Would it not be an incredible idea to use the entire refrigerator as a fridge instead of having dedicated space for a freezer that we rarely use?
Alternatively, should it not be perfect for converting the fridge into a freezer to maintain the freshness of our food items when we go on a short vacation?
It is a possibility today with the introduction of convertible refrigerators that allow you to both the things mentioned above and much more.
Technology has improved over the years where you can interchange the functions of the freezer compartment and the refrigerator compartment, depending on your requirements.
Such an arrangement has given birth to a new category of refrigerators known as ‘Convertible Refrigerators.’
The History behind it
Today, convertible refrigerators are the toast of the town. Almost all the reputed manufactures like Samsung, LG, and Haier manufacture and market these models as innovative products.
Yes, innovative they are, but the credit of introducing this revolutionary concept goes to Samsung.
Samsung introduced convertible fridges around two years back when they come up with an impressive idea of interchanging the uses of the fridge and freezer compartment to suit the immediate needs of the consumer.
They named it the 5-in-1 convertible refrigerator. Haier and LG followed soon after with their versions of this module. We shall discuss these three products in detail to understand their work.
The Convertible Refrigerators – How does the idea work?
Everyone knows that a refrigerator comprises of two compartments, the fridge part, and the freezer portion.
The fridge is the primary component of a refrigerator where the temperature is maintained in the range of 20C to 50C.
The freezer is the smaller compartment of the two, where the temperature is maintained between -150C and -230C.
The idea behind the convertible refrigerator is to control these two compartments and use them interchangeably, depending on the user’s specific requirements.
For example, this technology allows you to switch off the freezer entirely and use the entire refrigerator as a fridge. Similarly, you can also switch off the fridge portion and use either a part of the appliance or the whole machine as a freezer.
The trick lies in having separate sets of fans and evaporators, one for the fridge and another for the freezer. As you have two distinct hardware, it becomes possible to control them independently.
Activating the conversion process is easy. The convertible refrigerators come with a simple push-button type arrangement that one can use to switch between the two different modes.
However, one should note that the switchover does not happen instantaneously. LG convertible refrigerators take around one hour for the conversion, whereas the pioneer in this field, Samsung takes about a couple of hours.
We shall discuss the different types of convertible refrigerator technologies, depending on the brand.
Samsung – 5-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
As the name suggests, this Samsung refrigerator comes in five different modes that you can activate at any time, depending on your preferences.
This mode is the default mode where you have the freezer compartment at the top with the more significant bottom portion serving as a fridge.
This mode envisages doing away with the freezer compartment and using the entire appliance like a fridge. The logic behind this usage pattern is that Indians do not consume as much frozen food as their Western counterparts.
Extra Fridge Mode
The vegetarian Indian population does not consume meat and fish. On the other hand, they would love to have more space in the appliance to store their vegetables and fruits. The Extra Fridge Mode offers them the option to convert the freezer portion into a fridge and use it as such.
In the winter months, you might not need cold water or ice because of climatic compulsions. Under such circumstances, it does not make any sense to use the freezer. You can use the seasonal mode and switch off the freezer mode completely, whereby you use the fridge compartment of the appliance alone. It can save much power for the user.
Refrigerators belong to the category of consumer appliances that can work 24x7x365. Generally, you shut them off when you go on a vacation and would not be using the appliance for extended periods.
However, if you wish, you can use the vacation mode and switch off the fridge compartment while allowing the freezer compartment to keep functioning.
In this way, you can store essential food items like milk, ghee, and other perishables that might otherwise get spoilt. As you do not keep the entire appliance switched on, you end up saving power.
Home Alone Mode
At times, you might find yourself staying alone at home with your family members going out on an extended vacation. Students usually experience such situations when they are unable to accompany their parents on the family vacation due to exams and other commitments.
Under such circumstances, you can switch off the fridge compartment and shift all the food items to the top chamber and use it as a mini-refrigerator. You save valuable electricity consequently.
Samsung 3-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
The name 3-in-1 is a misnomer because this convertible refrigerator has only two modes, the Normal Mode, and the Extra Fridge Mode.
We have explained the significance of these two modes in the above section. In all other parameters, these fridges are similar to convertible refrigerators from different brands like Whirlpool and LG, to name a few.
LG – Dual Fridge
Business rivalry makes LG come up with competitive products to match those offered by Samsung. The Dual Fridge is an attempt in this direction.
However, this refrigerator does not match up to the versatility shown by Samsung 5-in-1 convertible models. Nevertheless, the LG model scores over the Samsung offering by ensuring a faster conversion time between mode switching.
LG Dual Fridge is similar to the Samsung 3-in-1 convertible refrigerator that comes in two modes, the normal mode, and the freezer converted to a fridge to increase storage space.
While Samsung enhances space by nearly 88%, the LG Dual Fridge enhances space up to 40%.
LG Dual Fridge takes around one hour for converting from one mode to the other, whereas the Samsung model takes two hours.
Haier 8-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
Haier is one of the reputed international consumer appliances manufacturers who has introduced an 8-in-1 convertible refrigerator that has three modes more than what Samsung offers in its flagship model.
This mode is the default mode, similar to what Samsung has to offer with the same name. This mode has the freezer and fridge performing their respective tasks.
The Veg Mode is the equivalent of the Extra Fridge mode of the Samsung counterpart. The freezer is converted to a fridge, thereby enhancing the refrigeration space considerably by shutting off the freezer completely.
Home Alone Mode
Though the name sounds similar to the Samsung Home Alone mode, this mode is similar in working to the Seasonal Mode offered by Samsung, where you turn off the freezer and use the fridge compartment alone.
In this mode, you keep the freezer mode working and shut off the fridge compartment, similar to what Samsung offers in its vacation mode.
The Vacation Mode in Haier is the same as the Home Alone Mode in Samsung, where you switch off the fridge and use the freezer mode as a mini-refrigerator. Thus, you save power in the bargain.
Surprise Party Mode
The Surprise Mode is an improved version of the Normal Mode, where the freezer works overtime to enable fast chilling using a unique technology, “Turbo Icing Technology.” The logic behind using this mode is that it allows quicker cooling of the beverages when you have a surprise party at your home.
The Summer Mode envisages the fridge compartment to run at enhanced capacity. It is, in a way, opposite to how the Surprise Party Mode works.
Swift Chill Mode
This mode is a combination of the Surprise Party Mode and the Summer Mode, where both the fridge and the freezer run at peak capacities.
Whirlpool 5-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
Many Indian homemakers prefer Whirlpool appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. Whirlpool has introduced various smart systems in their refrigerator models, one of which is the Intellifresh technology. The 5-in-1 convertible appliance features the following modes.
All Season Mode
It is similar to the one introduced in Samsung machines where you convert the entire appliance into a fridge by doing away with the freezer compartment altogether.
This mode saves more than 23% energy as you optimise the temperature settings to suit your cooking demands.
Here, you concentrate more on the freezer compartment by enhancing the cooling capacity to make your ice creams freeze faster
The Party Mode requires you to use both the fridge and the freezer compartments at the maximum levels to make ice faster.
Deep Freeze Mode
This mode is similar to the Vacation Mode in the Samsung machines, where you switch off the fridge compartment and keep the freezer running to maintain the freshness of milk and other critical food items.
Though Samsung is the pioneer in this field and has introduced one of the best products in the category, LG convertible refrigerators take the least time for conversion from one mode to the other.
We round off this discussion by stating that the convertible nature of the fridge is an additional feature. All these refrigerators can perform their standard functions by default.
People who love to experiment with their appliances can purchase convertible refrigerators, depending on their requirements. This technology has proved to be a revolutionary concept.
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VS Chaitanya is a Computer engineer, creator, and editor in chief of Kitchenarena. He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and has experience of Ten years in technology news reporting and his area of expertise includes Large Appliances and Electronics.