This page explains about different kinds of refrigerator or fridges, how fridges work, what is inverter fridge and the latest generation of linear compressors fridges. On this page we explain how to use a fridge properly and how to store food safely in a fridge.
Below are the topics about fridges covered on this page. Clicking on any item on this list takes you directly to its full description further down on this page.
There are basically three types of Fridges or Refrigerators, top freezer, bottom freezer and side-by-side. There is also a style called French door type refrigerator which is not common in India. The most energy efficient and power saving type fridge is the top freezer type, because the freezer on top being the coldest part of the fridge, any cold that escapes the freezer naturally flows down by convection into the refrigerator compartment. The next best for power saving is the bottom freezer type and the least energy efficient and maximum power consuming fridge is the side by side design.
The next general broad category of fridges are the no-frost fridges and the fridges that have manual defrosting. These days only the smallest fridges come without the no-frost option. In the no-frost or frost-free fridges, the fridge automatically de-frosts the fridge by blowing hot air over the fridge evaporators and melting any ice or frost formed on the evaporator. The water which is formed by the melting ice or frost is normally drained down to a drain water tray or pan placed directly over the compressor. The heat of the compressor evaporates this water and also helps in cooling the compressor. If the surrounding air is very humid, then evaporation slows down, and water may drain down on the floors. At this stage the excess water in the pan has to be removed manually. In fridges with no auto defrost, the fridge will have to be stopped, the door kept open to melt the ice that has formed in the freezer compartment of the fridge. Fridges without auto-defrost are normally of a single door design.
Most of the fridges sold in India have adjustable shelves, which is good to adjust the space in the fridge according to the size of items being stored in the fridge.
An inverter refrigerator is a fridge fitted with the new generation of inverter compressors. An inverter compressor is a compressor which can run at different speeds according to the load required by the fridge. When machinery runs at slow speeds it uses electricity much more efficiently than when it runs a high speed. Ordinary fridge compressors have just one speed, and the temperature in the fridge is maintained by running the compressor at its highest speed till the temperature in the fridge reaches one or two degrees below the set temperature and the compressor stops. The compressor then restarts when the temperature in the fridge is about one or two degrees above the set temperature and stops till it reaches one or two degrees below the set temperature. The ordinary fridge compressor works with start - stop cycles and runs at its highest speed when it is working. This is a very inefficient way for the compressor to work.
A plus or minus 2 degrees C from the set temperature in an ordinary fridge may not seem that big, but consider this: the ideal temperature in the chiller compartment of the refrigerator is 2 degrees centigrade, and the plus or minus 2 degrees C would fluctuate the chiller temperature from 0 degrees C to 4 degrees C. The chiller compartment is meant to keep vulnerable food, like fresh meat chilled at 2 degrees and not to let it freeze. Freezing spoils the texture of meat and many other foods meant to be kept chilled at 2 degrees. So in an ordinary fridge the likelihood of the chiller compartment freezing is very likely, but this does not happen in an inverter fridge.
In an inverter refrigerator compressor the compressor does not stop, but runs at slow speed just enough to maintain the required temperature in the fridge. So the compressor in an inverter fridge does not waste electricity in starting up at regular intervals and runs very efficiently at the slowest speed. So the advantage of having an inverter fridge is that the monthly electricity bill will be about 40% less than an equal size ordinary fridge. The inverter fridge is very silent because it runs at slow speed and the fridge does not startle you when it the compressor suddenly starts with a loud noise. Other advantage is that an inverter refrigerator fridge is complaint free and lasts much longer, because the inverter refrigerator compressor runs slowly and relaxed and there are no shock loads in its system unlike in the stop-start-run at maximum speed-stop cycle of an ordinary fridge. The temperature in an inverter fridge will closely match the temperature set by the fridge thermostat. A comparison between an ordinary fridge and an inverter fridge is given in the following image.
In the above image the sound of the new inverter fridges compared to the normal fridges is like comparing the sound of a headphone to an HiFi speaker; the energy power consumption to that of a CFL bulb to a filament bulb; and shows much higher lifespan of the inverter compressor.
The speed of the inverter refrigerator compressor can be be controlled by varying the frequency of the electric input voltage. The inverter circuit in the inverter refrigerator first convert the incoming single phase 220Volts 50 Hz AC home electric supply to DC current and then the DC is inverted into AC with the ability of varying the frequency of the AC supply. So the inverter supplies variable frequency to the compressor and thus is able to infinitely control the speed of the inverter refrigerator compressor. Thus the speed of the inverter fridge compressor is closely controlled to give maximum efficiency and thus achieve electric energy savings of upto 40% compared to a normal fridge of same size.
LG Electronics of Korea invented a new type of linear compressor for use in cooling applications, especially for refrigerators or fridges. The LG video about the advantages of their Linear Compressor Refrigerator Fridges is shown here.
Linear compressors move in a straight line with an oscillating piston. The linear moving piston hits a spring at the end of its motion on one side and bounces back. Magnets are used to maintain the linear motion.
With a linear motion there is no wastage of energy due to radial centrifugal forces which occurs in a rotary motion. A regular rotary compressor has to convert the rotary motion of an electric motor to linear motion with the use of a crank shaft and piston rods. This leads to 4 major points of friction compared to only one friction point in a linear compressor. Because of the simple mechanism of the linear compressor, with no crank and piston rods, the linear compressor is able to achieve 20 to 30% better efficiency than any crank driven rotary compressor. Linear Compressors use lesser energy and make lesser noise and lasts much longer than conventional rotary refrigerator compressors.
The efficiency is made even better with the use of digital inverter to control the speed of the linear compressor which results in the most efficient refrigerator fridges of today. A Fridge with inverter linear compressor can save upto 50% on energy consumption compared to a similar ordinary non-inverter fridge with rotary compressor.
LG has just come out with new models of Fridges working with inverter compressors and claiming to consume the electrical energy of just two CFL bulbs. These new 2 CFLs LG fridge has the LG Smart Connect Technology which connects your fridge to the home inverter in case of power failure. The power consumption of these fridges being that of just two CFL bulbs or lamps, can work up to 10 hours on the home power failure inverter batteries. This helps in keeping the contents of the fridge at the right temperature without spoiling the food inside, even if there is an extended power cut up to 10 hours. Everytime the power goes off, the new LG fridge with the Smart Connect Technology automatically connects your fridge to the home emergency inverter battery power. The beauty of this system is that the Fridge will run on reduced power and will consume only about the same amount of energy as 2 CFL bulb lamps or about 20 watts.
LG is able to achieve this almost impossible feat by using LG's New Smart Inverter Compressor which is so energy efficient that it saves upto 36% of the energy consumption. Also the inverter compressors are super silent. In addition to the inverter compressor, energy is also saved, as claimed by LG, by the use of special super efficient insulation known as LG Dura Chill and also by the unique placement of the freezer in the fridge which provides uniform cooling with a shower effect. LG also claim that their LG refrigerators can operate even in low voltage power supply or even slightly higher voltages of between 100 to 290 Volts. Thus they can operate without the need of a Voltage stabilizer. This is the website link to the new models of 2 CFL bulb LG refrigerators which have the above features and as claimed by LG their fridge works with the energy of 2 CFL bulbs or lamps.
The outside dimensions and inside capacity of a fridge in liters or cubic feet are important aspects to consider when shopping for a new fridge
Before starting shopping for a fridge, the first thing to decide is on where to place the fridge in the house and measure exactly how much width and height you have to place the Fridge. From this you get the maximum external width and height of the fridge. The next, a very important point many forget is to take the size of the smallest door, through which the fridge has to pass through. This will be a limiting factor to how big a fridge you can buy. The door of most of the fridges in the market can be removed, and this will allow some larger fridges to be taken into the house. So before you go shopping it is important to have these basic measurements.
The size of refrigerators or fridges in India is given in litres. The liter capacity of a fridge is the total internal volume of both the freezer and refrigeration compartment in a fridge. There are no set standard sizes of fridges in India, each manufacturer has different size fridges which fall into a range of sizes normally set at increments of 50 liters, that is you have fridges between 100 and 150 liters, 150 and 200 liters and so on. As a rough rule the liter size of fridges required in India can be as follows
|Family size||Fridge Size|
|1-2 people||200 litres|
|3-4 people||250-300 litres|
|5+ people||300 litres +|
The final choice of the fridge size will depend on the outside dimension of the fridge for which you have place in the kitchen and also the limit on the fridge size due to the house doors through which the fridge has to be carried through to get to the place where you will want to place the fridge. For most families, they buy the largest fridge they can afford and which will fit in the place allotted in their house.
The modern refrigerator with a compressor was invented by Nathaniel B. Wales and Alfred Mellows of USA in 1915. GM (General Motors Corporation of USA) bought the company making those early refrigerators in 1918 to form a new division in GM called 'Frigidaire'.
Both 'Fridge' and 'Refrigerator' mean the same thing. 'Fridge' evolved from the name 'Frigidaire', which was the brand name of one of the first mass produced refrigerators in 1919 by GM (General Motors Corporation) of USA. The 'Frigidaire' brand became so popular that Refrigerators came to be called a 'Fridge', a short form which evolved from the name 'Frigidaire'.
The best place to keep a fridge in the house is in the kitchen and in the kitchen the fridge is best place as far away from the gas burners as is possible. Fridges give out a lot of heat which it sucks out of all the items inside the fridge. So you have to make sure that there is enough ventilation around the fridge, because normally there is no cooling fans outside the fridge, but the heat is taken away from the fridge by convection. The minimum ventilation gap you should have around the fridge should be at least 1 centimetre or half inch on the sides and 2 to 3 centimeters or 1 inch at the back of the fridge.
Most governments issue guidelines to the safe storage of food in fridge and as to how long food can be stored in a fridge. Here we give below the guidelines as issued by the UK government on their website www.food.gov.uk
To help stop bugs from growing remember:
Keep your fridge at 5ºC or below. Use a fridge thermometer to check your fridge temperature as the numbers on the dial are not usually an indication of the temperature. Always check the handbook for your fridge to be sure.
Make a habit of throwing out food that has passed its ‘use-by’ date.
Clean the inside and the outside of the fridge regularly.
Make sure all foods are either wrapped or in covered containers before storing in the fridge.
Store leftovers in covered containers in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.
Don’t put hot food in the fridge - let it cool first.
Do not overload your fridge. Overloading prevents circulation of cool air, which could mean that food is not kept cold enough.
Don’t clutter up the fridge. Leave space in the fridge for perishable foods.
For recommendation of the US Government and the US Food Drug Administration FDA recommendations of safe storage of food in a refrigerator or fridge visit our dedicated page for safe storage of food in fridge. .............More
One of the best ways to get great tasting hot fresh bread daily is to store sliced bread wrapped in its original plastic or waterproof cover in the fridge freezer. When you need to have bread, take out the required number of slices from the bread stored in the freezer and microwaving at the rate of about 15 seconds (depending on the power of the microwave oven) to get warm fresh bread. Do not overcook in the microwave, because it will become tough. After a few tries you will know exactly how much time to microwave to get that superb fresh warm bread, even after a week of storing in the freezer. One other trick is to spread the frozen bread slices singly on a plate and expose to the air, when it will absorb some moisture from the air, like moisture collecting on the outside of a cold glass of water. Microwave after about a minute, to get great tasting soft hot fresh bread.
This is the link to the Amazon.in website for all 5 star double door fridges in India with best price
Buying online fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and other major kitchen appliances is now the better option in India, just like it is in the USA and other advanced countries. There are several advantages of buying online. First of all, you get unbeatable bargain prices. Secondly, you get new and genuine products. Other benefits include no interest EMI payments, able to return the product for a full refund if not satisfied, etc.
Just to give you an example, below are some of the benefits Amazon India, the leading global online retailer, offered in India during their last sale. The same deals are not always available, but it is a good idea to check this link to the special offers page on Amazon.in India website.