Convertible refrigerators are in vogue these days. Owing to the flexible space, better compressor technology and superior cooling, most households prefer them to conventional double-door refrigerators. And thanks to the tough competition, they are competitively priced too.
Let us explore how convertible refrigerators work, the different options from the major brands and their differentiating factors.
What Is A Convertible Refrigerator?
Convertible refrigerator as the name suggests come with the option whereby the fridge and freezer can be converted interchangeably. Essentially, in all convertible refrigerators, the freezer compartment can be converted to a fridge or switched off independently. While certain brands offer the option to put the fridge compartment on stand-by, others don’t. We will explore this in detail later.
How Convertible Refrigerators Work?
Convertible refrigerators have dual evaporators which circulate air in the freezer and fridge separately. Using the touch control panel, usually found on the refrigerator door, you can adjust the temperature of the air circulating in each compartment.
However, not all convertible refrigerators have dual evaporators. In refrigerators with just convertible freezers, they have an airflow system that can be individually controlled. So, when you want to turn the freezer into fridge, the air circulated in the freezer is reduced. Or when you want to switch it off, the airflow in the freezer is completed turned off.
Related reading: How much Energy Does A Refrigerator Consume?
Convertible Refrigerators From Major Brands
Samsung Convertible Refrigerators
5-in-1 Convertible Refrigerators
Samsung is the pioneer of convertible refrigerators in India. They introduced the first 5 in 1 convertible refrigerator in which the temperature of the freezer and fridge can be controlled individually.
Depending on your needs, you can set the temperature of the freezer from -23 to -15 degrees Celsius and the fridge from 1 to 7 degrees Celsius. In addition, you get power cool and power freeze functions using which the fridge and freezer can be cooled 31% faster.
The freezer section of the 5-in-1 convertible refrigerator can be converted to fridge or switched off. But, the fridge can never be switched off. Rather, it always stays on stand-by mode.
It takes Samsung convertible refrigerators about 100-120 minutes to convert the freezer to fridge and vice-versa.
The various modes available in Samsung 5-in-1 convertible refrigerators are-
Normal Mode- where both fridge and freezer works as usual, just like any other double-door refrigerator.
Seasonal Mode- Here, the freezer can be switched off and the fridge works as normal. It is useful during the times of Vijayasadasami and Easter when people abstain from non-vegetarian food.
Extra Fridge- Here, the freezer is converted to fridge. So, the entire refrigerator works as a huge fridge. It is useful when you are stocking up on more vegetables and abstaining from non-vegetarian food and ice cream.
Vacation Mode- Here, the fridge is on standby mode and the freezer works normally so that any fish/meat or ice cream stored doesn’t get spoiled.
Home Alone Mode- This mode essentially converts your refrigerator into a mini-fridge. So, the freezer works as a fridge and the fridge compartment is on standby. This is useful when you have just minimal food to be refrigerated.
A major advantage of Samsung 5-in-1 convertible refrigerator is that it uses dual evaporator coils. So, the air circulated in the fridge and freezer compartment is separate. Hence, there won’t be any odour mixing. Further, the air circulated in the fridge compartment will have a higher moisture content. So, fresh vegetables will last longer.
Samsung also has convertible side-by-side refrigerators which are incredibly helpful considering most homes don’t use the huge freezer space that they offer.
3-in-1 Convertible Refrigerators
In addition to 5 in 1 convertible refrigerators, Samsung has introduced refrigerators with convertible freezers as well. It doesn’t have dual evaporators. Instead, it controls the airflow in each compartment.
You can convert the freezer to fridge or switch it off. But, the fridge cannot be put on stand-by.
Here also, you can set the temperature of the freezer at -23 to -15 degrees Celsius and the freezer at 1 to 7 degrees Celsius. It also has power freeze and power cool functions.
Compared to 5 in 1 refrigerator, it doesn’t have vacation mode or home-alone mode. While you may not really miss out on these two modes, what you are likely to long for is the twin cooling technology which helps keep vegetable fresher for longer.
Related reading: Refrigerator With Water Dispensers- Is It Worth It?
LG Convertible Refrigerators
LG convertible refrigerators are not as versatile as Samsung’s 5-in-1 refrigerators. They are more like Samsung’s 3-in-1 convertible refrigerators.
Here, you can convert the freezer to fridge or switch it off. But, you can’t change the mode of the fridge compartment. LG dual fridge is comparatively faster at convertibility. It takes about an hour to convert the freezer to fridge and vice-versa, which is much faster than Samsung.
A drawback is that, unlike Samsung, it doesn’t have a control panel on the door. LG has a panel inside the refrigerator at the rear end. It is slightly difficult to reach when the fridge is completely full.
Also, you don’t have the option to set the freezer and fridge at specific temperatures. Instead, you just have the option to set it anywhere between cold to coldest without a specific figure given.
You may also like: What Is Frost Free Refrigerator?
Whirlpool Convertible Refrigerators
5-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
Whirlpool sells convertible refrigerators with 5 modes. However, its modes are not like what you see in Samsung. Rather, their convertible refrigerators always have the fridge compartment on and adjusts the temperature of the freezer section to come up with 5 modes. In fact, we felt it to be a bit gimmicky.
Also, in Whirlpool, you have to set the mode from the control panel on the door and also adjust the knob inside the freezer to activate any mode.
Their modes are-
All Season Mode- Here, the fridge and freezer work normally. Just like other refrigerators with inverter compressors, its sensors detect external temperature, food load and other factors to set the fridge and freezer at an optimal temperature.
Chef Mode- Here, the freezer converts to a fridge. So, if you have a lot of fresh food for storing, you could opt for this mode.
Dessert Mode- This mode increases the humidity level in the freezer to avoid freezer burn on ice cream and other foods. Freezer-burnt food items are covered in ice crystals, which affects the taste of the food. It typically happens when you store food in the freezer for a long time and it loses moisture.
Party Mode- It is similar to the power cool and power freeze functions seen in LG and Samsung. Cold air is blasted in the fridge and freezer compartment to quickly chill beverages and ice cream for parties and gatherings.
Deep Freeze Mode- Here, the temperature of the freezer is lowered to replicate a deep freezer whereby you can store frozen food for a long duration.
Whirlpool 10-in-1 Bottom Mounted Refrigerator
Powered by dual fan, Whirlpool 10-in-1 refrigerators have the freezer at the bottom and the fridge at the top. Though they claim to have 10 modes, practically, it is similar to the Samsung 5-in-1 refrigerator.
Other modes simply adjust the temperature of individual compartments. But practically, in everyday use, you won’t find much use with the 10 different modes.
The different modes are-
All Season Mode- Where the fridge and freezer compartment works as normal.
Grocery Day Mode- Where the freezer compartment is converted to fridge and the fridge compartment works as normal. It is similar to Samsung’s Extra Fridge mode.
Beverage Mode- Whereby the freezer temperature is increased so as to keep beverages cool. It is similar to Grocery Day Mode.
Deep Freezer Mode- Here, the freezer temperature is lowered to convert it into a deep freezer, whereby you can store frozen food for a longer duration.
Energy Saving Mode- Here, the fridge and freezer work as normal. But, the temperature is maintained at a higher level in each compartment to reduce energy consumption. It is ideal when you are going on a small vacation and you don’t have much food to store or during winters.
Fast Ice Mode- Here, the fridge works as normal. But, chilled air is blasted into the freezer to quickly make ice. This is similar to the Power Freeze function in Samsung and LG.
Party Mode- In this mode, the temperature of the fridge and freezer is lowered quickly so that you can chill beverages and make ice quickly. It is similar to invoking power freeze and power cool function simultaneously in Samsung and LG.
Vacation Mode- Here, the fridge is switched off and the freezer works as normal.
Chef Mode- In this mode, the fridge works normally, while the freezer works almost like a fridge, but at a slightly lower temperature, which is ideal for keeping marinated food and other gourmet ingredients.
Mini Fridge Mode- Here, the fridge is switched off and the freezer works as a fridge. It is similar to the Home Alone mode in Samsung.
5-in-1 Convertible Refrigerator
Haier 5-in-1 convertible refrigerator, again is gimmicky at the best, as its modes are pretty much the same as what you find in Samsung and LG’s 3-in-1 convertible refrigerators.
Unlike Samsung, Haier takes a longer time to convert. Further, there is no control panel or button. Instead, you have to convert it using a knob at the rear panel inside the refrigerator.
The different modes of Haier 5-in-1 convertible refrigerators are-
Daily Needs- In this mode, the fridge and freezer work as normal.
Extra Large- Similar to Samsung’s Extra fridge, here, the freezer works as a fridge.
More Saving- It is an energy-saving mode where the fridge and freezer work at a slightly higher temperature to reduce power consumption. It is ideal for winters.
Turbo Icing Mode- In this mode, the freezer and fridge cool down rapidly to chill beverages and make ice quickly.
Retention Mode- Here, the fridge and freezer work as normal. But, it maintains a cool temperature for up to 12 hours. It is ideal for homes where power cuts are frequent.
8-in-1 Convertible Refrigerators
Haier’s 8-in-1 convertible refrigerators are bottom-mounted, meaning, the freezer is at the bottom and fridge is at the top.
The modes are similar to what you find in Samsung’s 5-in-1 convertible refrigerators. They are-
Normal Mode- Where the fridge and freezer works normally.
Veg Mode- Where the freezer works as fridge.
Home Alone Mode- The freezer is off and fridge works as normal.
Party Mode- Blasts chilled air to quickly cool beverages and make ice. It is similar to power cool and power freeze in Samsung.
Freezer Mode- The fridge is off and the freezer works alone.
Vacation Mode- The fridge is off and the freezer works as a fridge.
Turbo Mode- Freezer and fridge can be used to quickly chill beverages.
Summer Mode- Freezer works as fridge and overall a low temperature is maintained.
Samsung, LG, Whirlpool and Haier are the major players in the convertible refrigerator segment. Out of all the options, we highly recommend Samsung. Their twin cooling technology is far superior in terms of cooling performance. Moreover, their products are generally quite durable. LG too is a preferred choice. Their models with Inverter Linear Compressors offer excellent cooling and performance.
Whirlpool and Haier offer fairly good performance. However, the 8 or 10 modes they offer are kind of gimmicky and hardly used every day.