To understand what kinds of refrigerators there are, pay attention to the following parameters:
Width and depth. They depend on the free area of the room in which the appliance is to be installed. You should first measure the place for the fridge and then search for the appliance of suitable sizes.
Height. Determined based on the height of family members so that users don’t have to bend over too low or hardly reach the top shelves. The dimensions of the room are also taken into account. It is difficult to place a high fridge in a small room. The low height appliance, on the other hand, saves space.
Volume. It depends on the number of family members, the frequency with which the refrigerator is replenished, and the type of power supply. In a family that buys food and cooks daily, it’s convenient to use the appliance with a smaller volume. If you buy food for a month and cook for the whole week, you will need a bigger model.
Number of chambers. You should take into account what will be stored in the refrigerator and for how long. The choice of their location is based on the personal convenience of the user.
Defrosting method. The reason for this is the extent to which a person’s active participation in this process is planned.
Noise level. If the device is placed in a living room or a kitchen combined with a room, you should pay special attention to this indicator.
Climate class. The choice is based on where and how the refrigerator will be used.
Energy consumption class. Indicates the electricity consumed by the model.
The number of compressors and their type. This parameter affects the previous ones, noise level, and energy consumption. It’s responsible for durability and maintainability.
Control method. Determines the convenience and accuracy of temperature setting, switching the device on and off, and using additional functions.
Additional functions. For example, antibacterial coating, signal when the door isn’t closed, freshness zone.
Refrigerator design. It’s important to choose a model that will be combined with the interior in color and texture and won’t be out of style.
The main types of refrigerators
Appliances without a freezer. They are convenient for a country house or office, where there is no storage of frozen food.
Appliances with a freezer. Their functions allow you to store chilled food and small batches of frozen food. This is the most popular option in a modern apartment.
Freezers. Used for freezing vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish.
Wine cabinets. Adjusted for the storage of drinks.
Depending on a way of placing the fridges are divided into:
Specifications of refrigerators
You should learn about the specifications of refrigerators before you buy one of them.
Types of refrigerators according to the number of chambers:
- single-chamber – the freezer chamber is absent or is located together with the refrigerating chamber behind one door;
- two-chamber – refrigerating and freezer chambers are separated from each other, each has its own door;
- multi-chamber – have from 3 to 6 chambers for separate storage of products with different requirements to the conditions of humidity and temperature.
There are the following defrosting systems for refrigerators:
- Manual. All the contents of the refrigerator are removed, the power is switched off. After a few hours (1-12) the ice will melt, and the water will flow into the pallet. The fridge itself will need to be washed, dried, and powered on.
- Drip. Condensate accumulates on the back wall, in which the evaporator is built, and freezes. During the breaks of compressor operation, it thaws. It’s led outwards through a drain hole to a special container where it dries. The drip system is not used in the freezers, so they have to be defrosted manually.
- No frost. Cooling is done by the fan. The evaporator is outside the chamber, and the condensate accumulates there. With the help of a heater, it defrosts and comes out.
Compressor type and cooling system
Refrigerators differ in the way they are cooled.
- Compressor fridges operate on the basis of the properties of compressed gas transported through special tubes with the help of a compressor.
- Absorption fridges have an ammonia solution as a refrigerant that passes through the absorption chamber many times.
- Thermoelectric fridges function on the basis of a semiconductor wafer, which is heated and cooled under the influence of electric current.
In domestic refrigerators, two main types of compressors are used:
- linear one, which is switched on based on the temperature sensor readings, brings the cooling to the required temperature and switches off;
- inverter one, which keeps the set temperature constant without disconnecting and periodically reduces the power.
Inverter models are considered quieter than linear models. They spend less electricity.
Compressor refrigerators differ in the cooling system:
- Static. An evaporator is installed in the rear wall of the appliance. It’s cooled during compressor operation. The uneven temperature in the chamber and maintained humidity don’t allow the products to dry out.
- No frost. The air for cooling enters the evaporator by means of a fan and then exits the chamber. The temperature is distributed evenly. The water remains outside the chamber on the evaporator, and the humidity of the products may raise.
- Dynamic. It operates on the same principle as the static one but has a fan in the chamber to regulate the cooling airflow.
Climatic class and power consumption
The climatic class determines the conditions in which the device will be used:
- usage temperature from +16 to +32 °С – normal (N);
- usage temperature from +10 to +32 °С – subnormal (SN);
- humid tropical climate from +18 to +38 °С – subtropical (ST);
- dry tropical climate from +18 to +43 °С – tropical (T).
There are mixed classes focused on an extended temperature range:
- +10 to +43 °С – SN-T;
- +10 to +38 °С – SN-ST;
- +16 to +43 °C – N-T;
- +16 to +38 °С – N-ST.
The energy efficiency level of the appliance is determined by the energy consumption class. The manufacturer indicates it on the refrigerator case. It is denoted by letters from A+++ (lowest power consumption) to G (high power consumption).
Some models include additional functions such as:
- freshness zone is a zone with zero temperature;
- the antibacterial coating contains silver and prevents bacteria growth;
- open door indicator works if you forget to close the door;
- chilled water supply or ice maker;
- built-in clock or TV set;
- control panel or refrigerator door lock from children;
- standalone cold storage works if there is no electricity;
- vacation mode – you don’t need to switch off the device during your absence: it will be set to a constant temperature of +15 ° C;
- supercooling or superfreezing – the selected function will be performed in the shortest possible time.
Single-chamber, double-chamber, and Side-by-Side fridges
The number and arrangement of chambers directly affect the functionality and efficiency of the appliance.
The single-chamber model means that the refrigerating and freezer chambers are located in the same compartment, separated by a partition and closed by a common door. The freezer is located above or below the refrigerator compartment. Some types of appliances don’t have it.
There’s only one compressor in this model, and it doesn’t run at full capacity, freezing takes a long time. Continuous opening of the door leads to strong icing of the walls. As a result, frequent defrosting is required if the No frost system isn’t available.
No additional functions are available. These fridges are up to 39 inches high and 21-24 inches wide. The volume does not exceed 300 liters.
The two-chamber models have two compartments: a separate refrigerator and freezer compartment, each has its own door. Two compressors can be used here. The optimum temperature is maintained in each compartment. There are models with the No frost system installed for each chamber.
The height of devices with two compartments reaches 83 inches. The width is about 24 inches. The volume is 250-400 l.
The freezer compartment is located above, below, or on the side of the refrigerator, parallel to it. Such models are called Side-by-Side. From the outside, they look like a two-door refrigerated cabinet, have two independent chambers and two compressors.
Side-by-Side refrigerators are characterized by increased capacity, up to 800 liters of volume. They are often equipped with a large number of additional functions. This appliance has many shelves for convenient placement of products. The widths range from 35 to 51 inches. The height reaches 87 inches.
Thermoelectric fridge: what is the secret to operation
These models are free of compressors, motors, gases, or liquids. The cooling of the chamber is done with the help of a flat element installed in it. On the reverse side, there is a second similar element. They are connected by special conductors. When an electric current passes through the conductors, the backplate is heated, and the one in the chamber is cooled. The cold plate absorbs heat from the food and air in the compartment and transmits it to the stabilizer, where it’s dissipated by a small fan.
Thermoelectric devices are characterized by low noise levels because they don’t have complex mechanisms that are constantly in operation. For the same reason, they are reliable, as moving and rubbing parts are not worn out. Such models are characterized by a high level of energy saving. The disadvantage is the low cooling speed.
Types of refrigerating chambers
They are different in functionality. They can be:
- short-term fridges maintain the temperature from +8 to -2 ° C, allow you to store food for 3-7 days;
- long-term ones where the temperature reaches -10 ° C and allows you to store already frozen food for up to 4 months;
- freezer or cooler chamber freezes fresh food or quickly cools them at a temperature of -18 to -25 ° C;
- shock freezing keeps the temperature no less than -30 ° C, there is a gradual decrease in temperature for freezing.
A zero chamber (or freshness zone) is also allocated. It’s used to extend the shelf life of products. Vegetables, fruits, chilled meat, and fish are stored in such conditions for longer periods.