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An Easy-Peasy, Comprehensive Buying Guide for Refrigerator in India

Welcome to the easy and comprehensive buying guide for refrigerator. So, you have decided to buy a new refrigerator to replace your old, aging one? Or simply shifted to a new location and looking to purchase a refrigerator? Either way, you are probably looking to buy one that is cost- effective, efficient, and looks good in your available space.

Every refrigerator is good at its job, which is keeping food and other items cold. But beyond that, there are several other aspects associated with a refrigerator, such as the design type and capacity, which one needs to consider while looking to purchase a brand new refrigerator.

Buying Guide for Refrigerator

A refrigerator is an important part of any household, and thus it’s important to do extensive research before choosing the ideal pick. Although there is no single best refrigerator, this guide will help you choose one that will be best as per your requirements.

The Right Size

The very first thing that you need to do while choosing a fridge is to figure out the size that will be the perfect fit for your kitchen or dedicated refrigerator space.

Although refrigerators are typically listed with total storage capacity, it is important to pay attention to the width – the most important limiting factor for a refrigerator.

The Right Size

If you are buying a new refrigerator to replace your old one, then measuring the width requirement is easy. Simply measure the length and width of your present refrigerator to serve as the reference point while going through your options.

However, if you’ve moved to some new accommodation then you might need to manually take the measurements of the space that you have reserved for the refrigerator. Once done, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Note – Don’t forget to measure the entryway. What good is even the best refrigerator in India if you can’t get it past the door, right!

Which Type Should You Go For?

The next step in choosing the best refrigerator is to decide the door style or the fridge type. While some prefer a French-door refrigerator for the sleeker profile and wider drawers and shelves, others like to go for a side-by-side model for its bigger freezer section.

For those on a tight budget, the classic top-freezer refrigerator is an excellent pick. Alternatively, a counter-depth refrigerator is the go-to option for saving valuable space.

Before summarizing the various refrigerator types, let’s first understand the single-door, double-door, and triple-door refrigerators first.

  1. Single Door – The most cost-efficient refrigerator comes in the form of a single door refrigerator. They have a single door for accessing both the freezer and the food- compartment sections.
  2. Double Door – More expensive than single door refrigerators. Have separate doors for accessing food-compartments and freezer sections
  3. Triple Door – Much more expensive than a single-door refrigerator and more expensive than a double-door refrigerator. Typically, adds more style and feel to a space.

1) French Door Refrigerator

Highlights: Energy-efficient, generous capacity, small swing space
Available Doors: Double-door, triple-door

Perhaps the most popular refrigerators these days is the French door refrigerators. These type of fridges have a bottom-mounted freezer and opens like a drawer with two half-width doors. Typically, French door refrigerators range from 30 to 36 inches in terms of width.

Buying Guide for Refrigerator
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In addition to bringing a modern look and feel to a space, a French door refrigerator also minimizes the escape of cool air. Although most of them have a drawer-style freezer, some units have French doors for the freezer area as well.

You should get a French door if you:

  • Don’t mind a less-organized freezer
  • Have limited kitchen space
  • Mostly eat dairy items and fresh produce
  • Usually store wide containers or dishes, such as large baking sheets and pizza boxes

2) Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Highlights: budget-friendly, efficiently-sized, small door swing space
Available Doors: Double-door, triple-door

A side-by-side refrigerator is one that has the freezer on one side, usually left, and the refrigerator section on the other. Side-by-side refrigerators are a good option for people on a tight budget. In terms of width, side-by-side refrigerators typically range between 33 to 36 inches.

Buying Guide for Refrigerator
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The side-by-side refrigerator typically offers a slim profile, hence limiting the total storage space. Unfortunately, these refrigerator models aren’t as energy-efficient as other refrigerator styles. Their smaller door swing space, however, makes them ideal for limited spaces.

You should get a side-by-side refrigerator if you:

  • Eat more frozen food than fresh food
  • Have limited kitchen space
  • Wish to have premium features at a lower price

3) Top-Mounted Freezer

Highlights: Classic design, budget-friendly
Available Doors: Single-door, double-door, triple-door

A top-mounted freezer refrigerator model comes with a freezer mounted on top of the refrigerator and a full-width fridge door. The classic refrigerator is a no-frills model. Although French door refrigerators are on the rise, top-freezer models still manage to outsell them.

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Typically, a top-mounted freezer refrigerator model comes with a width varying from as little as 24 inches to a decent 33 inches. In addition to being a pocket-friendly unit, top-mounted freezer fridges are available in a range of sizes to fit all kitchen space requirements.

You should get a top-mounted freezer refrigerator if you:

  • Are on a tight budget
  • Desire high energy efficiency
  • Don’t require non-essential features
  • Have plenty of kitchen space readily available
  • Mostly care about reliability

4) Bottom-Mounted Freezer

Highlights: Convenient layout, generous storage space
Available Doors: Single-door, double-door, triple-door

Like with top-freezer refrigerators, bottom-mounted freezer refrigerators pose a problem for opening around a kitchen island or other tight spaces. Not presently in fashion, bottom-freezer units are typically made for small condos.

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Despite the drawbacks, fridges with a bottom-mounted freezer offer good storage space for both refrigerating and freezer sections. Hence, it allows storing food items of several sizes and shapes. Also, the eye-level refrigerator section is much appreciated by some people.

You should get a bottom-mounted freezer refrigerator if you:

  • Are not on a limited budget
  • Have ample kitchen space
  • Want to try something different or unconventional

5) Counter-Depth

Highlights: Low-profile for maximizing kitchen space
Available Doors: Single-door, double-door, triple-door

Compared to the popular refrigerator types, counter-depth models are shallow. A typical counter-depth refrigerator measures mere 25 inches from the back to the door seal.

Counter-depth refrigerators integrate seamlessly with a countertop, imparting a feel of openness to a kitchen and helping in keeping the walking space open. In comparison, a typical refrigerator requires 6 to 10 inches of more space beyond the counter.

Amazingly, counter-depth refrigerators are available in French door and side-by-side styles. Compared to standard full-depth refrigerators, they cost much, much more.

You should get a counter-depth refrigerator if you:

  • Are not limited by the shopping budget
  • Care to a great deal about the aesthetics of a refrigerator
  • Don’t require storage capacity comparable to a full-depth refrigerator
  • Have constricting kitchen space, such as a galley kitchen or an island tight

6) Mini-Fridge

Highlights: Very compact, ideal for single person requirement
Available Doors: Single-door

A mini fridge is the perfect solution for someone living alone or requiring refrigeration only for self. It is the ideal option for much too smaller kitchens, rec rooms, offices, et cetera.

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Mini fridges are available in a number of sizes and configurations, such as with a glass front, double doors, and a separate freezer compartment. While some mini refrigerators have a freestanding design, others are meant for installation within a cabinet setup.

You should get a mini-fridge if you:

  • Have too little space to spare
  • Require refrigeration only for yourself
  • Want a refrigerator to hold limited items, like beverages and drinks

What Capacity to Opt for?

Moving to the next part of this easy and comprehensive buying guide for refrigerator, we have refrigerator capacity, which varies from model to model. Even refrigerators ideal to be labeled as the best refrigerator in India comes with a varying capacity to meet different requirements.

How much refrigerator capacity you require depends mostly on the total number of people who are going to use it. For a single person, less than 200 liters of capacity might suffice.

However, if 2 persons are going to share a refrigerator then a fridge with a total capacity somewhere between 200 liters to 360 liters might be enough. A refrigerator with a capacity of 380 liters to 520 liters may be ideal for a household with 3 or 4 members.

For a requirement of over 5 people, 450 liters might be the minimum capacity. The more it is, the better it will be. However, remember that as the capacity of a refrigerator grows, so does the final price.

Defrosting Type

While choosing a refrigerator, you might also like to decide which type of defrosting you want.

There are 4 types of defrosting mechanisms available for a refrigerator:

  1. Automatic – No manual intervention is required to defrost the fresh-food compartment. However, requires manual defrosting of the freezer.
  2. Semi-Automatic – Requires pressing a button to start the defrost cycle.
  3. Cyclical – Defrost cycle is automatically activated every 8 hours. The defrost cycle lasts about 20 minutes and the frost evaporates on its own.
  4. Frost-free – Feature a built-in thermostat, heater, and timer that activate the defrost cycle every 2 hours.

Other Important Features to Consider

Before committing to a particular refrigerator model, check for these additional important features:

1) Finishing

Even the same colors and surface textures can vary from among manufacturers. So, one way to bring a refrigerator that matches perfectly with your other appliances is to go for the same brand. However, you can choose some other brand with a little effort and time.

The typical built of any best refrigerator is stainless steel. Aside from being durable and robust, it sets right with most forms of home décor. Some refrigerators even feature a fingerprint- resistant stainless steel finish.

Compared to the traditional gray stainless steel, black stainless steel with a dark polymer coating is better. It is easier to clean too. If needs be, you can opt for a refrigerator with a bright solid color to match your decor, however, they aren’t the hype these days.

2) Functional Drawers and Shelves

Drawers and shelves pertaining to a refrigerator can be very different. Drawers that have rollers offer a smoother opening and closing operation than those with plastic glides. Spill-proof shelves are ideal, especially if you have children or elderly at home.

Functional Drawers and Shelves

A hideaway or folding shelf comes handy in the way that it lets you fit a taller water bottle as well as a pizza box without the need for manual height adjustment. Several French door fridges support a full-width drawer placed at the bottom, ideal for storing platters and sheet pans.

3) Handle Style

The handle of a refrigerator can be a big aesthetic factor for some people. If you are amongst them know that there are typically two types of refrigerator handles. One is the European style, curvy, smooth, and ergonomically designed, and the other is a pro handle, straight and textured.

Handle Style

While some refrigerators might have both handle style options, others will be available only in a single of them.

4) Ice Makers and Ice and Water Dispensers

Ice makers and ice water dispensers are extremely convenient in summer time or for regions that are mostly warmer all around the year. Also, an ice maker is more common than ice and water dispensers.

5) Multi-Zone Climate Control

Multi-Zone climate control is an added layer of refrigeration in a refrigeration system i.e. a refrigerator. Most refrigerators that are a budget buy have this feature, while every pricier refrigerator has it.

6) Noise Level

Every refrigerator makes some level of noise. However, some are quieter and quiet while others are louder and unpleasantly loud. You need to go through customer reviews of your potential refrigerator options to know about the sound levels that they produce.

Energy Efficiency/Power Consumption

Newer models are more energy efficient than their older counterparts. Hence, if you’re upgrading to a new refrigerator, disregard of its type, then rest assured that it will save more energy than the one you have right now.

Different refrigerators will have different energy ratings, ranging from the lowest 1-star to the maximum 5-star. However, note that the more energy efficient a refrigerator is, the more likely is it to be pricier. So, you need to spend more to get the best refrigerator with higher energy efficiency.

Conclusion

A refrigerator is something that one buys with an intent of multi-year, typically 5 to 10, use. Hence, it is important to do in-depth research on finding the ideal one. Hope this buying guide for refrigerator will help you ease your refrigerator selection task.

On the last note, warranty is a very important concern for a refrigerator. Hence, you need to go for one that has the maximum of it. You might also want to buy extended warranty options, if available.