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Which to decide: Single Cooling vs Twin Cooling Refrigerator

When researching refrigerator options, you will see many listing their cooling systems as either single cooling or twin cooling, which is also referred to as dual cooling by some manufacturers.  However, what is not listed is an explanation of what this means. 

What is the difference between single cooling and twin cooling and how should it affect your decision on what refrigerator model to buy?

Single cooling refrigerators have a single cooling system and evaporator that keeps the freezer and the refrigerator cold; this means that air is circulated through both units.  If you keep the refrigerator open for any length of time, it will begin to drop the temperature in the freezer as well, so the appliance will have to work harder to keep a steady temperature in the freezer and then bring up the temperature in the refrigerator once the door is shut.

Twin cooling or dual cooling refrigerators have a more advanced cooling system.  Instead of one cooling system for both sections, each section has a separate cooling system so your freezer and your refrigerator have their own, separate systems for cooling.  You do not share air between the freezer and the refrigerator and this helps with both temperature control and freshness of your food.

Twin cooling systems cost considerably more than a single cooling system and that is why many people are hesitant about purchasing a refrigerator with twin cooling as it will increase the cost quite a bit.  However, for many the benefits of a twin cooling system outweigh the burden of the cost by far.

Because there is no shared air circulation, you will find that you have less mixture of odors.  In a single cooling system, odors from your refrigerator can easily mix with your freezer.  There is nothing more off-putting than going to get some ice only to discover that your freezer smells like the fresh fish that you have sitting in the refrigerator, waiting to be cooked for tonight’s dinner.  Twin cooling systems means that you get zero odor cross contamination between sections.

Food will stay fresher longer because there is better humidity control.  The cold dry air that makes the freezer section keep your frozen foods frozen is not ideal for your fresh food.  With single cooling systems, you will find that your fresh foods stay fresh longer because the appliance is not bringing in that air from the freezer to use it to also cool fresh foods.

In a single cooling unit, the more you open your refrigerator, the warmer your freezer will be.  As things warm up, even slightly, in the freezer, moisture can form, causing ice to form.  Your refrigerator has to work twice as hard to keep your freezer and your refrigerator at their ideal conditions, even if you are not opening the freezer door, just the refrigerator.

Twin cooling systems are independent, so no matter how many times your family opens the refrigerator door, it will not affect the temperature in the freezer.  Frozen foods will have less freezer burn, you get less frost build up and your refrigerator will always have the perfect amount of humidity.  You will throw away less spoiled food and that saves you money.  Twin cooling systems are also more energy efficient, and you will see the difference on your energy bill.

Single cooling is what you will find in the basic refrigerators and it is on the lower end models.  For those looking for affordability, single cooling refrigerators are what you should be casting your eye on.  If you have a smaller family and your freezer and refrigerator are rarely more than 50% full, then a single cooling system will be fine.  When you do not routinely keep fresh produce on hand and do not have your refrigerator and freezer full, a single cooling system will be sufficient for you.  If you are not often in and out of the refrigerator, a single cooling system will be fine as well.

However, if you always have your refrigerator and freezer nearly full and have a lot of fresh produce and food items, such as deli meats, cheese, fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator, you will find that your food lasts longer and will be fresher longer with a twin cooling system.

For many, the biggest consideration is the cost of a twin cooling system refrigerator but really, in the long run, they are worth it, especially larger families who really rely on their refrigerators.  If you rarely use your refrigerator, then there is no need to for the expense of the more advanced twin cooling system.