How much does it cost to run a mini fridge?

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The cost to run a refrigerator

Recently, as I was reaching into your freezer to take out some frozen pizza, I had a brief moment where I asked myself; just how much electricity does my fridge use?

The refrigerator is without a doubt an appliance widely used across most households due to its efficiency at keeping fresh foods fresh. 

However, it is also a costly appliance to maintain. According to the California Energy Commission, fridges can take up to one-sixth of your electric bill!

That being said, there is no one-size-fits-all for the costs associated with refrigerators – it depends on the size of your fridge and its energy efficiency.

For example, smaller fridges will generally cost less than large ones, since they don’t need to power large areas. Energy efficient fridges will obviously use better use of electricity, and therefore be more friendly to your wallet, compared to non-efficient fridges.

Cost to run a refrigerator, by country

Germany tops the list of the European Union’s list of countries based on total electricity cost, dishing out an average of 77,2€ per household. Denmark follows close behind with 74.6 euros and a higher tax rate. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Bulgaria is the EU’s most cost-friendly country. At a cost of just 24,5€, the average Bulgarian household spends fifty euros to a hundred dollars less compared to their German counterparts.

Cost Power Refrigerator by EU Country

The European Union pays a median of 54 per year to power a fridge. I’d consider that a fair price for being able to keep your produce fresh year-round.

If you live in the United States, you are home to the world’s largest refrigerators, with a volume of 17.5 cubic feet (495.54 liters) on average. 

It is no surprise that the average American spends 500 kWh of energy per year on their fridges, a figure double the average for E.U countries.

How much power does a mini fridge use?

Due to their small size, small fridges are generally less costly than large fridges. This is because of their low energy expenditure (more on that later).

Logically, this makes perfect sense. You shouldn’t be paying the same price for a small bar fridge than a large family fridge, right?

A typical 100-200 liter mini fridge uses around 358 kWh of energy. This may sound like a lot, but compared to a 600-700 liter fridge which uses around 1400 kWh of energy it’s nothing at all. 

So if you’re living by yourself and you don’t know what type of fridge to buy, choose a mini fridge.

AstroAI Mini Fridge Open
The AstroAI Mini Fridge Open

What is the difference between Watts and kWh?

You need to know about what Watts and kWh are if you want to figure out how efficient your fridge is. 

Do you remember what they were from your science lessons at school? If not, we’ve got you covered.

What are watts a measure of?

Watts are a unit that is used to measure your energy. In simple terms, the more powerful your device (in our case, a fridge), the higher number of watts. 

Think about it in terms of calories. A small girl will need less calories to survive than a fully grown male athlete. 

Likewise, a less powerful fridge needs less watts, or energy, to function compared to a two-door mega fridge.

What does kWh mean?

kWh is a measure of power. Be careful, though! Power is different from energy because power = energy x time. 

In other words, if watts are used to measure the amount of energy needed to power a fridge, then kWhs are used to measure how much of that energy that the fridge uses over an hour

Watts and kWhs are the most common forms of measurements that are used to find out how efficient your fridge is. Are you curious? Scroll down to the utilities cost calculator.

Does leaving the fridge door open waste energy?

Yes, opening the doors of your fridge for a midnight snack can make you pay a little more for your electricity bills later on. Why?

Well, every time you open the fridge doors, hot air goes inside the fridge. This means that the fridge has to work harder to bring the inner temperature back down, consuming more energy in the process.

However, if you’re opening the doors for a couple of seconds this is usually fine and has a minimal effect on your bills

Putting hot food inside your refrigerator is actually worse for your fridge, since it creates condensation that needs to be removed either manually or mechanically (in which case the fridge uses more energy). In addition, the fridge also needs to cool the food.

Basically, don’t put your hot chicken in your fridge. Enjoy it whilst it’s hot, or just leave it on the counter for later.

Utilities cost calculator

Are you curious about how much electricity your refrigerator takes up and how much do you pay for it at the end of the year? 

At Appliance Vibes we have created an electricity power consumption calculator. Just select your desired appliance and enter the amount of hours used per day and our calculator will tell you how much power does it use and its price.


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