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Direct Cool VS Frost-Free Refrigerators

The two types of refrigerators based on the technology used are Direct Cool and Frost-Free. Both these types have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. But how do they fare against each other in 1-to-1 combat? We’re going to find out in a bit. But first, let’s dive deep into what these two have to offer.

Direct Cool refrigerator

Most of the direct cool refrigerators are the single-door models you have seen for years. The cooling process used in these refrigerators is the natural convection process. It maintains a single temperature throughout the refrigerator space and it does not require any external factor to help in cooling. This type of refrigerator is among the most affordable options available.

Low Price and maintenance

A direct cool refrigerator is one of the most inexpensive refrigerator options available in the market. You can get several options in the price range of Rs.10,000-15,000. Not just this, the direct cool refrigerator doesn’t take a lot out of your pocket when it comes to maintenance. No wonder this refrigerator is still in high demand even after its successors with newer technologies showed promise.

Ideal for small families

Direct cool refrigerators come in small to medium sizes. You can get options with a capacity of 50 to 250 liters. It makes the refrigerator ideal for bachelors, couples, and nuclear families.

Less Energy Consumption

A direct cool refrigerator is not just easy on your pocket, but also requires less energy to operate. The power consumption of a direct cool refrigerator is the lowest (best) among all the available options.


A direct cool refrigerator’s popularity is high not just because of its low cost, but also because of its durability. The long lifespan of a direct cool refrigerator also helps make a direct cool refrigerator as popular as it is today.

Less Storage Capacity

Direct cool refrigerators generally come with lesser storage capacity. The maximum capacity you can find in a direct cool refrigerator is 250L. This makes the refrigerator a decent option for bachelors and couples, but not for joint families.

Uneven Cooling

As a direct cool refrigerator uses the natural convection process, the temperature distribution control is not in your hands and that results in uneven cooling. If you have ever had a direct cool refrigerator in your home, you would know what happens after the uneven cooling!


If this image takes you back in time, you know the struggles of trying to defrost a direct cool refrigerator. The uneven cooling results in frosting. You will be required to put in manual efforts to get rid of the frost. Every month, you need to defrost your refrigerator to get things back to normal. If you had this refrigerator at your home while growing up, you must remember how icy your leftover desserts would become the next day!

Frost-Free refrigerator

As the name suggests, a frost-free refrigerator prevents frosting in the freezer space. It also uses a system of vents, automatic cycles, and electric fans for uniform air circulation in the refrigerator space. This helps in maintaining freshness for a longer time. This technology is found in double-door, triple-door, French door, and side-by-side door refrigerators. It comes with larger capacities that make it ideal for nuclear families and joint families.

Effective and Regulated Cooling

The indirect cooling (or the forced-air convection cooling) technique performs a uniform cooling and thus provides a regulated and effective cooling in frost-free refrigerators.

No Frost

A regulated cooling makes sure that there is no frosting inside the freezer and that makes this refrigerator the best alternative to a direct cool model. This also means that there is no manual effort you need to put into the maintenance, unlike the direct cool refrigerator.

More Storage Capacity

A frost-free refrigerator also comes with more options when it comes to storage capacity. You can get up to 700L storage in a frost-free model, but the most popular among these are the ones with a storage capacity of 250-500L.


Although the frost-free refrigerator takes the lead in most of the important departments, it lags behind in some of them.


A frost-free refrigerator costs more than a direct cool refrigerator does. Although the performance it delivers justifies the price, it entirely depends on your personal choice.

More Power Consumption

Not just the buying cost, the frost-free refrigerator is expensive when it comes to the running costs as well. It requires more power to run and thus adds significantly to your energy bills.

Aspect Direct Cool Refrigerator Frost-Free Refrigerator
Price Low; Rs.5,000 – Rs.25,000 High; Rs.15,000 – Rs.2,00,000
Storage Capacity 50-250L Up to 700L
Cooling Uneven Even and regulated
Energy Efficiency High Medium to low
Available in (Models) Single door Double door, triple door, side-by-side door, French-door
External Coils Visible; prone to damage and dust Completely covered, safe from damage and dust
Suitable for Bachelors, Couples, Nuclear families Nuclear families, Joint families
Frost Formation Yes; Manual defrost required No
Exterior Heats up No Yes
Interesting Fact: Frost is not always the enemy

In our country, where power cuts are very common, a direct cool refrigerator keeps the food stored fresh for a longer time. Surprised? Yes, it is a fact with an absurd reason behind it. The excess ice formation, i.e. the frost helps the food stay cold and fresh for a long time in the areas where the power outages are very frequent.

When it comes to choosing your perfect refrigerator, it depends upon your priority. If you prefer the ease of usage and quality, a frost-free is the one you need to go with, but if you don’t wish to spend too much and want a refrigerator that can perform basic operations i.e. keeping your food fresh and save on energy, get yourself a direct cool refrigerator.