A refrigerator is an important appliance that is more of a necessity. After all, it keeps your food items fresh. However, before you go for the features, you should know about the types of the refrigerator. This helps in making a better choice. Choosing the right type can make your life more comfortable.

In India, there are two types of refrigerators, i.e., Direct Cool and Frost Free. If you want to know what their benefits or features are, read along.

Direct Cool Technology

Direct Cool

Direct cool technology works using the natural convection process—the vapors in the insulated portion freeze after coming in contact with the cool surface. Here, you have to defrost after regular intervals manually to remove excess ice.


  • Direct cool refrigerators effectively keep your food fresh
  • Usually suitable for families with 3-4 members
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Cost friendly option


  • You have to defrost it manually for cleaning
  • Not spacious enough for families with more than 4 members

Frost Free Technology

Frost Free

This is a new technology where you need not defrost the refrigerator manually. It automatically does that to prevent the accumulation of extra ice.


  • These refrigerators can keep food fresh for a long, which makes them more effective
  • The capacity is higher than average refrigerators
  • It comes with a thermostat to automatically monitor the temperature
  • Easy to maintain and clean


  • More expensive
  • Use more energy

Direct Cool vs Frost Free

Uses natural convection for foolingUses electric fans for cooling
Uses Less EnergyUses more energy
Available in single door variantAvailable in double, triple, and side-by-side door variants
Capacity is between 50-250 litersA wide range of capacity higher than 250 liter is available
Moderately effectiveVery effective
Requires Manual DefrostingOffers automatic Defrosting
The exteriors do not become hotThe exteriors become hot
Coils are exposed which leads to dust accumulationIts fully covered so no dust accumulation
Good for small familiesGood for large families

Frost Free Refrigerator Vs. Direct Cool – Which One Should You Buy?

Let’s consider some factors to help you decide which one is best for you.

1. Freshness

Frost-free refrigerators manage the cool air better and thus offer better and longer freshness. Simultaneously, the direct cool refrigerators offer uneven distribution of cool air leading to average level freshness.

2. Cleaning Issues

Direct cool refrigerators have their coils exposed, which should be cleaned regularly. Also, you need to clean the water droplets left after every manual defrosting session. However, with frost-free refrigerators, you don’t need to manually defrost it. It cleans its frost on its own. Also, the coils are covered. So, no need for extra cleaning.

3. Convenient Design

Frost-free refrigerators come in the double door, triple door, and side to side range. And you can see these refrigerators in most Indian homes. Also, such refrigerators offer better temperature control. On the other hand, direct cool ones have a single door variant only.

4. Variable Settings

Frost-free refrigerators offer numerous settings. You can manage the temperature controls, tweak the timers and even switch to convertible modes. However, this is not available with a direct cool refrigerator.

5. Parts Availability and Durability

You may save some money in the start with the Direct Cool refrigerator, but you may have to pay a lot to find the parts in the long run. Direct cool refrigerators are going out of fashion. On the other end, frost-free refrigerators are gaining importance and will have good availability of parts in the future. And this automatically makes them more durable.


1. Why is my Frost-Free refrigerator icing up?

Ans: It may be due to the gasket. Check the gasket for leakage. And if it does, it will cause frosting in the evaporator. When the gasket gets damaged, the warm air goes to the freezer and leads to the frosting.

2. Do Frost Free refrigerators need defrosting?

Frost-free refrigerators manage to defrost on their own, so you don’t have to. It’s the direct cool refrigerators that need defrosting.

3. How long can a Frost-Free refrigerator last?

Such refrigerators have a life of up to 15 years. However, it also depends on how well you maintain or use it. As frost-free refrigerators defrost on their own and have coils covered, they stay clean and intact for long.

4. Are Frost Free refrigerators noisy?

To some extent, yes. However, the sound is low profile and sounds like a hum and that too if you’re standing too close. Otherwise, it won’t be a problem.

5. Is there some way to speed up defrosting?

You can do that by taking a pot of hot water and placing it in your freezer. Use a hot pad and palace the pot on a towel to ensure safety. Once you do that, the defrosting will occur at a faster rate.

6. How long does a normal refrigerator take to defrost?

Mostly refrigerators take anywhere between 10-30 minutes. But this can vary with the model. So, check for these details in the manual.

7. Should you defrost your fridge often?

Some refrigerators come with a guide that tells you to defrost them twice a week. However, it largely depends on how you use it. If too much ice accumulates, you should defrost it more frequently and vice versa.

8. How long can you put food back in after defrosting?

Usually, you can put the food back after 30 minutes of the defrosting process. However, if you have frozen food to place, make sure that the refrigerator’s air reaches the freezing temperature. Otherwise, the food can get contaminated.

9. How often does a refrigerator defrost?

Most frost-free refrigerators perform the defrosting cycle every six hours. However, this is not specific for all models. It can vary with what you and your neighbor have. Some even defrost once each day. So, check the manual for deeper insights.

10. What happens if the freezer doesn’t get defrosted?

Defrosting is a mandatory process that should happen at regular intervals. However, if it doesn’t happen, you might face irregular cooling in the refrigerator. Also, excessive ice will break the airflow and can put extra pressure on the parts.

When the airflow is not optimum, it can also contaminate your food. So, make sure to call an expert if defrosting is not happening.


We’ve briefly compared both frost-free and direct cool refrigerators. The direct cool is for those who are low on budget and need an energy-efficient option. These kinds of refrigerators are available for as low as Rs. 12,000. But it can cause maintenance problems in the future. Also, you may not get spare parts if needed.

However, frost-free refrigerators are for those who can go above the range of Rs. 20,000. Such refrigerators may consume more energy but are efficient in the long run. Also, the maintenance is almost negligible. So, list your requirements and choose the right type.