How much power does a refrigerator or fridge use?

Refrigerators are undoubtedly one of the greatest inventions of all time. When it comes to keeping the food item fresh for a long time, there’s no alternative to a refrigerator. But keeping the food intact can be a little expensive if you don’t choose the fridge wisely. The cost of electricity consumed by a fridge solely depends on how much power it uses. This article will help you gather all the knowledge on the power usage of a fridge.

How much power does a refrigerator or fridge use?

To know how much power does a refrigerator actually uses, you’ll need to calculate the wattage of the fridge. Generally, this information is given in the compliance plate. Before you know the methods of calculation, there are some basic facts that you’ll need to know. These are:

Model/Category: The category or model of the refrigerator matters a lot when it comes to power consumption. For instance, commercial refrigerators consume more power than regular house refrigerators.

There are usually 6 types of refrigerators available in the market. They are:

  • Top freezer refrigerator: These cost-efficient refrigerators have been ideal for smaller compact areas.
  • Side by side refrigerator: This type of refrigerator tends to consume the most power out of all the available options.
  • Bottom freezer refrigerator: They are one of the best when it comes to the amount of storage.
  • French door refrigerator: This type of refrigerator is energy-saving and offers good storage space.
  • Counter-depth refrigerator: These refrigerators are amazing for narrow spaces.
  • Mini fridge: Hotels, offices, bars, trucks etc. require compact refrigerators like these.

Size of the fridge: If you have a double door or side-by-side refrigerator then it will consume more electricity than the usual single door refrigerators.

Placement of the refrigerator: It might sound surprising to you but the location or placement of the fridge matters. If you keep it in a warmer place where there’s no area for ventilation then it will take up more power than usual.

Weather: Refrigerators tend to consume more electricity during the warmer seasons as the difference in temperature is relatively higher.

Utilization: The power consumption of a refrigerator is strictly connected with how you’re using it. For example, if your refrigerator is stocked up, it will use less power because the vacant area of a refrigerator has to be filled up with cool air. So, the more vacant space, the cooler air it’ll need leading towards higher power consumption. On the other hand, if you leave a refrigerator’s door open for a long time, the inside temperature will drop and the compressor will use more power to generate cold air. Thus, when it comes to power consumption, how you use refrigerator matters a lot.

State of the fridge: The condition or state of the refrigerator is related to its power consumption. Older refrigerators tend to consume more power than newer ones.

Calculation of power usage:

There is some necessary information that you’ll need for the calculation. If you look at the compliance plate, you’ll be able to find them. You’ll need to know the wattage, estimated usage that should be around 33% of the duty cycle, and the formula of calculation.

For example,


  • The wattage of the refrigerator= 120 Watts
  • Average Usage: 9 Hours per day

The total energy will be around 1080 Wh or 1.08 kWh per day (120 Watts * 9 Hours).

The total cost will be around $51.6402 per year (1.08kWh/day*365 days*$.131).
This is one of the common ways of calculating the total cost and power usage of a fridge. But this method will not give an accurate result as the given wattage may differ from time to time. Besides, there are a lot of things that will differ from the given information on the compliance plate like the estimated usage. If you use the refrigerator for 18 hours it will simply double the power usage.

Range of wattage of different refrigerators

Different refrigerators consume different amounts of power. Some consume less and some consume more than average. Here’s a list of power consumption which was calculated with the help of a power meter. A power meter is a tool that is used for calculating a refrigerator’s wattage. There are different types of power meters, but the plug-in version is the most common one as it’s the most inexpensive one. Generally, when you calculate manually, there higher chances of being incorrect as you’re estimating the numbers. Instead, if you use a power meter, it’ll give a more accurate result.

  • Average single-door refrigerators consume around 168kWh annually.
  • Double door refrigerators tend to consume more electricity. The number is around 234kWh annually.
  • Side by side refrigerators consumes the highest power out of all. They tend to use around 500kWh annually.

If you compare the refrigerators used in the residential areas and the ones used in the commercial areas, you’ll see that commercial fridges consume a lot more than regular household ones.

How to cut power consumption?

There are different ways through which you’ll be able to cut the power consumption. They are:

  • Place your refrigerator in an area where the temperature is relatively nicer and that has a good ventilation system. Avoid cabinets or packed areas as they will increase the power consumption of your refrigerator.
  • Reduce the number of refrigerators you own. Try to use a single door or French door refrigerators as they are energy-efficient and they offer a great amount of storage.
  • A lot of refrigerators nowadays have the timer option. If you don’t have food that might go bad quickly, then you can easily take advantage of the timer switch.
  • See the temperature and set it accordingly. A freezer should be around -18 to – 20 ˚C and a fridge should be around 2 to 3 ˚C.

Bottom line

A refrigerator is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a kitchen. It has always been a great confusion of how much power a fridge uses. If you don’t choose it wisely it can massively affect your bill. But if you keep little things like placement of the refrigerator, type of the fridge, etc. in mind, you’ll be able to save quite a good amount of money.