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Direct cool vs frost free

27 Jan 2020

There are two cooling technologies used in refrigerator models available in market. Both of them have their own advantageous and disadvantages over the other. In this comparative refrigerator buying guide blog we will try to decode them in the simplest manner.


It is the simplest mechanism available for cooling inside refrigerators. The cool conditioned air is dispensed out from the vents without any fans. The air is circulated inside using naturally convection. This causes unequal cooling and freezes the water content in the food items, or builds up frost on the walls of the refrigerator from the moisture levels inside at particular uncirculated spaces inside the refrigerator.

This simpler mechanism definitely costs cheaper too but poses a lot of inconvenience for the users. Not only the refrigerator becomes difficult to clean, the food quality is also compromised. You would have to manually defrost and thaw the foods to get rid of the frost build up and this would affect the food texture heavily.


As the name suggests, this mechanism was introduced to combat this frost build-up problem of the direct cool technology. Frost free refrigerators use cooling fans to circulate the air inside the closed volume, providing even and efficient cooling. You avoid messy frost build up inside the refrigerator volume, save yourself from the manual defrosting processes and enjoy the freshness of evenly refrigerator food.

Features Direct-cool Frost-free
Cost Cheaper technology and in electricity use Are more expensive than direct cool refrigerators and use slightly more electricity to run the fans. However due to use of inverter compressors in newer models these days, this is addressed to some extent too.
Efficiency Inefficient and uneven cooling Efficient and even cooling
Frosting Build up of frost inside and crystallisation of exposed food. No frost is build up and moisture remains content.
Maintenance Refrigerator compartments need to be manually defrosted and cleaned. Food needs to be thawed to get rid of crystals formed. Easy to clean and food is kept fresh and frost free.
Availability of models Presently, only available in cheaper and outdated models; single door refrigerators which has lower capacities. Available in all capacity volumes, latest as well as older refrigerator volumes.
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