table shows the key difference between inverter and normal compressor.
|Inverter Compressor||Normal Compressor|
|Low power consumption||High power consumption|
|Low operating noise||High operating noise|
|More expensive||Less expensive|
|Able to run on home inverters||Not all models can run on home inverter|
So if you want to save electricity bills, then you need to invest in a refrigerator with an inverter compressor.
Also, make sure to buy the highest star rated model you can afford.
But when it comes to the triple door, side by side and french door refrigerators BEE does not provide a star rating.
So it becomes tricky to find out the annual energy consumption because data will be buried inside product specifications.
In all of our product reviews, we provide the annual energy consumption of all the refrigerators we review irrespective of the door type.
You don’t need to go deep into technical product specifications to find out. I have already done that for you.
Keep in mind, purchasing a refrigerator with low energy efficiency might seem to be good because of its low price compared to inverter refrigerators. But in reality, you will be paying a lot more money as electricity bills on low-efficiency models.
Note: We do not recommend a refrigerator with less than 3 stars or non-inverter compressor unless it is impossible to stretch your budget at least a little.
5. Features & Benefits
Latest generation of refrigerators provide a lot of additional features.
These are not necessary but can be very handy if the situation arises. Let’s have a look at some of these additional smart features available.
5.1. Convertible Option
These are the kind of refrigerators which have separate temperature and power control for both fridge and freezer space.
So the freezer can be used as a fridge if needed.
Imagine a situation like a pandemic, if you have to keep vegetables and fruits for two weeks then normally you have to overfill the fridge area.
But with the help of a convertible refrigerator, you can store that extra vegetables in freezer space by converting it into fridge mode.
In India, Samsung, LG, Haier and Whirlpool produce some of the high-quality convertible refrigerators.
5.2. Water Dispenser
This is another feature which is handy if needed. If you feel like drinking some chilled water, you don’t need to open and close the freezer all the time.
Also, some refrigerators offer ice cubes via dispensers.
This feature is seen only in high-end expensive side by side and french door refrigerators.
5.3. Built-in Voltage Stabilizer
In India, voltage fluctuations are not a new thing.
And if you remember, with all of our old appliances we use a voltage stabilizer and refrigerators were no exception.
But in the latest generation of refrigerators, they have an inbuilt voltage stabilizing circuit which can withstand anything in the range of 100 to 300 V and the majority of fluctuations will be within this range.
It is a standard and necessary feature in 2021 and beyond. From the cheapest available refrigerator to high end, every model has an internal voltage stabilizer.
5.4. WiFi Compatibility
Some of the high-end refrigerators from Samsung and LG are WiFi-compatible.
They are often called “Smart Refrigerators” because they can do a lot of things which we never thought a refrigerator could do.
For example, LG InstaView refrigerator can be controlled with the help of their smartphone app from wherever in the world if your refrigerator is connected to the home WiFi.
You can set convertible options, adjust the temperature, etc.
Similarly, Samsung offers little more with their Family Hub range of refrigerators.
It comes with a display which is like a TV and can be used for music streaming, video streaming, and whatever you imagine!
These features won’t come for low cost though. These refrigerators cost more than a lakh in the Indian market.
So let’s have a recap on what all things you need to consider before purchasing a refrigerator.
Choose the size according to how many people are there in your family.
Also if you are a meat lover, then better invest in a frost-free refrigerator with more freezer space compared to direct cool ones.
Another important point is to buy a refrigerator with an inverter compressor and a minimum of 3 stars if there is any star rating by BEE.
If you are ready to buy, then check out our curated lists of refrigerators of different categories in different price ranges to purchase the one that provides maximum value for the money you pay.
If you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment below. Someone from our team of experts will reply as fast as possible.
Thank you for reading.
Happy Shopping and have a good day.