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Introduction to domestic Refrigerator & Domestic refrigerator Configurations


Working of Domestic Refrigerators: Chapter 1


Introduction to Domestic Refrigerator


In this module, we will introduce you to domestic refrigerators. We’ll also discuss refrigerator size and capacity. Skip to quiz!


Domestic Refrigerators


A refrigeration system provides cooling in a closed space by lowering the temperature. The refrigeration systems we use in our homes are domestic refrigerators.


Domestic refrigerators are home appliances that store food and drinks. Unlike a large commercial system, a domestic refrigerator provides cooling to a smaller area.


A refrigerator is a rectangular storage container that can easily fit in a kitchen space. We also use them in ice cream parlors, small stores, and garages to keep food and drinks cold.


A refrigerator transfers heat from the space inside to its external environment. It will cool the space inside to a temperature below the room temperature.


If we keep food at room temperature, it can spoil easily. The growth of bacteria present in food slows down when we cool it. The cold temperatures inside a refrigerator help food stay fresh longer.


It’s essential to keep perishable foods like meat and dairy products refrigerated. If we leave milk on the kitchen counter, bacteria will spoil it within two to three hours. However, keeping milk at a lower temperature will stay fresh for a week or two.


Refrigerator Compartments


Along with the temperature, a refrigerator also controls the air’s humidity. The temperature and the amount of moisture needed to retain food quality may vary.


For example, green leafy vegetables keep their crispness and nutrients best in cold, moist air. They are kept at a temperature of 32-40 °F. On the other hand, blackberries and cherries are kept at 31-32 °F.


A refrigerator has two main sections to satisfy the storage requirements of different food items. These sections include:

  • Refrigerator or fridge, and

  • Freezer.

The optimal temperature range for a refrigerator is 34-42 ℉ to keep food safe yet unfrozen. The refrigerator section is typically larger than the freezer. We use the refrigerator section for storing ready-to-eat foods, such as dairy products, packaged foods, and beverages.


A refrigerator's freezer section is designed for food that needs to stay frozen or for long-term storage. That’s why we find the temperature in the range of -6-4 ˚F in a freezer. The freezer is where we keep our frozen vegetables and ice cream.


Refrigerator Size and Capacity

There are a variety of refrigerators available in today’s market to satisfy customer needs. The measurements we need to keep in mind while selecting a refrigerator for any application are:

  • Refrigerator capacity,

  • Refrigerator size, and

  • Family size.


Recall that the capacity of an HVAC system is the ability to heat or cool a given amount of space. If your HVAC system is too small, it won’t be able to heat or cool your home efficiently. Similarly, if a system has a higher capacity than your home requires, it will heat or cool your home too quickly.


A refrigerator's cooling capacity is the ability of the cooling system to remove heat from stored food items. This differs from an air conditioner that circulates cool air to a room.


Recall that capacity of an air conditioning system is measured in tons. Unlike air conditioners, refrigerator capacity is specified by the storage volume from which heat is removed. It’s the inside volume of a refrigerator and is expressed in cubic feet or liters.


The volume of the exact space inside a refrigerator is not easy to find. That’s why refrigerator capacity is measured in liters. The capacity of domestic refrigerators varies from about 4 cubic feet (113L) to 29 cubic feet (821L).


As discussed earlier, domestic refrigerators are available in a wide range of sizes and designs. The size of a refrigerator is specified by its overall depth, width, and height.


The capacity and size of refrigerators vary as per our cooling requirements. The image to the right shows the industry-recommended capacity of a refrigerator depending upon family size.


A refrigeration system provides cooling in space by lowering the temperature. A refrigerator has two main sections to satisfy the storage requirements of different food items. Unlike air conditioners, refrigerator capacity is specified by the storage volume from which heat is removed.


 

Domestic Refrigerator Configurations


In this module, we will learn about different refrigerator types. We’ll also discuss their advantages. Skip to quiz!


Refrigerator Types


Refrigerators we use in our homes are usually one of two types. These include:

  • Freestanding refrigerator, and

  • Built-in and integrated refrigerator.


Freestanding refrigerators are refrigerators that stand on their own. They are unattached and not built into any furniture or cabinets. They can be easily moved around if a kitchen needs to be rearranged.


Built-in appliances are permanently installed in a kitchen, so they can't be relocated. They are integrated directly into kitchen cabinetry and offer a professional, uniform look.


Freestanding Refrigerators


There are different types of freestanding refrigerators available on the market. These include:

  • Compact and portable,

  • Single door,

  • Two-door,

  • Side by side, and

  • Side by side with a French door configuration.


Compact and portable refrigerators are often supplementary models in family rooms, offices, and other convenient places. Many fit on or under a horizontal work surface in a kitchen.


Compact refrigerators have a smaller capacity—mostly less than six cubic feet. That’s why compact and portable refrigerators have a small freezer compartment for ice trays. They can be installed at any height and relocated easily due to their small size.


Single-door refrigerators provide both fresh and frozen food storage in one compartment. Frozen food storage is located on the top side, whereas fresh food storage, like vegetable storage, is underneath the freezer.


Single-door refrigerators generally have a small capacity—mostly less than 14 cubic feet. Most shelf areas are within reach of someone who’s seated. Freezer compartments have doors that open on the side for easier accessibility.


Unlike a single-door refrigerator, two separate doors are present in a two-door refrigerator. One door is the main door for opening the refrigerator, and another is for the freezer. This allows us to open the freezer without opening the main door.


Double door refrigerators are larger than those with a single door, and 4-5 member families can easily fit all of their daily food. They are available in capacities of 6.0 cubic feet (170L) to 21.0 cubic feet (595L).


Much like two-door refrigerators, side-by-side refrigerators are divided into two sides. One side is for the fridge compartment, and the other is for the freezer. Here we find the freezer on the left side and the fridge on the right side.


A side-by-side refrigerator will provide ample vertical space to store taller items. However, horizontal space is slightly lesser than a two-door refrigerator.


Side-by-side refrigerators are split down the middle, and the door hinge swing is shorter. This makes them a better fit in tight spaces. They are available in capacities of 18.0 cubic feet (510L) to 25.0 cubic feet (710L).


Much like the side-by-side, a French door refrigerator is divided in half. Instead of two halves made horizontally, french door models have vertically oriented two sections. The bottom drawer is our freezer section.


Refrigerators with French doors come in different configurations. These types include:

  • Four-, five-, or six-door French door refrigerators, and

  • Quad door refrigerators.


Some of the French door models have two doors at the top and two drawers at the bottom. Quad-door models are divided into quarters. We can convert one of the bottom doors into a regular refrigerator in the quad door.



Built-in and Integrated Refrigerators


Unlike freestyle refrigerators, a built-in refrigerator is placed within one’s kitchen cabinets instead of placing it separately. The sides of a built-in refrigerator flush against kitchen cabinetry, and the door comes out a few inches beyond the cabinet doors.


Much like a built-in refrigerator, the sides of an integrated refrigerator are flush against kitchen cabinetry. The difference is that the door of integrated models completely aligns with the cabinetry. When the fridge door is closed, an integrated refrigerator looks identical to any other cabinet in a kitchen.


Both integrated and built-in refrigerators are available in different designs. The compressor of a built-in refrigerator is mounted on the top side. In contrast, the compressor is on the bottom side of an integrated refrigerator.


Built-in and integrated refrigerators deliver a sleek and luxurious style we can’t achieve with freestanding models. They are expensive and designed for luxury or high-end kitchens.


We cannot move integrated and built-in refrigerators if our kitchen needs to be rearranged. However, we can customize them to fit correctly inside our kitchen.


The types of refrigerators available today are freestanding, built-in, and integrated. Freestanding refrigerators, as the name suggests, stand freely. Built-in and integrated refrigerators are placed within kitchen cabinetry instead of placed separately.


 

Question #1: Why do people need domestic refrigerators?

  1. To cool a room

  2. To store food for a longer duration

  3. To heat food

  4. To produce cool air

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Answer: To store food for a longer duration

A domestic refrigerator is a home appliance that stores food and drinks. The cold temperatures inside a refrigerator help food stay fresh longer.


Question #2: What are the two compartments inside a refrigerator?

  1. Ice maker and water maker

  2. Ice maker and veg food

  3. Fridge and freezer

  4. Veg and non-veg food

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Answer: Fridge and freezer

A refrigerator has two main sections to satisfy the storage requirements of different food items. These sections include:

  • Refrigerator or fridge, and

  • Freezer.


Question #3: A freezer’s temperature is usually greater than the temperature of the fridge or refrigerator.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

False! The temperature in a freezer is less than the temperature of a refrigerator.

The temperature range for a refrigerator is 34-42 ℉ and -6-4 ˚F in a freezer.


Question #4: How do we measure the capacity of a refrigerator?

  1. Ohms

  2. Tons

  3. Cubic feet

  4. Kg or newton

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Answer: Cubic feet

Refrigerator capacity is specified by the storage volume from which heat is removed. It’s the inside volume of a refrigerator, and is expressed in cubic feet or liters.


Question #5: What is the capacity of compact refrigerators?

  1. More than 8 cubic feet

  2. Mostly less than 6 cubic feet

  3. 10 cubic feet

  4. 20 cubic feet

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Answer: Mostly less than 6 cubic feet

Compact refrigerators have a smaller capacity—mostly less than six cubic feet.


Question #6: One door is for the refrigerator, and another one is for the freezer in a single-door refrigerator.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

False. Single-door refrigerators provide both fresh and frozen food storage in one compartment.


Question #7: A double-door refrigerator has a smaller capacity than a single-door refrigerator.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

False. Double-door refrigerators are larger than single-door refrigerators.

They are available in capacities of 6.0 cu.ft. (170L) to 21.0 cu.ft. (595L)


Question #8: Which type of refrigerator gives more vertical space to store taller food items?

  1. Single door refrigerator

  2. Double door refrigerator

  3. Side-by-side refrigerator

  4. Compact refrigerator

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Answer: Side-by-side refrigerator

A side-by-side refrigerator will provide ample vertical space to store taller items. However, horizontal space is slightly lesser than a two-door refrigerator.


Question #9: French door refrigerator configuration is the same as that of a side-by-side fridge.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

False. The freezer compartment is on the left side of the fridge in side-by-side refrigerators. However, the freezer compartment is on the bottom of the fridge in a french door refrigerator.


Question #10: Built-in refrigerators are unattached and are not built into any furniture or cabinets.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

False. Unlike freestyle refrigerators, a built-in refrigerator is placed within one’s kitchen cabinets instead of placed separately.


Question #11: In which type of refrigerator does the door of the fridge completely align with the cabinetry?

  1. Single door refrigerator

  2. Double door refrigerator

  3. Integrated refrigerator

  4. Built-in refrigerator

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Answer: Integrated refrigerator

The door of an integrated refrigerator completely aligns with the cabinetry.

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