# How Much Electricity a Fridge Uses

Do you plan to buy a fridge and are wondering the impact that the new purchase can have on your electricity bill?

Is your electricity bill unusually high and are wondering if this is because of the fridge?

Are you looking for ways to reduce a fridge’s energy consumption?

Understanding a fridge’s power consumption is not as straightforward as the fridge cycles on and off during the day and even then there are factors that affect how much power the fridge actually consumes.

In this post, I provide:

• estimates of electricity consumption for a typical fridge,
• indicative power consumption estimates for a fridge,

and how you may be able to lower its electricity consumption.

Table of Contents

## How Much Electricity a Fridge Uses

There is no one number for the electricity used by a fridge but rather, an estimated range of electricity consumption.

A domestic refrigerator can consume anywhere from \$39 to \$48 worth of electricity annually depending on the type of and capacity of the refrigerator.

Mini fridges can consume as low as \$39 worth of electricity while the larger volume fridges like the 18 cu. ft consume about \$48 annually.

Note: Estimated values of electricity consumption for your fridge may be different.

Consult the fridge’s user manual for the energy consumption for your fridge’s model.

## Do Fridges Use a Lot of Electricity?

The amount of electricity (kWh) that a fridge uses depends on a number of factors.

Some of these factors have more of an impact on actual consumption than others:

• The capacity of the fridge (cu. ft or liters). Larger volume fridges use more electricity than the smaller fridges.

A more powerful compressor is installed to efficiently circulate the refrigerant for cooling.

• Model of the fridge design. Modern fridges are generally more efficient than the older fridges of the same capacity.
• Faults in the fridge. If the fridge has a fault, for example, damaged seals, faulty sensors then the compressor can run for longer than necessary increasing the fridge’s electricity consumption.
• Consumer actions. Frequent opening and closing of the door can increase a fridge’s electricity consumption
• A poorly installed fridge struggles to cool the contents of the fridge. The compressors run longer and the fridge uses more electricity than expected.
• A fridge in a warmer environment runs for longer durations and consumes more electricity than one in a cooler environment.
• Fridge features activated. Depending on which options are activated or installed, a fridge may use or more electricity.

For example, some fridges, particularly mini fridges have no freezers will therefore use less electricity than a mini fridge with a freezer.

## How Many Watts a Refrigerator Uses?

A fridge’s power consumption varies based on the capacity and design of the fridge.

Smaller fridges can use as little as 42W while large fridges, such as 18 cu. ft (509 liter) single door fridge using as much as 120 watts.

High starting watts

At startup, fridges usually draw more power (watts) for a short time though.

Sometimes this consumption may be 2 times their draw or even higher.

Fortunately, this reduces after a short time.

Depending on the design and features, a domestic refrigerator consumes anywhere between 245kWh for the mini fridge to about 327 kWh for the larger 18 cu.ft fridges annually.

How Much Power a Fridge Use per Month

Note: the power consumption of an appliance over a period (year, month, day), also known as energy consumption is expressed as watt-hour, wh and not watts

The energy consumption of a fridge per month may be as low as 20kwh or lower to 30kwh for the larger fridges, depending on the factors.

Formula

To obtain the fridge’s monthly energy consumption = estimated annual bill/12

How Much Power a Fridge Uses Per Day

Note: the power consumption of an appliance over a period (year, month, day), also known as energy consumption is expressed as watt-hour, wh and not watts

Over a period of 24 hours, the fridge can use up between 1.7kwh to about 3 kWh over a day. Note: These are estimates.

Formula

To obtain the fridge’s monthly energy consumption = estimated annual consumption (kWh)/365

How Much Power Does a Fridge Use per Hour

Note: the power consumption of an appliance over a period (year, month, day), also known as energy consumption is expressed as watt-hour, wh and not watts

On average the estimated energy consumption per hour works out between 0.07kWh to 0.125kWh.

In practice, the fridge power cycles on and off during the day, so there are periods when the fridge is not consuming any energy because it is off.

Formula

To obtain the fridge’s monthly energy consumption = estimated annual consumption (kWh)/(365 x 24)

Related Questions

## How Many Watts Is a 180 -190 Liter Fridge?

The power consumption of a 180-190 liter fridge (approximately) 6.3-6.7 cu. ft is about 110 – 120 watts.

As the fridge’s compressor starts up, its power consumption is considerably higher before dropping down to about 110 – 120 watts.

## How to Reduce a Fridge’s Energy Consumption?

You may be able to reduce how much energy the fridge uses by following the tips below:

• If the fridge has the power freeze, power cool, or an ice maker option, turn off these features when not needed.

When activated, the fridge speeds up the freezing and cooling process increasing electricity consumption.

• Do not place hot food items in the fridge. Wait for them to cool before placing them in the fridge to reduce energy use.
• Install the fridge allowing the recommended spacing around the fridge’s sides and back panel.

This allows more free flow of air which reduces electricity use.

• Buy an energy star certified fridge. They meet the energy efficiency standards and consume less power.

## How to Find the Wattage of a Fridge

Here are 3 easy ways to check the wattage of a fridge

• Use a plug in power meter that measures power consumed (watts).

The fridge plug should be plugged into the power meter first which is then plugged into a power receptacle.

The power meter shows the power consumption of the fridge as it is running.

• Check the fridge’s rating plate. Some fridges may have the power consumption (watts) shown on the rating plate.

How to Calculate a Fridge’s Power Consumption

You may also be able to work out the wattage from the voltage (V) and current (A) on the rating plate for the fridge if not provided.

You can find the voltage and current values on the fridge’s rating plate or the technical specification section of the user manual.

Formula

Estimated Power consumption (VA) = fridge voltage (V) x fridge current (A)

For example, a fridge that uses 115V and has a rated current of 1A has an estimated power consumption of 115 x 1A = 115W.

Note: This is usually on the higher side though as the current draw during the running of the fridge is lower.

## Final Thoughts

Fridges cycle on and off and sometimes knowing how much it costs you to run can be a challenge.

A domestic refrigerator consumes anywhere from \$39 to \$48 of electricity annually depending on the type of refrigerator and capacity of the refrigerator.

Note: Electricity tariff 12 cents per kWh

You may be able to reduce the impact on the energy bill from your fridge by turning off features that speed up the cooling process, following the guidelines by the manufacturer when installing it, and making it a point to buy only an energy-certified fridge.

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