Refrigerator is the appliance for chilling or freezing stuff. It is a box with insulation and assembly of electrical and mechanical components. Its working principle is Refrigeration Cycle.
The body structure.
A refrigerator body has two layers, inner and outer layer. Between the two surfaces, there is an insulation foam or fiberglass. The insulation prevents the low temperature in the fridge from escaping out.
Manufacturers make refrigerators for different temperature applications. There are one-temperature fridges and two-temperature fridges. A chest freezer is an example of a one-temperature fridge. An upright double door fridge/freezer is an example of a two-temperature refrigerator.
Synonym of a chest fridge that cools stuff up to temperatures below freezing point is freezer. A fridge that doesn’t go below freezing point is called a chiller or cooler. And a refrigerator that combines a freezer and a cooler functionality in one unit is a fridge/freezer.
Fridge/freezers have more than one door, which gives them the name two-door or double door fridge.
When shopping for a refrigerator, there are factors you should consider:
- Fridge’s cooling scope
- Size of fridge
- Electricity consumption
Fridge’s cooling scope
The degree of temperature you want from a cooling appliance is dominant when shopping for a fridge. Do you want a freezer, cooler, or both? If you want a freezer only, you can go for a stand-alone freezer. If you want a cooler only, you can go for a stand-alone cooler. But if you want one refrigerator with two temperature compartments, you go for a two-temperature fridge.
Two-door refrigerators are either upright or chest. Upright refrigerators have one compartment built on top of the other, or side by side.
Storage space of a refrigerator determines the quantity of stuff you stock in your fridge. A big family would go for a large size, and a small family will consider a small size. This applies to both one-temperature and two-temperature fridges.
Refrigeration industry’s Unit of measuring refrigerator storage space is cubic foot (cf). One cubic foot is a space that contains 28.4 liters of liquid. That is the size of a standard cooler box.
In a two temperature refrigerator, the industry allocates 1/3rd of the total storage space to the freezer compartment. The remaining space is a cooler. Either of the two compartments is on the upper or lower side. And a door covers each compartment.
If the freezer is on the upper compartment, it is a top freezer refrigerator. But if it is on the lower, it is a bottom freezer. However, in a side-by-side refrigerator, the two compartments align side by side.
So if you settle for a five cubic feet refrigerator, the freezer compartment would be 1/3rd of it. That’s 1.5 cubic feet. The cooler compartment would be the remaining 3.5 cubic feet.
The compressor is the main component in your fridge that draws significant electricity. It is the motor pump that pushes refrigerant round in the tube system. When you plug in your fridge, you can hear its humming sound.
In an absorption system fridge where there is no compressor, a heater is the equivalent of a compressor. It is the main component that consumes power.
Knowing the amount of electricity your refrigerator draws helps you estimate how much you should pay for electricity bill. So, look for the Energy Star sticker on your refrigerator to be sure that its power consumption is within the industry’s recommended range.
The government endorses electronic consumer goods that meet set standards by awarding them Energy Star label.
You can calculate how much electricity your refrigerator consumes using these simple steps:
Suppose Electricity Company charges you 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (1000 Watts per hour).
Your refrigerator rating is 200 Watts, meaning this is the amount of electricity it runs on in one hour.
How much then does it cost you to run it for a month, 24 hours a day?
200 watts x 24 hours x 31 days = 148800 Total Watt-hours.
148800 Watt-hours divided by 1000 Watt-hours = 150 kilowatt-hours.
150 kWh x 15 cents per kWh = $23 per month.
Note that $23 is a monthly approximation if the refrigerator compressor runs non-stop for a month. But if the thermostat is functional, the figure would be less. A thermostat cuts off power when a set temperature is attained and automatically switches on power when the temperature rises.
Within 24 hours, the sum total of minutes your fridge stays off when the thermostat cuts electricity off is more than a quarter of the total time it would run without a thermostat. Thermostatic on-off switch conserves electricity.
A different compressor technology that uses inverter economize electricity better. The amount of power the compressor draws from the wall socket reduces as the refrigerator gets colder inside.