A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen. It’s a big investment in terms of money, space and electricity consumption, which will last you a few years at least. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure you choose a refrigerator that’s perfect for you and your family.
The first thing you need to decide on is the capacity of your refrigerator which is usually mentioned along with the model number. Net Capacity is the usable storage space. Now, how much space you need will depend on the number of people in your household, your budget, your eating habits and the space you have on hand.
So if you’re a bachelor or a couple, a refrigerator around 200 litres should be fine. These can cost between 13 to 26 thousand rupees.
If you’re a family of four, keep it around 250 to 350 litres. These start at 19 thousand and go up to 38 thousand.
And a large family should look at 350 litres plus. These start at 33,000 but can go all the way to 1.8 lakhs.
Your eating habits also play a big role in the fridge you buy. If you stock more frozen foods you’ll need more freezer space but if your diet consists of fresh eating, you need more room in the fridge section or a bigger fruits and vegetables basket. You need to decide on a refrigerator that’s right for you.
Another important factor is the amount of space you have in your home. Measure where you’re going to keep the refrigerator, your doorways and your elevators to ensure that it is a good fit. Keep half an inch on all sides for ventilation and 4 inches on the hinge side so the door can open and close.
Type of Refrigerator
Broadly, there are 5 kinds of refrigerators that are available. First, there’s the single door which is the basic or starting range or Fridges. It comes with a small freezer. Then, there’s the double door, which is quite popular. You can choose between having the freezer on top or at the bottom depending on what you prefer. Next is the triple door. These are more energy efficient because of an extra compartment there’s less cooling loss. It’s also ideal for a family of 4 thanks to its high capacity.
Side-by-Side refrigerators are ideal for households that need both, large freezer and large fridge compartments. These are usually high on cost but they’re also feature rich sometimes sporting ice and water dispensers. Finally, there are French door refrigerators which have three to four doors and come with options such as a bottom mount freezer or dual freezers. These are high on capacity but also high on price.
#3 Energy Rating
Refrigerators are always on, which is why you need one that’s energy efficient. And that’s where the energy ratings come in. The star rating sticker on the fridge tells you how efficient the fridge is and the electricity consumption figures tell you how many units of electricity the fridge will consume in a year. It’s always better to buy a fridge that has a 4 or 5 star rating.
There are two types of defrosting fridges. One is direct cool, which is cheaper but doesn’t always cool evenly and the other is frost-free which may be more expensive but has newer technology and keeps food fresh for longer. If your budget is above 15,000 definitely go in for a frost-free fridge.