General Public Tips to buy Refrigerator

If you are looking for a new refrigerator, the marketplace offers various options today, depending on your requirements and budget. There are the traditional features of space, type, colour, durability, cooling capacity, user friendliness and energy efficiency; and a comparatively new feature environmental friendliness.

Did you know that the refrigerator’s door design—single or multiple door—is linked to its cooling technology?

A single-door refrigerator, which is the most common in India even today, uses Natural Convection Cooling, commonly known as ‘Direct Cool Technology’. The advantage of this are:

  • Low initial cost (as this is the simplest one)
  • Low carrying cost (cost of repair and maintenance)
  • Easy availability of mechanics in case of break down
  • During power cuts, some cooling remains inside the refrigerator due to ice

A double-door refrigerator, more commonly known as frost-free refrigerator, uses advanced cooling technology. There is a fan to circulate the cold air in the refrigerator and freezer compartments; the cooling happens much faster than the Direct Cool.

Let us look at some of the features more closely to help you decide on the model that suits you best.

When shopping for a refrigerator, it is essential to know the height, width, and depth of the area you want your new refrigerator to fit in. You should also consider the clearances needed to open the doors fully to remove the pans and shelves. Most refrigerators these days have clean-back/ wall-mount condensers, which require at least 6 inches space on the sides for proper functioning. It is better to keep the refrigerator in a well-ventilated space and not in a cavity.

Refrigerators come in many different colours—black, white, blue, red and stainless steel. It is also possible to put custom style panels on some refrigerators to match your cabinets or kitchen décor.

Overall, refrigerators generally operate well with few problems or repairs. However, there are qualities in a refrigerator and in a manufacturer that demonstrate superiority, many of which can be seen and felt, like the interiors, glossiness and finish of the refrigerator and its accessories. In addition, it is important to buy a refrigerator that has been tested and designed for reliability.

It is important to invest in a 0.5-.75KVA voltage stabiliser with a Time Delay Relay (TDR) to safeguard your refrigerator from voltage fluctuations.

Specific Features
Before shopping for a refrigerator, it might be helpful to make a list of features that are important to you. Some of today's refrigerators employ innovative technology and incorporate new user-friendly features, and add to the life-span of the food stored. Below is a list of features that you may want to consider when shopping for a refrigerator:

  • Quick cool-down features that can cool warm foods quickly after they have been placed inside the refrigerator
  • Bottle storage capacity in the door
  • Spill-proof glass shelves/ durable wire shelves
  • Fruit and vegetable crispers, with adjustable humidity controls
  • Snack pan
  • Size and capacity of the freezer compartment
  • Wine/beverage rack
  • Up-front electronic controls/easy controls /child lock
  • Condenser that does not need to be cleaned (clean back)
  • Adjustable door bins
  • Deodorisers

Storage Capacity
The capacity you require really depends on family size. Keep in mind the quantity of food and vegetables that you need to store in the refrigerator. Look for adjustable shelving, spacious crispers and convenient snack pans. Many refrigerators also have technology that helps preserve food even longer. Keep in mind how much you spend at the grocery store and consider what new preservation systems could do for you.

User Friendliness
While thinking about the appearance, flexibility, and dependability, also be sure that you consider the cleanability aspect. Check the shelves to ensure that they can be easily removed; and note whether spills can be easily mopped up.

Energy Efficiency
An energy efficient refrigerator can save you money and also conserve natural resources. When shopping for a refrigerator, energy consumption and operating costs are vital. The initial cost is only part of your expenditure; you have to keep an eye on your electricity bills.

Brand Name
It is important to purchase a refrigerator with a reputable brand name. Also examine the after-sales service provided. Study all brands carefully and check with your friends to see what their appliance experiences have been like.

Warranty and terms
It is essential to ask the salesperson about the terms of the warranty that comes with the refrigerator you are purchasing. Be sure to purchase a refrigerator with an in-home service warranty. You might also have the option to purchase an extended warranty.

Understanding how your refrigerator works

Coming to technology, the refrigerator uses a medium (refrigerant) to transfer the heat from the articles kept inside to the room outside. Till 2002, most of the manufacturers in India were using R-12 as the refrigerant. This refrigerant has now been banned and is being phased out; in 4-5 years it will not be available in the market. There is a very important reason why this refrigerant has been banned by the Government of India. Researchers studying the stratosphere found that the CFCs in the refrigerant deplete the ozone layer. Scientists have kept pace with consumer needs and have identified new Hydro Carbon (HC) like HC-600a, HC-290 (Propane) and HC Blend blends that do not harm the ozone layer and also do not add to global warming.

As an enlightened consumer, you have a responsibility to protect yourself, your children and the planet that you live on. Ensure that the refrigerator which you buy is CFC-free and uses ozone-friendly refrigerants and technology. If you have a reliable old refrigerator at home which is not CFC-free, don’t worry. You can ask a trained technician to retrofit it. In other words, parts of your old refrigerator can be changed so that a CFC-free refrigerant can be used. Look for a HIDECOR or NCCoPP trained technician in your neighbourhood. A certified technician can not only handle your old/new product better, but also employs environment friendly servicing practices.

Ashutosh Agrawal

Terms of Use :: Disclaimer :: Contact us