How many watts does a refrigerator use?
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Given that the fridge is one appliance that is always running I started to wonder how many watts my refrigerator uses.
Turns out that I’m not the only one wondering about it. Just this month I’ve got a couple of messages asking this exact same question.
You will be surprised to know that, despite having the refrigerator constantly running, it doesn’t consume as much wattage as other appliances in your household.
For instance, your cloth dryer uses about six times more wattage that your refrigerator. Yet you are not always not running your dryer.
In terms of energy costs, the most important thing to keep in mind is that what really matters is its wattage and the appliance operation time.
Hours used per day
Days used per year
Sources: EIA, Energy.gov, Energystar
Fridge power consumption calculator
As we have covered in this article. A fridge is a costly appliance to maintain. It does go towards the higher end of the spectrum in your home.
I’m aware that calculating your fridge’s power consumption is not always that easy.
Perhaps you can’t find its label listing its volts or amps. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to do all the math.
This is why at Appliance Vibes we have developed an energy consumption calculator.
In order to use it, just choose if you rather have an average given the appliance type, or if you prefer to search for your specific model details.
In terms of electricity cost. You have the option to choose your state or you can use the US average instead.
At the bottom of the calculator you have the option to choose if you want to see your results per day, month of year.
How to calculate your fridge power consumption
It’s quite straightforward to work out your fridge power consumption. In fact, most fridges list their annual power consumption (that is in kWh per year) on their energy guide label or owner’s manual.
On this post I explain to you how to read the Energy guide label.
You do have to keep in mind that you will never know the exact amount of your fridge’s power consumption. This is because there are many factors to account for such as:
- At what temperature is your fridge set. The colder, the more it will have to work
- How often you open the fridge door
- The amount of food that you store. It might seem a bit counteractive, but the fuller the fridge is, the less energy it will use. Cold food helps the fridge to maintain its temperature
In order to calculate your fridge power consumption multiply its daily usage kWh by the number of days that you are using it.
Since it’s quite likely that your fridge will always be plugged you can just multiply it by 365 (total days in a year). The result is the year power consumption of your fridge.
You might be wondering how you can do that if you don’t know your fridge wattage. Well turns out that calculating it is not that complicated either.
How to Calculate Watts of Electricity used in a refrigerator?
In order to calculate your fridge wattage, just open it and look for the sticker where it lists its technical specifications. This is normally next to its light, temperature knob or on its top section.
Once you find it, look for its voltage and amperage. It will be something like “110 V” and “6.5 amps”.
Multiply these two numbers and you will know how many watts your refrigerator uses. 715 watts would be the result based on the example that I have used.
Note that on some instances volts might appear as VA, so do not go crazy looking for voltage or volts on the technical label. The voltage might be listed as VA’s on its label instead.
For reference, small fridges use about 350 watts whereas large fridge models use as much as 800 watts.
Some Energy saving tips for your refrigerator
You might be lucky and already own an Energy Star fridge. If that’s the case, congratulations, you are already saving about 20% on average on your fridge.
However, I think it’s always good to know a few tips and hacks to even save a bit more on your fridge electricity bill.
- Try to keep it as clean as possible. At least every 3 months, move the refrigerator and make sure to dusts its coils on the back of the fridge. Try to clean underneath the fridge too. The rule of thumb is, the cleaner your fridge is, the less energy it will use.
- Check your fridge temperature. About 35°F – 1°C is the ideal fridge temperature. 0°F or below (-18° Celsius or below) is what is recommended for the freezer. Keeping your food or drinks colder will not make a difference. The only difference that it will make is on your wallet, you will be wasting energy on the colder setting… Thus paying more at the end of the month.
- Check its rubber gaskets. There is an easy trick to see if you need to change your rubber gaskets. Get a crisp bill (better to use a $1.00 bill to avoid an expensive mistake…). Open your fridge door and place the bill between the fridge and the door and close the door. If your bill is standing where you left it, your rubber gasket is fine. If instead your bill is falling or is easy to pull off, then it means that you will need to replace your gasket. Cold air is probably leaking out on that part of the door gasket.
- Only place cold food inside. If you have some hot leftovers, just let them cool off for a couple of hours and then put them in the fridge.
- Make sure that your fridge is on the right spot. Refrigerators do expel hot air, as we covered on reasons why a garage refrigerator might not work properly, if the temperature of the room the fridge is at is not between 60°F and 85°F (15°C to 29°C) it might have a hard time.
- Does A Mini-Fridge Use A Lot Of Electricity? Accessed April 12th 2020.
- How Much Electricity Does My Refrigerator Use? Accessed April 10th, 2020
- Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use. Accessed April 10th, 2020
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