What is the wattage of a refrigerator? (monthly and annual expenses)

One of the most crucial items in your house is the refrigerator. But it takes a lot of electricity to keep food cold and fresh, which results in expensive power bills.

Today, we’ll demonstrate how to determine the wattage of your personal refrigerator as well as how many watts the typical refrigerator needs. We’ll also provide you with some energy-saving advice to assist you cut your electricity costs.

How many watts does an average refrigerator use?

A normal household refrigerator consumes 500 watts of power. This amounts to 1460 kilowatt-hours of energy used annually, costing the typical American home $206 to operate their refrigerator.

Although most refrigerators utilize between 300 and 700 watts of power, an average device has an electrical rating of 500 watts.

You may find out how much energy your refrigerator needs by looking at its electrical rating, commonly known as the appliance’s wattage.

However, throughout the day, refrigerators turn on and off. This is due to the fact that a refrigerator’s compressor only activates when cooling the interior temperature is necessary.

Refrigerators are typically only “on” one-third of the time.

Therefore, you must divide a refrigerator’s wattage by 1/3 to determine its actual power consumption.

Remember that the wattage of your refrigerator will change depending on its size and age. Furthermore, things like the temperature in the kitchen and even how long you leave the door open will have an impact on how much power it uses.

Easy methods to calculate your refrigerator’s wattage and power usage

The wattage and power consumption of your refrigerator can be determined in one of two methods. Based on the information on your fridge, use whichever approach suits you the most.

Method 1: Using your refrigerator’s volts and amps sticker

Find a label inside your refrigerator that lists the volts and amps it consumes while operating to determine the wattage and power usage of your appliance.

Simply multiply the voltage by the amps to see how much power your refrigerator requires when it is operating. This is referred to as the appliance’s wattage or electrical rating.

However, as was previously mentioned, refrigerators operate continuously throughout the day. Therefore, you must split the wattage of your device by 1/3 to determine its typical power consumption.

Let’s take the example of a refrigerator with a sticker rating of 115 volts (V) and 4.5 amps (A):

115 volts (V)  x 4.5 amps (A)
= 517.5 watts (wattage)
517.5 watts divided by 3
 = 172.5 watts (average power usage)

To see how much power your fridge uses in a day and year: 

172.5 watts x 24 (hours in a day) 
= 4,140 watt-hours, or 4.14 kilowatt-hours (daily power usage)
4.14 kilowatt-hours x 365 (days in a year)
= 1,511 kilowatt-hours (annual power usage)

Now you have your yearly power usage. For your monthly usage divide the yearly usage by 12.

Using your refrigerator’s volts and amps sticker

Method 2: Using your refrigerator’s energy guide sticker

A yellow energy guide label is necessary on every electrical equipment. This sticker’s useful feature is that it provides you with information on the appliance’s annual energy consumption as well as a projected cost of ownership.

To determine your refrigerator’s wattage:

Subtract 365 from the energy guide’s annual power usage (a year). You will receive the daily power usage from that.

Simply divide the daily energy consumption by 24 to complete (hours in a day).

Now that you have the average energy use per hour, multiply it by three to get the wattage.

Let’s use a refrigerator as an example, whose estimated annual operating cost is 630 kilowatt-hours:

630 kilowatt-hours (kWh) x 1000*
= 630,000 watts (W) divided by 365 
= 986 watts divided by 24
= 41 watts (average power usage) multiplied by 3
= 123 watts (wattage)

*We divide the kilowatt-hour figure by 1000 to express the number in terms of watts. 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.

Using your refrigerator’s energy guide sticker

How much does it cost to power your refrigerator?

Depending on how much your utility company charges for electricity, the cost to run a refrigerator will vary.

However, it is conceivable to predict how much it will cost to power a fridge nationwide in 2022 by utilizing current average state utility prices. The table below provides cost information for specific states on a monthly and annual basis.

Using current utility power prices, the cost of electricity for a typical 500-watt refrigerator

StateAvg. electricity rate (per kWh)Fridge monthly costFridge yearly cost
New York20.04¢$24.40$292.60
North Carolina11.60¢$14.10$169.40
U.S. Average14.12¢$17.20$206.20

*500 watt fridge has an average power usage of 187 watts

Calculating the cost of powering your refrigerator is simple.

Simply multiply the annual kilowatt-hour power consumption of your refrigerator by the electricity rate charged by your local utility company.

Divide the number by 100 to change it from cents to dollars. This will reveal how much you shell out annually to keep your refrigerator running.

Calculate your fridge’s monthly power costs by dividing by 12.

(You may find out how much you pay per kWh of electricity for your home on a recent power bill. If not, the average cost of electricity in the US as well as the average cost in several states are shown in the table above.)

How can you lower your refrigerator’s energy consumption?

The way you use your refrigerator affects how much electricity it consumes over time. To reduce your fridge’s energy consumption – and thus lower your power bill – use these tips.

1. Clean your coils

Your refrigerator’s coils may be cleaned regularly to improve both its energy efficiency and lifespan. Maintaining clean coils makes it easier for them to expel warm air, which reduces the amount of effort required to keep the interior of your refrigerator cold.

2. Make sure your door seals aren’t broken

Your refrigerator’s door seal will get damaged, allowing cold air to escape. To maintain the ideal temperature, your unit will then have to work harder. Your power bill will go up as a result, and your fridge might not be able to keep your groceries at a temperature that is safe.

How many watts does a mini fridge use?

The typical mini-fridge consumes 90 watts of power. That amounts to about 263 kilowatt hours of electricity used annually, which means the typical US mini-fridge owner spends $37 a year powering their appliance.

The age, size, and brand will all affect power usage. The equations shown above can be used to figure out the wattage and power consumption of your own mini-fridge.

How much energy do other appliances use in the home?

Although refrigerators use a lot of energy, there are other appliances in your home that you should watch out for in terms of power usage.

The appliances that use the most energy in a typical residential residence are listed in the following table.

percentage of each appliance in total energy use for the home

ApplianceEnergy usage
Space heating43%
Water heating19%
Air conditioning8%
All others21%

How do I reduce or even eliminate my power bill?

You’re undoubtedly worried about your energy costs if you’ve come to this page.

Installing solar panels is the best approach to lower or perhaps eliminate your electricity cost.

Use our solar calculator to determine how much money solar panels could save you on energy expenditures. It will inform you of the number of solar panels you require, the ideal system size, and the projected savings over a 25-year period.

The calculator also provides you with the dollar worth of solar tax credits based on where you live, which is a unique feature.

It will also display your monthly electricity bill following solar along with other extremely amazing statistics on solar generation and consumption in a simple graph.

Following viewing your results, you have the option to get quotations from 1-4 solar installers if you’re interested.

What size solar battery do I need to back up a fridge?

A solar battery is especially useful when the power is down. A solar battery can prevent hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries from deteriorating and needing to be thrown out by keeping your fridge running.

Leading solar battery products like the LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall each contain 10+ kWhs of battery storage. Since a refrigerator typically requires 4 kWh per day, most batteries can power your fridge for a considerable amount of time.

What other appliances you are using when the power goes out will have a significant impact on how long your fridge can operate on battery backup. Many people configure their batteries to just run “essential loads,” like your lights, outlets, and even your refrigerator. This guarantees that you can continue using your essentials even in the case of a prolonged outage.

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