What an inverter in a refrigerator can mean in terms of power consumption

The first time I heard of an inverter, it was in relation with air-conditioners. We were planning on converting my study into a home theater, we were discussing air-conditioning and a cousin mentioned inverters. I can’t explain it in very technical terms; I only know that an inverter-equipped air-con unit can mean a lot of savings in terms of power consumption. In a country where power rates are horrendous, we don’t take the term “inverter” lightly.

The home theater project is at a standstill as it will require a lot of renovation in the house. But the information about inverters turned out to be very, very useful when we started looking around for a new and larger refrigerator. I need a unit with a large compartment for vegetables so that our week-long stock of veggies don’t get squished when forced inside a very limited drawer.

My first choice was a Samsung side-by-side twin-cooling unit. Why Samsung? Primarily because of the price. Samsung is affordable. My second choice is an LG because of its eco-friendly features. But because a new refrigerator is a major buy, we didn’t want to rush. Speedy and I checked out what else is there in the market and we saw the Panasonic NR-BY601VSPH with the “intelligent inverter technology.”

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According to the sales agent of Panasonic, it is the only company that sells inverter-equipped refrigerators in the Philippines. I don’t know how accurate that is, you never know with these sales agents who often just want to earn a commission, so we looked around some more.

We were at S&R yesterday and there was a Samsung side-by-side model which, according to the specs posted on it, is also equipped with an inverter. Then, I browsed the web for more information and found an LG model that also has an inverter.

Definitely, we want a unit with an inverter. But whether it’ll be a Samsung, an LG or a Panasonic, we’ll have to study and compare the features some more. And, of course, the price will be a major factor.

UPDATE: We got the LG side-by-side that you can see in the background of the photo below. With inverter. 21 cubic feet. We love it!

We didn’t love the corn rice though.

LG side-by-side ref with inverter

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve heard about inverter air conditioners before. Maybe it’s time to seriously plan on getting one.

    • says

      Lois, they are all Sam’s choices. She can’t pass up when she sees something cute. She justifies it by saying it’s “bloggable.” :-P

      curiousGirl and Jhay, yep. And aircons and fridges with inverters are supposed to be super quiet too.

  2. Totiedm says

    I’m also considering a bigger ref and recently found that Whirlpool also has an inverter model. Would be interested what you decide to get.

      • slowhands says

        Power is definitely very expensive in the Phils. Motors in refs and aircons and water heaters are the highest wattage devices in most homes, and usually consume the most power. The ref motor power consumption is probably the largest single item. Inverter power controllers on motors do offer a modest savings in power consumption, with more complex control electronics. In a country with frequent brownouts like the Philippines, inverters must be very well designed to survive the spikes and surges that accompany the outages. I assume the designers of the inverter circuits knew this, but I’ll opt for tried and true simplicity over novel complexity.

        An frost free ref saves more power, since there is no ice buildup to hamper cooling. Most higher end refs in the Phils are frost free, but low-end, often not. I’d look for frost free too. Also crucial is simply efficient insulation around the box. Most refs have a power consumption rating on them for comparison, which does help you compare them.

        • Bryan says

          I beg to disagree. No-frost refrigerators actually consume more power than conventional ones because the former have a heating element that prevents frost build-up inside the freezer.

          Thus, I believe that no-frost refrigerators are for those willing to pay a little more to MERALCO due to the added convenience of not defrosting the freezer every so often.

  3. says

    Hi! I’ve been looking into buying a new fridge as well and now that it seems that I NEED to rather than just want to, I’ve been researching like mad. My choices are just like yours plus the expensive Whirlpool (thanks to sales talk) so I’d be very interested to know what you ended up with and how you’re liking it. :)

  4. Janine says

    Hi, I purchased a Panasonic inverter fridge three days ago. I love the look and the layout, but it has a high frequency noise that is really beginning to bother me. Does anyone else have this problem?

    • richard says

      Hi, maybe our case is related. We bought a big panasonic inverter ref in oct 2010. After 9 months we heard a weird sound that sounded like a humming motorcycle that became louder overtime, it turned out to be the sound of a defective motor fan, unfortunatetely when we decided to have it replaced, the 1 year warrantry period had lapsed already, nevertheless, a replacement was made (fan motor at P1840 and service charge at P840) in november 2011. Ok na sana e, UNFORTUNATELY, the VERY same sound appeared again just last week till now…we believe this was the same annoying and disturbing sound that came from a defective fan motor. This really pissed me off since this would mean we will replace the motor fan AGAINNN?? DTI will be my next destination for complaints! FYI

      • Cleon says

        I also purchased a Panasonic Inverter ref in 2010 and likewise encountered the same problem described above by mrRichard. Eventually, by late November 2011, the top cabinet of my Panasonic Inverter ref stopped cooling, but the bottom freezer was still ok. The household has been using said ref for only less than a year during that time, but its warranty had already lapsed because the refrigerator was bought much earlier for a brand new house that was occupied at a later date. I wrote Panasonic about it (cc: DTI) and, to their credit, they had my ref fixed at no cost. However, last night, less than I year after it was repaired, I heard the same noise again. And just tonight, when I got home, I discovered that the top cabinet stopped cooling again. Now I’m wondering if it’s a batch, model or design defect. I think it’s too much of a coincidence that we’re all experiencing the same problems. I may have to mention this webpage to Panasonic…and DTI too.