Unlike most electronic appliances that are replaced within a 2-4 year period, refrigerators get replaced between 10-13 years on average. This automatically makes them a big purchase decision. Considering that you will probably end up keeping your next refrigerator for the next decade, you don’t want to get the decision wrong. But just like most electronic appliances, if you know what to look for, it’s impossible to make a wrong decision. The key factor being that you understand your needs, and know what to look for (and there are a few things to keep in mind).
Refrigerators come in various configurations, sizes and capacities (calculated in litres), energy ratings, and lest we forget, from different brands. All this information might leave you a little perplexed about where to start, especially if you’re going through the options for the first time. Well, you have nothing to fear; we breakdown all the information so you get all the vital need-to-know items.
Refrigerator capacities are measured in litres. Most home-based consumer refrigerators range between 60 litres to 850 litres at the high-end. The right capacity refrigerator largely depends on the number of people in your household. For an average-sized family of 5 individuals, refrigerators that range between 350 litres to 500 litres should suffice. You can vary your refrigerator capacity to either go higher or lower, depending on the number of individuals using the refrigerator.
Like most electronic appliances, refrigerators consume a lot of energy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as refrigerators work 24/7. It is therefore very important to buy one that is energy efficient. Most branded refrigerators come with star ratings (you may have seen star stickers on home appliances), which represent how energy efficient they are. These ratings have been given by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) India, an independent agency. The ratings range from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest energy efficiency rating. For a quick comparison, a 5-star rated, 500 litre refrigerator though much larger in terms of capacity, consumes lesser energy than a 350 litre 2-star rated refrigerator.
It’s for this reason, along with a myriad of others, that 5-star rated appliances, in general, cost more to purchase. But when you factor in the long-term savings on utility bills along with the environmental impact, these are not only good on your wallet, but the environment too.
Single and Double Door Refrigerators
Refrigerators today come in various sizes and configurations, i.e., top freezer, bottom freezer, and side-by-side. Refrigerators with a top freezer configuration tend to consume less electricity than the other configurations; it’s simple physics, hot air rises. This means that top freezer refrigerators do not have to work as hard to maintain a constant temperature. For instance, a top freezer refrigerator that has a 5-star rating uses as much electricity as a 60 watt light bulb!
Branded models like the Haier refrigerator come with a number of useful features. These features can be extremely handy in the long run.
Cold Water and Ice Dispensers
This feature is found in side-by-side refrigerators, where you can get cold water or ice without having to open the refrigerator doors. This feature is handy, especially in summers, when there is a major need for cold water or ice. As a result, you avoid the constant opening and closing of your refrigerator doors, thereby saving electricity.
Toughened Glass Shelves
The benefits of having toughened glass shelves are generally felt down the line after a few years of use. Toughened glass shelves are far more durable and can take considerably more weight. They are also a lot easier to clean, and maintain a hygienic cooling environment. Though the best fridge with these features are relatively more expensive, they are well worth the extra money.
In the end, it’s important that you consider only those features that are important to you. Make a list of all the features that you need and stick to them. These recommendations will help you get started in the search for your next refrigerator. You don’t have to worry about the cost of the refrigerator either. By using the Bajaj Finserv EMI Network Card, you can purchase your favourite model on easy EMIs, and repay the amount in convenient monthly instalments.