In today's lifestyle, the use of a refrigerator is no longer a luxury but a necessary appliance. However, when we get the electricity bill at the end of every month, we are a little tempted to question the necessity of some household appliances such as the fridge. But exactly how much electricity does your fridge consume?
Ordinarily, you'd brush it off and assume that there's nothing you can do about the running wattage of your fridge. However, this is a common misconception, and you can do something about it. There are ways to be more energy efficient in your home.
The first step requires determining the electricity usage of your fridge.
- 1 Determining the Electricity Usage of your Fridge
- 2 Calculating your Fridge Energy Consumption
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions on Refrigerator Energy Use
Determining the Electricity Usage of your Fridge
Since your fridge is always running, it's easy to assume that the running wattage of your fridge is high. But ironically, it ranks the lowest in power consumption amongst household appliances such as the clothes dryer, water heater, air conditioner, or dishwasher.
To measure your home appliance energy consumption, you need to measure how much power it uses in Watts. A domestic fridge power consumption falls between a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 250 watts approximately per day. You will find the exact power consumption of the specific fridge you have in wattage on the compliance plate that is normally located inside the fridge.
The fridge will use between 1 to 2 Kilowatt-hours (kWh). This then translates into a running wattage cost of approximately $150 per year per fridge.
But that's not all. A deeper understanding of your fridge/ freezer power usage will help you know how best to quickly save energy.
Calculating your Fridge Energy Consumption
To better determine the average wattage consumption for your fridge, you need to multiply voltage x amps. These numbers are referenced on the sticker, better known as the compliance plate inside the fridge door. As well, on the compliance plate, you'll find:
- The product code
- The model number
- The defrost power
- The refrigerant type
- The refrigerant charge
- The conservation time from a power outage
1. Monthly Electricity Costs
For instance, previous versions of refrigerators will use approximately 115 volts and 7 amps. Multiply the two:
115 Volts x 7 Amps = 805 Watts
Meaning, this particular fridge model has a power usage of 805 watts. Conventional new-age refrigerators mostly have a starting wattage of 800-1200 watt-hours/day and a running wattage of around 150-watt hours/day. This varies across different models.
For your monthly cost, calculate the cost of the Kilowatt-hours (kWh) this home appliance uses. A rough estimate by the U.S. Department of Energy puts roughly eight hours of operating time per day since the refrigerator has a compressor cycle running on and off through the day.
Multiply the refrigerator’s consumption demand of 805 watts by the 8 hours it runs to get 6,440 watts in a day. Divide this amount by 1,000 to convert it to 6.44 Kilowatt-hours. Currently, the average American consumer is charged 13.19 cents per kWh, so roughly let's assume that your fridge will cost you 85 cents per day or $25.48 per month.
Even then, this calculation doesn't give you an actual true sense. It only gives you a rough estimate. To check for the actual wattage of your refrigerator, you need to use a power meter.
Refrigerators are reactive devices that use an electric motor-generator to run. For this reason, they require more power to start but significantly a lot less power in Watts per day to run. They also have internal cooling fans that periodically run and a defrost cycle that also requires power.
Clearly, there are a lot of factors in play when it comes to the starting wattage and running wattage in a fridge which is mainly the reason why you need a power meter to find the actual power consumption of your fridge.
2. Factors that Affect How Many Watts Your Refrigerator Will Use
The electricity consumption of your fridge largely depends on:
A. Type of fridge -For instance, a commercial display fridge can use up to ten times more than the regular fridge you use at home
B. Age of the fridge - Old refrigerators are a lot less energy efficient than the new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators. The U.S Department of Energy presently recommends checking for the ENERGY STAR rating while purchasing a refrigerator since they use 15% less energy than the regular non-qualified models
C. Size of the fridge - Anything that is larger in volume will use more electricity
D. The condition of the refrigerator - If the seals of the refrigerator are in poor condition, your fridge will be much less efficient
E. Location of the fridge - Consider putting your fridge in a cool ventilated position. If the fridge is in a warm or poorly ventilated position, it'll use more power
F. The season - Generally, all refrigerators use more power during summer than they use in winter since the temperature is higher
G. The frequency of use - If the fridge door is constantly opened or just held open, the compressor then needs to work harder to consistently keep the fridge cool. Additionally, the compressor of a relatively empty refrigerator will need to run much harder than a relatively-stocked fridge since the 'cool air' is replaced much quicker with the 'warm air' every time the door is opened
H. Factory set temperature - The factory temperature settings may keep the refrigerator a lot cooler than it's needed in your home
Frequently Asked Questions on Refrigerator Energy Use
1. What are the long-term energy savings tip for my refrigerator?
These energy-saving practices should be practised all over the world:
- Avoid leaving the fridge open for long
- Position your refrigerator in a cool, ventilated place
- Wrap foods and liquids in the freezer
- Set 35°-38°F on your refrigerator temperature settings
- Regularly clean it
- Cool your food before placing it in the freezer
- Replace the rubber gaskets of your appliance if they are not sealing in the cold air