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Difference Between Direct Cool and Frost Free Refrigerators

refrigeratorDirect Cool vs Frost Free Refrigerators

You’ll find that the difference between direct cool and frost free refrigerator units go far beyond price, but price is certainly a significant aspect. Direct cool refrigerators are typically much less expensive than the frost free versions. While the price gap has helped to keep the frost free refrigerator a consideration only for those who can splurge on their appliances, the gap between the models is shrinking, and is expected to continue shrinking over the next few years.

Frost free refrigerators, as the name implies, do not require any kind of manual defrosting. A small element is placed inside the unit that actually melts accumulating ice. This is done without interfering with the natural cooling cycle that is required to continuously refrigerate food.

A direct cool model produces the necessary chill through natural convection. It’s not as effective at keeping cold foods fresh as the frost free version. This is because the technology of the frost free refrigerator helps to maintain a more consistent temperature, especially in the humidity controlled fresh food bins. Frost free refrigerators also tend to scorch food with freezer burn less often, as the build up of ice is not as apparent, even on individual items.

The direct cool refrigerator requires fewer amp hours of electricity, when comparing the energy requirements of each model at the same temperature. It also cools the air and products inside the unit instantly. If you envision the refrigerators that store ice cream at the local market, you get a strong visual of the cooling cycle of the direct cool models. This is part of the reason that direct cool refrigerators are more popular than the frost free models. Over time, with changes in current technology, this is expected to change.

Manufacturers are focusing on the frost free designs more than the direct cooling designs, as the anticipated growth in popularity should become apparent in the next few years. Helping to make this a reality, the engineering and research departments that create these appliances are focusing on new innovative designs to reduce the energy needs, and increase the longevity of newer models of frost free refrigerators.

The life expectancy of the current models, of the frost free refrigerator, is greater than that of the current direct cool models on the market.

Marketing is shifting toward the frost free versions. It is thought that the improvements within the technology will make the direct cooling models obsolete within ten to fifteen years, with the exception of those designed for industrial purposes.


1. Frost free refrigerators are more expensive, although the price gap is declining.

2. Frost free refrigerators do not require any deicing or defrosting through manual means. It is handled automatically.

3. Direct cool refrigerators use natural convection, resulting in instant cooling capabilities.

4. Frost free models are better at maintaining consistent temperatures, and keeping food items fresh for a longer period of time.

5. Direct cool refrigerators are more energy efficient.

6. Manufacturing and marketing are leaning toward making the direct cool version obsolete.

7. Direct cool is a popular choice for industrial use.

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  1. Thanks for the information this exactly what i wanted to know.

  2. Thanks Bro for the information. This is very useful whle buying a refrigerator

  3. It was really very useful information i needed thanks

  4. Thanks. Very nicely explained the difference between the two versions. I’ll go for Frost Free

  5. Thanks, It really helps in choosing in between.

  6. thanku very much

  7. Thank you very much for this information. I am going to buy a refrigerator having frost free technology.

  8. No..No.. Still Direct Cool refridgerator is better than the frost free one. Frost free technology may be better but the in these type of fridges there is no coordination among cooling, moisture balancing and air circulation as traditional direct cooling one. Foods detoriate early and there is loss of nutrients as well. So I request the readers not to fall prey to the fooling of frost free cartel of fridge makers. Only advantage is it is 5% savings in energy but it is worth.

    • Hi Prashant, could you please elaborate on how are nutrients lost in frost free refrigerators and how is it possible that they don’t have coordination among moisture balancing, air circulation, etc. I seriously ant to buy a refrigerator soon please reply fast.

    • I agree. It was never mentioned that direct cool ref would remain cold longer than frost free during power outage. That you’ll never encounter a cold freezer but a warm ref in direct cool refs.

  9. hi, im a refrigetor salesperson .and i think there are some wrong interpretations on function facts that was stated above. for example, no frost (or frost free) ref do not or cannot maintain a same level of temp. everytme bcoz it is equipd w/ a heating element to defrost itself and to prevent ice build up (standard defrost takes place every 8 hours) that also causes it to have an inconsistent temp. thus gving food bacteria the time 2 multiply and decompose ur food during the de-frost. unlike the direct cool (or manual defrst) it maintains ur food frozen that prevents the decay. also no frost ref tend to be more prone to malfunction due 2 its more complex operating system. for ex. no frost ref consist this things; blower, timer , heater etc.. just one of this mechanism fails.. and your ref is doomed! so let us not be blinded by our lazyness 2 do defrosting, for some things are done better, “manualy”

  10. Following are the proven advantages of the direct cool over frost cool refrigerators:

    Consumer Friendly: The direct cool fridges are designed to have huge space and separate chambers. This gives good space and options for storage as well as being consumer friendly. They have contained air circulation which enables preservation and keeps the food/fruits fresh for a longer time.
    Cheap: The direct cool fridges are cheaper than frost free fridges. The difference across various brands and sizes is seen to be almost two-three times.
    Energy Efficient: The direct cool refrigerators consume on an average 1.25 unit of power per day compared to 4.5 units per day for frost-free. That means for the same usage, direct cool would cost us three times less than frost free fridge. Even the BEE star home appliance rating clearly reflects the huge difference in the energy requirements of energy efficient direct cool and less efficient frost free fridges.
    Environmental Implication: More energy consumption would mean more resource consumption and more pollution. Running a frost free fridge means consuming and spending three times more on energy thus having a significant impact on resources.

  11. Thanks for information. I was also planning to take fridge after reading specifications at samsung india official site (http://www.samsung.com/in/consumer/home-appliances/refrigerator/frost-free ) But was confused between two. Now my all doubts are clear.

  12. Well, frost-free technology is much advanced than direct cool refrigerators.

    • Well how many of those technological wonders do you see still working after 10 years? You can still buy used direct cool fridges from 30 years ago that will probably out live you.

  13. Thanks a lot for such a nice information

  14. Thanks for clear explanation on both types, I am convinced by technology used by frost free and frost free is ideal for residencial use.

  15. Thanks, Maddys reply and the reply of sales person above to him are really useful.

  16. I was just looking for the difference between direct cool and frost free refrigerators. but still confused which one consume less power units & how much is the difference in consumption


  18. this information if really useful.

  19. Thanks to all the contributors of this post so far. Please which type of fridge will function better and preserve items better in an area where power is not stable. I really need feedback ASAP because i want to buy later today or tomorrow 28/04/17.

  20. Frost free & direct cool refrigerator
    Which is the best power saving refrigerator

  21. Thanks for your information. It helped me a lot

  22. Very useful, i have a choice for refrigerator

  23. And how about direct cool inverter model? It’s confusing to know this new product, is it a manual frost or a no frost? I just bought one unit today & “direct cool inverter”, is what is written on its discription in user manual. And I can’t find any reviews for this kind of technology.

  24. Sir, I want to buy refrigerator Please advice whether I go for frost free or direct cool system, as I am confused a lot . Sorry I am visiting this site first time.

  25. What is the basic difference between direct deep fridge and indirct deep fridge

  26. Nice post! You always solve our problems by providing better solutions. Thanks for this amazing differentiation between direct cool and frost-free refrigerators.

  27. Thanks Noa for the in depth information between direct cool and frost free refrigerators. I Love everything here.

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