Difference Between Direct Cool Refrigerators and Frost Free Refrigerators (With Table)

Direct Cool Refrigerators require manual de-icing but are cheaper when compared to Frost-free refrigerators. In Frost-free Refrigerators, the de-icing is done automatically but is more expensive. Direct cool refrigerators use the method of natural convection for cooling while frost-free refrigerators use convention or indirect cooling for supplying cold air to the compartments.

Direct Cool Refrigerators vs Frost Free Refrigerators

The difference between direct cool refrigerators and frost-free refrigerators is that direct cool refrigerators require regular manual de-icing whereas in frost-free refrigerators it is done automatically. The frost-free refrigerators are costlier compared to the direct cool ones although the price gap is declining.

Direct cool refrigerators are called direct cool because of the cooling method that is used. These refrigerators use the technique of direct cooling or natural convection for cooling. The life expectancy of direct refrigerators is much lesser than the frost-free ones. They have a lesser life expectancy than frost-free refrigerators but are preferred more for industrial use.

Frost-free refrigerators use a different technique for passing cold air into all the compartments which are known as indirect cooling or convention. They have a much greater life expectancy when compared to direct cool refrigerators.

Comparison Table Between Direct Cool Refrigerators and Frost Free Refrigerators

Parameters of Comparison

Direct Cool RefrigeratorsFrost Free Refrigerators
Price
Direct Cool Refrigerators are comparatively cheaper than Frost-free refrigerators.
Frost-free refrigerators are expensive when compared to direct cool refrigerators. Although with days the price gap is reducing.
Efficiency
They are more efficient compared to frost-free refrigerators.
They are less efficient compared to direct cool refrigerators.
Temperature Maintenance
Direct cool refrigerators are a little less efficient in temperature maintenance compared to Frost-free refrigerators.
Frost-free refrigerators maintain the temperature more consistently and thus help by keeping the foods fresher for a longer time.
De-icing
Direct cool refrigerators require manual de-icing.
Frost-free refrigerators do not require any sort of manual de-icing. It is done automatically.
Life expectancy
Lesser compared to frost-free refrigerators.
More compared to frost-free refrigerators.

What is Direct Cool Refrigerators?

A Direct cool refrigerator uses the method of natural convection for instant cooling. The cooling effect is produced from cooled surfaces in the compartment which is insulated and being cooled. When water vapor comes in contact with the cooled surfaces it freezes. This process of cooling requires manual defrosting at regular intervals. Direct cool refrigerators are cheaper compared to the frost-free zones and are preferred more for industrial purposes. They use less electricity as compared to the frost-free refrigerators but the temperature distribution cannot be controlled.

Direct cool refrigerators are suitable for nuclear families and not large families. Direct cool refrigerators are effective in keeping the food fresh but only for a very short period. Direct cool refrigerators are cheaper compared to frost-free refrigerators and also are cheaper in terms of maintenance expenses since it consumes lesser power. Although their life expectancy is much lesser than the frost-free ones they can sometimes be more efficient than the frost-free ones. The exterior parts of the direct cool refrigerators do not remain exposed to heat thus preventing damage. They are not very spacious but can be ideal for usage in small families.

What is Frost Free Refrigerators?

Frost-free refrigerators use the technique of indirect cooling which is also known as a convention for cooling the different compartments of the refrigerator. The cooling coils mainly remain hidden in these types of refrigerators and an electric fan constantly supplies cold air into the compartments. Due to this fan which constantly rotates the energy and power consumption of the frost-free refrigerators is much higher than the direct cool ones increasing the maintenance cost as well. The frost-free refrigerators are much effective in keeping the foods cold over a longer period of time when compared to the direct cool ones.

Unlike the direct cool ones, they do not require manual defrosting the de-icing is performed by a technology known as auto-defrosting. These refrigerators come with a thermostat and hence the temperature can be controlled as well as monitored. Since they are much more spacious than the direct cool refrigerators, hence they are suitable for large families. But they are more expensive than the direct cool refrigerators and also consume a greater amount of electricity. They have a greater life expectancy than the direct cool refrigerators. The price gap between the two has also decreased considerably in recent times.

Main Differences Between Direct Cool Refrigerators and Frost Free Refrigerators

  1. Direct cool Refrigerators are comparatively cheaper than frost-free refrigerators. Although in recent times the price gap between the two is reducing.
  2. Direct cool Refrigerators are more efficient compared to frost-free refrigerators.
  3. Direct cool refrigerators require manual de-icing whereas in frost-free refrigerators it is handled automatically.
  4. Direct cool refrigerators are less efficient than frost-free refrigerators when it comes to temperature maintenance. Frost-free refrigerators maintain the temperature correctly to keep the foods fresh over a longer period of time.
  5. Frost-free refrigerators have a greater life expectancy than direct cool refrigerators.
  6. Direct cool refrigerators are preferred over frost-free ones for industrial purposes.
  7. Direct cool refrigerators use the method of natural convection for instant cooling whereas frost-free refrigerators use convention or indirect cooling for supplying cold air to all the compartments.
  8. Direct cool refrigerators use a lesser amount of electricity compared to frost-free zones.

Conclusion

Direct cool refrigerators are inexpensive technology that is preferred more for industrial purposes. Frost-free refrigerators are costlier compared to the direct cool ones and consume a greater amount of electricity due to the constant usage of the cold air supplying fan thus increasing the maintenance cost. Direct cool refrigerators use natural convection to cool the refrigerator whereas the frost-free refrigerators use indirect cooling or convention to pass on cold air to the different compartments of the refrigerator. Frost-free refrigerators use more energy due to the auto defrosting technology which is not available in direct cool refrigerators and thus requires regular manual defrosting. Since the cooling technique is much improved in frost-free refrigerators, hence it is more useful in keeping the foods fresh over a longer period of time compared to the direct cool refrigerators. Direct cool refrigerators are less durable and have a shorter lifespan compared to frost-free refrigerators.

References

  1. https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/iracc/1162/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140700720303844
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