Electricity Costs and Connections for Chest Freezer | What You Should Know

Home chest freezers are a great solution to keep and preserve food frozen for several months.

If you have an unreliable power supply, you may be interested in acquiring a backup power solution like a generator or inverter to keep the food safely frozen when there is a power outage.

To get the right power solution, you need power consumption (watts) and energy draw information of the chest freezer.

So, in this post, i provide estimated:

  • Electricity and power consumption info of common chest freezers
  • The amps draw of chest freezers,

And lastly, basic information on amp circuits and type of outlets to safely connect the chest freezer.

Note: This is only a guide, always consult the technical specifications section for your chest freezer

How Much Electricity a Chest Freezer Uses?

Do chest freezers use a lot of electricity?

Modern chest freezers are energy efficient and comparatively do not use much electricity. Annual electricity consumption estimates for 5 cu. ft to 21.7 cu. ft chest freezers are 218 – 346 k wh respectively.

This works out about 0.6 to 0.9 k wh per day.

How much it costs to run a chest freezer

If you take an average tariff of 12 cents per k wh, for 5 cu. ft and 21.7 cu.ft chest freezer which consume about 0.6 to 0.9 k wh per day, the running costs per day are Only 6 cents and 10.8 cents respectively.

Based on the electricity consumption information, these chest freezers add an estimated usd 26 – usd 42 to your annual electricity bill.

Note: this is just a guide so the costs of running your chest freezer might be different. Always consult the energy guide of your chest freezer.

Tips to Save on A Chest Freezer’s Electricity Bill

Depending on how you are currently using the freezer, you may be able to reduce the freezer’s energy consumption by:

  • Avoiding unnecessary opening of the freezer
  • Waiting for hot food items to cool to room temperature before placing them in the freezer
  • Locating the freezer away from sources of heat.

How Many Watts a Chest Freezer Uses?

The average home chest freezer uses between 138 – 230 watts of power with the smaller chest freezers consuming less power than the larger ones.

At startup though, chest freezers draw as much as 2 – 3 times as much power for a second or two.

If you plan to power up the chest freezer using an auxiliary backup solution, make sure it is capable of supplying the surge power.

Chest Freezer | how Many amps Does It Draw?

The average home chest freezer draws between 1.2 – 2 amps of current at 115-120 v when running depending on the size of the freezer.

During startup, the freezer compressor can draw between 2 – 3 times the running current. This is important to consider when selecting A house wiring circuit To connect the chest freezer to.

In the event that it is connect to an underrated circuit, you will experience frequent tripping of the circuit breaker.

Does a Chest Freezer Need a Dedicated Circuit?

Many manufacturers recommend that a chest freezer be connected to a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit. This helps prevent the overloading of the house wiring circuits which can result in a fire.

Related Questions

#1. Can You Connect a Chest Freezer on a 15 Amp Circuit?

Yes, you can connect a chest freezer on a 15 amp or 20 amp circuit. It is advisable though that this is a dedicated circuit to prevent overloading of the house wiring which can be a fire hazard.

#2. Can You Plug a Chest Freezer Into a Regular Outlet?

Yes, you can plug a chest freezer into a 3 prong outlet that has a dedicated 15 amp or 20 amp circuit breaker depending on the chest freezer’s current draw.

If it is a 2 prong outlet, change to a 3 prong with a good grounding to protect against the risk of electric shocks.

#3. What Size of Breaker for Chest Freezer?

This depends on the current rating of the circuit that the freezer is connected to. A 15 amp breaker should be used if the chest freezer is connected to a 15 amp circuit and 20 amp breaker if connected to a 20 amp circuit.

#4. Should You Plug a Chest Freezer Into an Extension Cord?

Several chest freezer manufacturers discourage plugging them into extension cord because of the increased danger of fire when poor quality extensions are used.

If you must use an extension, make sure it is good quality UL listed 3 wire extension cord with a minimum current capacity of 15 amps at 115 -120V.

#5. Can You Run a Chest Freezer on a Generator?

Yes, you can run the average home chest freezer on generator. Taking the chest freezer running watts as 230 and surge power of 575 watts, a good quality generator with a rating of 1 kVA or higher can run the freezer. (You should consult a licensed electrician nonetheless)

If you plan to power other appliances, then the 1 kVA generator is not enough.

#6. How Many amps does a 5 cu. FT chest Freezer draw?

A modern 5 cu. FT chest freezer draws about 1.2 amps when running. At startup, this current draw can be as high as 2 -3 times the running amps of 1.2 amps.

This is only a guide – always consult the technical specification section for your chest freezer model.

Note: Older inefficient freezers are likely to draw more amps.

Final Word

A chest freezer can draw between 138 to 230 watts of electricity when running. At startup, its power consumption can be as high as 2 – 3 times its running power.

Chest freezers are not expensive to run and you can expect it to use up less than 1 k wh of electricity per day which works out to be about 12 cents.

Chest freezers should be connected to a dedicated 15 amp or 20 amp circuit to minimise the chances of overloading the house wiring.

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