Refrigerator Types – Different Styles and Types of Refrigerators

Modern manufacturers offer a variety of models of household refrigerators, which differ not only in their design features but also in the principle of operation. Consumers who don’t understand the technical details of such equipment often find it difficult to choose an appliance that would fully meet the goals. 

Refrigerator options depending on the cooling system

The cooling system is the main component of the refrigerator. There are several kinds, each with its own operating principle. Depending on the type of cooling system, the refrigerators are divided into a compressor, absorption, and thermoelectric systems. For more help, check out this article on

Compressor cooling system. 

Refrigerators with compressor cooling systems are the most common in domestic appliances. They are as economical as possible and can also be quite voluminous. Here, the refrigerant is circulated by means of a compressor.


Most of these appliances are equipped with a single compressor, which is responsible for lowering the temperature in both the refrigerator and freezer. However, there are also two-compressor models with two cooling circuits. This allows you to switch off a separate chamber or set the required temperature in it if necessary.

Under certain circumstances, this also saves energy consumption, e.g. by leaving only the freezer running, he added. The same also notes that the cost of fridges with two compressors is much higher. In most cases, they are not equipped with the No Frost defrosting control system, which defrosts the refrigerator automatically.

There are also single-compressor models with a dual-circuit cooling system. In this case, there are several evaporators and a special control system responsible for the selective direction of the refrigerant movement.

Absorption cooling system. 

There are no compressor units in this type of refrigerator. The coolant circulates by heating the heat exchanger. Such systems are mainly used for small and medium-sized fridges often time used for camping. Compared to compression models, they don’t differ in terms of energy efficiency but consume much fewer resources than thermoelectric models.



Credit: Mark Fedkin – modified after Kalogirou, 2009

Alternative energy sources can be used to operate absorption fridges, which is, in fact, their main advantage. In particular, the system can be operated on liquid or gaseous fuels. 

Today, there are combined devices that can function both with electricity and liquefied gas. At the same time, one five-liter cylinder with a propane-butane mixture is enough for an average of 230 hours of continuous operation of the appliance.

Thermoelectric cooling system. 

In such a cooling system, the temperature reduction is carried out according to the principle of direct absorption of heat energy. There is no refrigerant circulating along the circuit. The function of the coolers is performed by semiconductor wafers, through which the electric current flows. As a result, the inner side of the element is cooled and the outer part of the element is heated. As the direction of current changes, the same processes begin to reverse.

When comparing such appliances to absorption or compression models in energy consumption, the resource consumption in the case of a thermoelectric cooler is directly related to its volume. 

This explains why such cooling systems are primarily used in small refrigerators.

Refrigerators depending on the number of chambers

Modern manufacturers offer a wide range of models of refrigerators, which differ both in the number of internal compartments and their location. This, in turn, can affect the size of the product.

Single-chamber refrigerators

These devices don’t have a separate freezer compartment. 

Typically, it’s combined with a food cooling chamber, and some models don’t have one at all. Nowadays, both small-size single-chamber refrigerators and full-size appliances are on sale. At the same time, their technical characteristics may differ significantly.

Choosing such a refrigerator, it’s necessary to start not only from the quantity of the potential users living in the house but also from free space available in a kitchen. 

In most cases, single-chamber devices are perfect for both apartments and country houses. Relatively low cost, as well as minimal electricity consumption, makes them quite popular among consumers.

Double-chamber refrigerators.

The design, consisting of two chambers, assumes the presence of an autonomous freezer chamber, which can be located both above and below. The freezer itself can be divided into two compartments for food cooling. Due to the zoning of the internal space, it’s possible to store chilled products in different conditions:

  • For meat, fish, and poultry, there is an area with a humidity level of up to 50%.
  • Vegetables, fruits, and greens are stored in an area where the humidity reaches 90%.

Multi-chamber fridges. 

Models consisting of three or four compartments make it possible to place separately products that have different storage requirements. The most popular three-chamber refrigerators have such compartments as:

  • autonomous freezer compartment;
  • the compartment for cooling with certain humidity values;
  • fresh zone (also known as a “zero chamber”).

If there is a chamber for fresh food, you can be sure that the useful elements that are in the vegetables or meat will be preserved. 

Usually, household appliances consist of three chambers and have 4 doors. Models with many compartments are already professional.

Side-by-Side fridges. 

Premium class refrigerators are large and spacious enough appliances made in the form of two-door cabinets. Both the freezer and refrigerator compartments, in this case, are located vertically, fully occupying the left and right parts of the construction.

These appliances are much wider than multi-chamber models, which require additional space in the room. The outer surface of the freezer door is usually equipped with a dispenser that supplies cold water or ice cubes.

Refrigerators depending on the location of the freezers

The presence of two separate compartments makes it possible to store both ready meals and semi-finished products in proper conditions. It’s also an excellent option for storing fruit and vegetables. In this case, you should decide where the freezer will be located for its most convenient use.

And also:

  • Freezer at the top. In modern models, these compartments are much less common than before. However, for those who mainly use the refrigerating chamber, this system is still relevant. Bottom shelves are not always filled with food, so you don’t have to bend over to reach them. In some household models, however, the size of the freezer often approximates the size of the main compartment.
  • Freezer at the bottom. This location is considered traditional for most modern appliances. In constructions with a bottom freezer, swing doors are often installed. The drawers allow you to store certain products separately. At the same time, everything on the shelves of the main compartment is as accessible as possible.

Refrigerators depending on the installation method

When choosing a design that fits perfectly into the interior of the kitchen, you should take into account the convenience of future use of the appliance. The refrigerator can be placed separately from other furniture items or it can be built in as a part of the set.

Detached fridge. The traditional option of installation assumes a separate site where the refrigerator will be located. As a rule, it’s a location near the electrical outlet. It’s necessary to keep a distance of at least half a meter from the battery. Furthermore, you shouldn’t install the refrigerator close to the stove, especially if there is an induction hob since a powerful electrical appliance can have a negative impact on it.

Built-in fridge. 

This way of installation provides the conceptual design of the interior. The refrigerator is mounted in the kitchen furniture, and the front part of it is covered with a coating of the kitchen set.

Refrigerators depending on the number of doors and material of their manufacturing

Nowadays, the most popular among domestic consumers models are single-door appliances. A blank door is still considered to be quite comfortable. At the same time, the demand for refrigerated cabinets with two swing doors is growing rapidly.

Also, vending designs in which the doors are made of glass are becoming more and more popular. But in ordinary apartments, such models are rarely installed, because they require regular maintenance. In this case, it’s necessary to monitor the condition of the surfaces not only inside the chambers but also outside the structure.

Variety of design solutions

Traditionally, the average consumer imagines a refrigerator in the form of a white cabinet. This is how the majority of models offered by manufacturers look like.

Gradually, the color of the fridges was changing in the course of the experiments. Red, green, and often black refrigerators started to appear. Various design ideas with drawings were realized.

Still, color models aren’t as popular and don’t have an extensive assortment. Therefore, the greatest prevalence of white and silver products is still preserved.

The manufacture of silver cases almost always means partial use of stainless steel. As a rule, it’s used only for the door. This makes it possible to increase the price of the appliance only slightly. The  surface treated with special “fingerprint protection” requires minimal maintenance.

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