Looking forward to buying a refrigerator? An additional one, or one for your new house? Besides all the interesting features that make today’s refrigerators so attractive, there’s one basic aspect you should not ignore – the right capacity of the refrigerator, you need. While it’s good to read through, watch videos, and keenly observe the salesman’s pitch, we suggest that you consider your personal requirements over and above everything else.
Last year, India produced 12 million (1.2 crore) refrigerators. A rough estimate suggests that three out of every 10 appliances sold are refrigerators. Which refrigerator, in terms of capacity, is sold most is dependent on lifestyle, market segment concerned (rural, urban) and affordability, besides other factors. As electricity reaches more doors and economic conditions improve, more people are likely to buy the appliance.
The Right Capacity
All refrigerators have a capacity depicted in litres. As you look for product specifications, check the gross-total and net-total capacity. The net-total capacity will help you realise the actual space you will have for storage. Based on the type of refrigerator you choose, single door, double door, side-by-side door or multi-door, space within will vary.
With a capacity range of 30-50 litres, these are the most basic cooling devices and are known as minibars, desktop fridges, mini-refrigerators. These can be useful if you need a personal refrigerator in your office, or as a second appliance for storing beverages.
The single door refrigerators
The simplest ones in this range start at around 50 litres and can offer space up to 250 litres. Inside, there’s a vegetable drawer at the bottom and a freezer at the top. For small offices and adults staying alone, this should serve the purpose. If you are a couple with one child, a refrigerator with a capacity in the range of 150 litres-250 litres should be fine. In this range of refrigerators, you have relatively more space in the form of door balconies and shelves. The illumination within is also better.
If your family has four or more members, then ideally, you should opt for higher capacities- 250 litres to 350 litres. A bigger family, or members living jointly, will require 550 litres and above.
The double door refrigerators
It’s here where many of the interesting features are available. The capacity starts at 240 litres and can go over 600 litres. The freezer is separated from the rest of the fridge. In some models, you may also come across freezers placed at the bottom. While this range serves you with great space, it also ensures strong freezing. So, if you are to store something for a longer duration, opening the refrigerator many times during the day doesn’t matter for the freezing part.
Side-by-side and multi-door refrigerators
It’s good to opt for a refrigerator with over 550 litres of capacity if you need to store a lot of stuff, or if you have a big family. The multi-door refrigerators, in popular terminology referred to as French door refrigerators, are refrigerators with more than two compartments. Ideally, the capacity offered is around 800 litres. There are additional features like a water dispenser and fast-cooling.
Important: While the capacities discussed above represent ideal needs, in exceptional circumstances, you may have to opt for bigger fridges. If your social life involves a lot of guests coming to your place, or if you are staying in a joint family but can’t compromise on your personal space, then you may need more than one refrigerators too.