A refrigerator is one of the first appliances that comes to mind when power goes out. If you’re smart, you know to limit how often you open it to keep the cool air inside.
Smart people are already thinking about investing in a backup power supply to keep the refrigerator running during blackouts.
The question is, how many watts do you need to run a refrigerator? Is there a way to optimize power consumption?
Here’s everything you need to know about running a refrigerator without electricity.
Learn how to run a refrigerator when the power goes out.
How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use?
Depending on how old the appliance is, the size of the refrigerator, and other factors, domestic refrigerators use between 300 and 800 watts.
You can find the specific amps and volts of your refrigerator by checking the manufacturer’s sticker, usually inside the main compartment or the door. Most refrigerators use between 3-6 amps and about 120 volts.
Multiply the volts by the amps to determine the average wattage of your refrigerator.
What’s the Average Power Consumption of a Refrigerator?
In addition to the type of refrigerator you own, the size, age, and location of the refrigerator all affect how much power it uses.
Here are some refrigerators and their average power consumption.
Top-Mount Freezer Refrigerator
Due to the location of the freezer and compressor, these refrigerators are the most energy efficient type of fridges.
A refrigerator’s compressor is located at the bottom, opposite where the freezer is. Since it’s closer, it’s harder to keep the heat out of a bottom freezer.
Since top freezers are farthest from the compressor, they consume less energy than bottom freezers.cccccccccc
An Energy Star top-mount freezer refrigerator consumes about 360 kWh on average.
In side-by-side refrigerators, there are two separate compartments, each with its own door. The freezer compartment is on one side, and fresh food is on the other.
Energy Star side-by-side refrigerators use about 630 kWh.
While wattage is based on cooling capacity, most appliances require somewhere between 50 and 100 watts of power.
Power consumption details can be found in the owner’s manual or by searching Google.
Factors That Affect How Much Energy a Refrigerator Uses
Look at the Energy Star label for the estimated annual energy usage (kWh). The less power used, the more energy-efficient the refrigerator will be.
Energy consumption will be affected by the following factors:
Type: Side-by-side refrigerators are less energy efficient than top-mount freezer refrigerators.
Size: Electricity consumption increases with the size of the appliance.
Location: In a warm or poorly ventilated area, the fridge will consume more power.
Season: There’s no surprise that refrigerators use more energy in the summer. They have to work harder to maintain a cool environment.
Appliance Age: It’s recommended to flip your fridge if you want to reduce your electricity bill if you have an old fridge. Old appliances use more energy, which is why it’s recommended to replace your old fridge with a new Energy Star-rated one.
Frequency of Use: The more often you open the fridge door, the harder the compressor has to work, which leads to higher electricity bills.
Condition: In the event that your refrigerator’s seals are damaged, the appliance will not perform as efficiently as it should. Therefore, it is important to keep your fridge in good shape at all times.
How to Reduce Refrigerator Power Consumption
The following tips will help you reduce your power consumption and lower your energy bills:
1. Let Food Cool Down Before Storing
Before placing your food in the fridge, let it cool down. It costs nothing to let food sit on the countertop until it is room temperature. Putting hot food in the fridge forces it to work harder to maintain the cool temperature. You’ll have to pay to make the appliance work harder to restore cooler inner temperatures!
2. Defrost Food Inside
The next tip is a helpful suggestion that accomplishes two tasks at once.
In addition to helping your refrigerator stay cold, defrosting food inside it helps it stay cold. Make sure to defrost food 24 hours in advance in the fridge so that it’s ready for consumption in the safest way possible. This tip is crucial, especially when defrosting meats.
3. Don’t Overfill the Refrigerator
If you want to lower your energy bills, keep your fridge full. However, you don’t want to overfill it. When you do, no air can circulate.
Consider filling the empty spaces with polystyrene blocks if your appliance isn’t full enough!
4. Open Your Fridge Less Often
If you open your fridge door as little as possible, your fridge will stay cool. Each time you open it, you’re letting precious cool air out, making it work harder to restore temperature.
Because of this, if you’re ever without power during a storm without a generator, it’s important only to open the refrigerator when necessary. Don’t let cool air escape unless it’s absolutely necessary.
How to Choose a Battery-Powered Generator For a Refrigerator?
Here’s how to choose the right battery-powered generator for your fridge:
1. Estimate Your Fridge’s Power Consumption
The first thing you need to do is calculate how much power your refrigerator consumes. As we mentioned earlier, the amount of power your refrigerator uses varies widely. Older appliances often consume double the amount of power that new, energy-efficient models consume.
Check the sticker inside your refrigerator for the number of amps your refrigerator requires to determine its power requirements.
In this case, the refrigerator requires 6.5 amps. If it’s plugged into a standard 120V wall outlet, multiply the amps by the voltage to get the average running wattage.
2. Determine Startup Wattage
Every time the refrigerator’s compressor starts, it requires an additional surge in power. The surge capacity is usually 2-3 times as large as the average running power.
This would require a battery-powered generator capable of handling 1,560 watts. You can usually confirm the startup wattage in the refrigerator manufacturer’s manual.