1. Introduction   |   2. Expert Advice   |   3. Types of Refrigerators    |   4. Key Features   |   5. Size/Capacity    |   6. Practicalities    |   7. Customer Endorsement    |   8. Choosing the right Refrigerator
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1. Introduction

Refrigerator is a basic necessity in every home. Deciding on a refrigerator brand, capacity and model type depends on various factors like number of people in your house, food habits, how often you shop to stock your fridge etc.

Capacities are important but before that consider the space available. Measure the dimensions of the area where you plan to keep the fridge and then make sure the fridge is couple of inches less in size, so that it fits in properly. Also make sure there is space to move around it, for easy access and for the unit to remit generated heat for best performance.

Storage requirements

•  For a family of 2, fridge having capacity of 175/185 should be adequate
•  A family of 4, fridge having 250 to 300L capacity should be adequate
•  A family of 6 should consider a larger sized fridge (300 to 350L).

 

 2. Expert advice

Refrigerator is a basic necessity in every home. The choice of refrigerator brand, capacity and model depends on various factors like number of people in your house, food habits, whether you do shopping on weekends only, storing beverages and beer. Capacities are important but before that consider the space available. Measure dimensions of the area where you plan to keep the fridge and then make sure the fridge is couple of inches less in size, so that it fits in properly. Also make sure there is space to move around it, since you will access it several times a day and since the unit needs to emit the generated heat for best performance.
Storage requirements 
•  For a family of 2, fridge having capacity of 175/185 Litres should be adequate
•  A family of 4, fridge having 250 to 300 Litres capacity should be adequate
•  A family of 6 should consider a larger sized fridge (300 to 350 Litres) but if the large family eats out a lot, a smaller unit could be sufficient

The availability of power supply also may determine the type of refrigerators that you use. In parts of the world where there is incessant power outage, direct cool refrigerator remains the best choice, because it can keep the food stuffs iced for longer hours and some can keep the ice for a day or two.

 

 3. Types of Refrigerators

Direct Cool Refrigerators:

Direct cool refrigerators are the most basic types where cooling within the fridge compartment is done without any fanning. The cooling is rather done by a natural convection where one part may become cooler than another area inside the compartment. However, these refrigerators are highly energy efficient for the same reason. Of late, some direct cool refrigerators have been featuring digital auto defrost technology to give you freedom from manual defrosting.
The advantages include:
•  Cooling with natural convection process inside the fridge which retains ice for longer hours
•  Highly energy efficient
•  Quite affordable from price point of view
•  Efficient freezer chamber
•  Latest models feature digital auto defrost technology 

 

 

 Frost Free Refrigerators:

Frost free refrigerators do not need defrosting as cool air is continuously circulated and there is no ice build-up. They consume more power than direct cool refrigerators as ice is not formed and hence running costs are more. Frost free refrigerators are easier to maintain and it keeps food fresh for longer duration with less odour
Refrigerator can be further categorized based on their capacities and the location of the freezer compartment as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 Single Door Refrigerators:

These are conventional refrigerators which come with a single door. The upper portion is a freezer, the middle portion is a refrigerator and the bottom portion has a vegetable bin. Single-door refrigerators are entry-level refrigerators. The sizes range from 50L to 200L. Ideal for small offices, clinics, hotels, student’s hostels and for singles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top freezer:

As the name implies, the traditional top-freezer refrigerator features a freezer on top with the refrigerator at the bottom. This was one of the earliest models ever made, and today it is one of the least expensive. Top-freezer refrigerators range in average usable space of between 150L and 800L. This type of refrigerator offers a lot of room, allowing you to store wide items, such as large casserole dishes or cakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom freezer:

This is a variation on the top-freezer design, this arrangement places the more often-used refrigerator on top, reducing the user's need to bend over to reach items on the bottom shelf as it happens in top-freezer models. The bottom freezer may pull out like a drawer or open like a door. Bottom-freezer refrigerators are a little bit more expensive than the top-freezer type, and you still have to bend over when you want to reach an item in the freezer. They average about the same width as top-freezer types. Haier Thermocool has gone further to introduce series of premium bottom freezers with attractive colours and unique electronic control system.

 

 

 

 

 Side-by-side refrigerators:

This places the freezer parallel to the refrigerator, with each having a door that opens from the middle of the appliance. Usually the refrigerator is slightly wider than the freezer. The size of a side-by-side refrigerator averages between 26 to 30 inches wide, with a usable space of up to 700L. Most side-by-side refrigerators feature water and ice dispensers in the doors. Side-by-side refrigerators usually cost about the same as bottom-freezer refrigerators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Key Features

Here are some notable things to consider when purchasing a refrigerator, including some optional up-grades or add-ons, which may make your new refrigerator a better fit for your home:

Capacity: Capacity refers to the volume of interior space your refrigerator has. Consider the size of your family and the quantity of food and beverages that you need to store on a regular basis. A fridge with a larger capacity will cost more; however, if you stick to a common configuration, like top mount without the bells and whistles, a large capacity fridge for a growing family can still fit into your budget.

Remember, capacity isn’t always the same as usable space. Two fridges both listed as having 560L of capacity might be laid out very differently inside once you consider configuration, shelf or crisper placement and ice dispensers, which take up all important freezer space.


Efficiency: Today's energy efficient refrigerators use significantly less power than appliances did a decade ago. The label also tells you what the operating costs will be compared to other refrigerators.


Water and Ice Dispenser: A convenient built-in dispenser on your refrigerator door provides fresh, chilled water any time you feel like it. And if you'd rather have ice cubes, or crushed ice for drinks, it can do that too.

 

Spill Proof Shelves: Cleaning up minor food and beverage spills is no problem with a spill-proof ledge that keeps small messes from becoming big ones. Spills are contained on the easy-to-clean tempered glass shelves.

Contour Door Styling: These are smooth painted or stainless steel doors that are curved for the ultimate in fashion styling for your kitchen.


Fast-cooling Compartment: In the past, when you needed to cool something down quickly, putting it in the freezer was the only option. Now, you can get a refrigerator with a special compartment that is colder than the rest of the fridge, but not below freezing. This is great for canned beverages that may expand if accidently left in the freezer.


Quiet Operation: This feature means the operational noise that your refrigerator produces has been lowered, making your kitchen quieter.


Door Alarms: Leaving the fridge or freezer door open by accident is common, but it wastes energy and can spoil food, like milk. Modern refrigerators come equipped with alarms that will let you know if a door has been left open longer than usual.


Improved Insulation: Newer refrigerator models don’t need the traditional thick walls in order to maintain even cooling throughout the interior. Improved insulation technologies mean thinner walls, and that translates into greater interior capacity as well as improved energy efficiency.

External LCD Control Panel: Modern refrigerators come equipped with external LCD displays, which provide temperature and other relevant performance information without having to open the doors.

 

Temperature-controlled drawers: 

Haier Thermocool Casarte has this feature in which you can set the drawer temperature several degrees cooler than the rest of the refrigerator. You might want to keep meat, fish, and cold cuts at lower temperatures. Some drawers can chill or thaw their contents quickly. 

 

 

Toughened Glass Shelves: Haier refrigerators come with toughened glass shelves which can bear extra load without collapsing

Vc Fresh Technology: Retains nutritional value and freshness of fruits and vegetables for 5 times longer than a normal refrigerator

Luxury Home Bar: Innovative and smart home bar design for easy access and serving for beverages

 

1 HIT (1hour icing technology):

This is a very unique functionality in Haier Thermocool single door refrigerator. The freezer forms ice in one hour, the shortest time any refrigerator has formed ice.

 

 

 

Design 3D:

The drawer system is an ergonomic innovation that enables users to take full advantage of the space within the freezer area. One simple, natural movement gives you direct access to your frozen food. Haier Thermocool has colourful models to choose from.

 

 

 

5. Size/Capacity

Requirements for storage and capacity in a refrigerator will depend upon the family or household size. Following can largely be used as a thumb rule

   Capacity    50-100       100-200       200-290       290-320       320-350       350-400       400-450       450-500       500-550       550-600   
   Household Size       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9       10   

 

•  Clean the coils annually.

 Cover food and drink to avoid evaporation in the fridge, which can force the compressor to work harder.

•  Keep your freezer filled. Frozen blocks of food keep freezer temperatures more stable.

•  Don't clutter the fridge top. Clutter can hamper the compressor's proper air circulation.

•  Don't put your refrigerator in direct sunlight or next to an oven or dishwasher.

•  Check the door seals. They should be able to hold a piece of paper in place.

•  Defrost the freezer regularly and avoid frost build-ups of more than a quarter-inch.
 

7. Customer Endorsement

 

 8. 3 steps process to choosing the right refrigerator for you!  


Capacity: Space ranks right up there with style on most shoppers' refrigerator wish lists. We're seeing more models that claim more than 850L of capacity, and some boast upwards of 950L. High-end features, such as temperature controlled drawers, adjustable shelves, split shelves, and internal water dispensers, are increasingly available on even the most affordable refrigerators. Some come loaded with features, including through-the-door ice and water dispensers, LED interior lights, and dual evaporators designed to maintain optimal humidity in their fresh food sections.

We're also seeing more refrigerators designed for smaller spaces. Column refrigerators, which range from about 18 to 30 inches wide and don't include a freezer, fit spots too narrow for most refrigerator-freezers. You can also pair one with a column freezer, available in similar widths, for added flexibility. Manufacturers are also squeezing a bottom-freezer design into a svelte 30-inch width.

Check the specs: Make sure the refrigerator fits your kitchen. Remember to factor in the door swing in relation to adjacent walls, cabinets, and other appliances. And leave at least a 1-inch clearance around the unit and the surrounding cabinetry to ensure adequate air flow.
Consider your food-shopping habits. Do you do a big weekly shop or like to stock up on bulk purchases? Then you may need a larger capacity than the 200 to 350 claimed Litres that most manufacturers suggest for a typical family of four.

 

Use Energy Guide labels wisely: Don't look for the Energy Star alone, since efficiency standards vary by refrigerator type. A non-Energy Star-qualified top-freezer might actually be more efficient than a side-by-side with the label. For an apples-to-apples comparison, use the annual operating costs and the kilowatt-hours per year the refrigerator uses, which are listed on the yellow Energy Guide label. The label has been updated to reflect a new federal energy standard that took effect January 1, 2014. In general, models manufactured after that date will be more efficient than earlier ones.