How Many Litres Should Your Refrigerator Be? A Guide to Evaluate
One of the musts in any kitchen is a refrigerator. How else do you preserve your fruits and vegetables, eggs and meat, milk and drinks, bread and cake for long periods? How else do you quench your thirst with a glass of cool water on a hot summer afternoon?
But with a plethora of options to choose from in terms of sizes, brands and models, which is the best refrigerator that you should go in for? Size, especially, is a critical factor that drives your decision while making the purchase. Do you need a 200-litre fridge, 300-litre fridge or 400-litre fridge?
The Size Factor
How big should your fridge be? If you are a loner, a compact fridge of 50 -100 litres will do. If you are a couple, you should buy a bigger one and if you have two children, you should consider buying a fridge that will hold all the perishables, the frozen foods, the processed foods, the beverages, juices and also the medicines.
In short, the size will depend on:
- ➔ The number of members in your family. A joint family will call for a minimum of 400-litre fridge.
- ➔ Food habits – are you vegetarian or non-vegetarian or eggetarian? Are there kids who have a sweet tooth?
- ➔ Health needs –do you need to store medicines for elderly parents or insulin shots for diabetes patients?
- ➔ Kitchen space –do you have enough space to place the fridge in such a way that there is a minimum of 25 mm of free space all around for the heat produced during the refrigeration process to escape? Preferably nearer to a window.
- ➔ Budget –how much money are you willing to spend or can you afford to buy your new fridge?
Capacity of the Refrigerator
You also need to know the capacity of the refrigerator. This is mentioned both in terms of net capacity and gross capacity.
- Gross capacity is the capacity of the entire refrigerator which includes the exterior walls or the body of the fridge. It must be noted that gross capacity is not the right indicator of the space inside the refrigerator.
- The actual capacity of the refrigerator is the capacity of the inside compartments of the refrigerator. In other words, the net capacity is the actual space that you get inside the refrigerator to store your food.
Here is a table that gives an indication of what size of a refrigerator to buy on the basis of family size.
The above size recommendations are generic. If your usage is high despite the family size being small, you will do well to opt for the next higher size.
For example, Ravi and Aparna are a working couple in Coimbatore. They have a single school-going child. Their dependence on processed, canned, ready-to-make and heat-and-eat food is generally high. They also like to stock up on fresh fish and seafood for the weekends.
Due to their professional demands, they prefer to buy idli-dosa batter and stock it in the fridge. Afraid that their food habits will take a toll on their health, Aparna orders plenty of cut and packed vegetables and fruits from new age home delivery grocery stores like Big Basket. She also stocks up on skimmed milk, packaged fruit juices and buttermilk that comes in tetra packs. They need to segregate their food to avoid mixing of smells. So they need a bigger fridge with trizone crisper, adaptable shelves, chillers, bottle holders … you name it! An online visit to Finserv Markets will give them a fair idea of their choices, while a 300-litre fridge may be the best long-term option.
Refrigerator Door Type & Design Model
Now that you have an idea of net capacity and the correlation between family size and refrigerator, your next question will probably be which model you should buy. Fair enough—the choices are many: single door, double door, triple door — even a side- by- side door model? All these models have size ranges. Refer to the table below for recommendations.
Freezer Also Matters
The last factor that comes into play is the size of the freezer. If it is a 200-litre fridge, then the freezer size can be between 40 litres and 60 litres. If you are a meat eater, the freezer size will have to be big in order to store frozen meat. The thumb rule is to keep the ratio of 20:80 for the freezer: rest- of- fridge for non-meat-eaters, and for meat-eaters 30:70 for the freezer: rest- of- fridge.
Finally, do keep in mind space in the kitchen even in terms of moving your old fridge out when the new fridge comes in – just to ensure a smooth switch. Multi-door functionality is all very well, but can you stand at the fridge with the door open to transfer content in and out? Enough of theoretical knowledge, get practical too. Start with the price list available with the refrigerator catalogue on Bajaj Finserv EMI Store.