The ads for the consumer appliances are pretty appealing these days, especially those streamed on the digital platforms. One of the ads garnering lot of buzz on online platforms is about the convertible refrigerators. Big brands like Samsung, LG and Haier are aggressively marketing this feature as a revolutionary one. So, what exactly convertible technology is, what it does, how it works, how it benefits you, we will try to answer all these questions in this article.
The Journey of Convertible Technology So Far
Samsung is the first brand to introduce the concept of “convertible refrigerators” in India around two years back. Since then brands like LG and Haier have also caught up and came with their own variants. LG uses Dual Fridge to market convertible refrigerators whereas Haier took it to the next level with its 8-in-1 convertible refrigerator.
What is Convertible Refrigerator and How it Works?
The main idea behind the convertible refrigerator is to convert and control two main compartments of refrigerator—fridge (main unit maintaining temperature between 2o to 5o C) and freezer (smaller unit maintaining temperature between −15o to −23o C) separately. For example, you can turn off the fridge while keeping only the freezer active or you can simply convert a freezer into freeze. Depending upon brand and model, there is some other permutation combination to these settings as well which we will look in details in this article.
Heart of convertible technologies lies in having two separate fans & evaporator—one for the fridge and another for the freezer. This way there is separate regularization of temperature in both the compartments and they can run independent to each other.
This conversion is easy to activate—there is usually a push button for this purpose. But do keep in mind that switching between the two modes does take some time for the appliance to adjust. Like for example to convert the freezer to fridge LG takes around an hour whereas Samsung takes nearly two hours.
Now let us look into specific modes of different convertible technologies based upon the brand.
Samsung 5-in-1 Convertible refrigerator
Premium double door Samsung refrigerators come with a 5-in-1 convertible feature which helps to make the most out of the refrigerator during the varying phase of seasons or changing requirements. It does so by allowing users to fully customize their refrigerator into any of the 5 modes ranging from normal fridge-freezer mode to frugal home alone mode.
Let us look into details of each modes:
- Normal mode: This is the usual mode with the top compartment of the refrigerator used as freezer while the bigger bottom part for normal refrigeration. This is usually the default option out of the box.
- Extra fridge mode: According to one of the studies, Indians consume much lesser frozen food than the western counterparts. This is because a good percentage of Indians are vegetarians and probably won’t need freezer that much. Extra fridge mode gives the liberty to convert the freezer compartment into the normal fridge providing extra refrigeration space. If you are a vegan who often ends up bringing home more bags of veggies than that can be stuffed inside the refrigerator, this option would be your saviour.
- Seasonal mode: With the option of Extra fridge mode you can beef up your “only refrigeration” requirement. But there are times when you don’t need freezer at all. But the ordinary refrigerator, in this case, would run both fridge and freezer compartment even though the freezer is empty. This is a wastage of energy. This problem is solved by the seasonal mode which turns off the freezer while keeps running the fridge compartment.
- Vacation mode: Refrigerator works 24×7, 365 days a year (provided no power cuts occur). This means they are incessantly consuming electricity. There would be occasions when you would move out of your home with your complete family for vacations, weddings, or other purposes. These trips may be of a few days or few weeks. Obviously then, neither you would be carrying the refrigerator nor would be anyone using it. And your ordinary refrigerator would keep on piling up your electricity units. Vacation mode solves this predicament. When activated, only the freezer compartment runs while shutting down the bigger refrigeration compartment. So, on vacations and outing, you can enjoy more and worry less about refrigerator gobbling up power units.
- Home alone mode: There would be times when your family members go out, but you don’t—because of the exam, office work or some other priorities. There are good chances that you won’t actually need that big volume refrigerator working with full power. Also, with full power comes big electricity bills! So again, to your rescue would be Home alone mode wherein you can shut down the refrigerator compartment and shift all your small stock of perishables to the top compartment which is now converted into a mini refrigerator.
Samsung 3-in-1 Convertible refrigerator
Although the name says 3-in-1, this range of refrigerators from Samsung just have Normal Mode and Extra Fridge Mode as explained above. These refrigerators are like any other convertible refrigerators from any other brand.
LG Dual Fridge
LG has convertible technology called Dual Fridge. But dual fridge doesn’t quite offer the versatility that matches with Samsung’s 5-in-1 convertibles. But it makes up for it by a faster conversion time between the mode switching. LG refrigerators coming with Dual Fridge technology has only two modes one the normal and other mode wherein freezer can be converted to fridge thus increasing refrigeration storage by 40%.
Haier 8-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
- Normal mode: This is the normal mode with fridge and freezer both running and doing their respective job of refrigeration and chilling.
- Veg mode: This is Extra fridge mode equivalent of Samsung convertible refrigerators. In this mode, main fridge compartment does the regular refrigeration job, but the freezer is converter to the fridge which means the whole refrigerator is now one big fridge debarred of chilling operation.
- Home alone mode: This is equivalent to seasonal mode of Samsung convertible refrigerators (and not the home alone mode!). Here the fridge works as usual, but the freezer is turned off.
- Freezer mode: This is similar to vacation mode of Samsung’s 5-in-1. As the name suggests only the freezer compartment works in freezing mode while the main refrigeration is turned off.
- Vacation mode: Home alone mode of Samsung’s convertible refrigerator is the vacation mode of Haier. In this mode, the main refrigeration unit is turned off while the freezer is transformed into a fridge mode saving you electricity as you travel away from your home for vacations.
- Surprise party mode: This is a slightly amped-up version of normal mode. Here fridge compartment works as it is, but the freezer mode is run with peak capacity for faster chilling using “turbo icing technology”. That’s why called surprise party mode because it allows you to cool your beverages and other cold items in a short notice before the surprise party.
- Summer mode: Many times, during the summer when the heat is high the refrigerator fails to keep up with requisite cooling. That’s where the summer mode comes to rescue. It makes the fridge component run on its peak capacity to keep up with the scorching heat.
- Swift chill mode: This is the pinnacle of refrigeration power. It’s like running your refrigerator on steroids. Here both the fridge and freezer run at the maximum settings for faster cooling of food inside the refrigerator.
Some of you while going through the article might feel that Haier might be the best as it has “8 modes” but to call it the best convertible technology isn’t really that straightforward. Actually, though it offers 8 modes, the conversion time is highest while switching. LG has just two modes but has the smallest conversion time. Moreover, the main benefit of convertible technology is in converting the freezer to a fridge which is typically useful for people who don’t eat meat and ice cream much. Turning on and off the individual freezer and fridge component is beneficial from an energy savings standpoint. Interestingly none of the manufacturers provide the functionality to turn the refrigeration unit into a freezer. Haier at the most makes refrigeration unit with full power but that doesn’t convert it to the freezer. Other brands like Hitachi and Whirlpool have also introduced a few models which are very similar to Samsung’s 3-in-1 or LG’s Dual Fridge technology.
About the Author:
Hussain Kanchwala is an Electronics Engineer from University of Mumbai. As an Analyst at BijliBachao he keeps a tab on latest technologies in gadgets and appliances, tracks businesses of white goods companies and monitors the consumer behavior. With a background in engineering, penchant for detail, and flair for writing he regularly write reviews about brands and their products. More from this author.