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How Much Power Does Your Fridge Use & What's the Cost?

While it may not be the top energy consumer in your home, your refrigerator is still responsible for a considerable portion of your monthly power consumption.

Our cost calculator below can help you estimate how much it will cost you to run your refrigerator every month.

Refrigerator energy cost calculator

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How to use this calculator:
How many kilowatts does a fridge use?

Kilowatts measure the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. More kilowatts mean more electricity, and bigger refrigerators will typically use more watts.

To calculate the kilowatts of your fridge, look on the inside wall for the details sticker. You can calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

From there, you can calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

Refrigerators cycle on and off depending on their inside temperature, so their electricity usage varies day to day. To get the most accurate estimate of the cost of running your fridge, you need to calculate your running wattage. To calculate the running wattage, simply divide the total watts by 3.

Running Wattage = Kilowatts / 3

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/kWh. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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What is the average cost of running different sizes of refrigerators?

Size
Volume (in cubic feet)
Avg Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
Mini Fridge<728 W0.36¢$2.6
Small Fridge7 to 1540 W0.52¢$3.74
Medium Fridge15 to 18 50 W0.65¢$4.68
Large Fridge18 - 2357 W0.74¢$5.32
Very Large Fridge23+77 W $7.2
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the refrigerator runs for 24 hours per day

What factors impact the cost of running my fridge?

The cost of running your fridge can vary greatly depending on several factors.

  • 1.

    Where your fridge is located

    If you're in the process of building out your kitchen, it's important to consider where to place your fridge. Refrigerators use electricity to maintain their temperature, so you'll want to do everything you can to help your fridge stay as cool as possible. Make sure your fridge is placed out of the sun
  • 2.

    Your kitchen's temperature

    The hotter it is around your fridge, the harder your fridge will have to work to maintain its temperature.
  • 3.

    The age of the fridge

    Older refrigerators are likely to be a bit less energy efficient than some of the newer models today. This is due in part to newer technology, but it's also due to wear and tear.
  • 4.

    Size of the fridge

    Bigger fridges require more energy to keep cool.
  • 5.

    The number of things you have inside your fridge

    The more items you have, the harder your fridge will have to work to keep everything cool. Make sure you conduct a fridge audit every so often to take out the stuff that you never use.

How to save on your fridge costs?

  • 1.

    Replace the gaskets

    Gaskets are the rubber strips that line the edge of your fridge door to keep it insulated. You want your door seal to be airtight in order to maximize the efficiency of your fridge.
    If you have an older fridge, then it's likely that you need to replace your gaskets. You can check if your gaskets need to be replaced by conducting a paper test. Stick a piece of paper in your fridge door and close it. If you can pull the paper out easily, then it means the fridge isn't sealing as well as it should. Gaskets are cheap to buy and easy to install yourself!
  • 2.

    Get an ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator

    The ENERGY STAR program was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DoE) to promote energy efficiency. The program intends to provide consumers with the information they need to purchase more efficient appliances for their homes. ENERGY STAR refrigerators are regarded as the most efficient products on the market, enabling consumers to lower their electric bills and carbon footprints. In 2019, ENERGY STAR products reportedly saved Americans $39 billion in energy costs.
  • 3.

    Buy a thermometer to get an accurate read on your fridge temperature

    Some fridges have thermostats built-in. But to get the most accurate read on temperature, you can get an appliance thermometer.
  • 4.

    Keep it closed

    The more you open your fridge, the more that cool air will leak out and that warm air will leak in. Try to limit the amount of time your fridge is open and make sure you keep that door closed all the way!
  • 5.

    Clean it regularly

    A clean fridge is a happy fridge—and a more efficient fridge. Keeping your fridge tidy will also help you limit the amount of time it takes to find things in your fridge. Make sure you clean the dust behind and around your fridge—dust accumulation can force your fridge to have to work overtime.
  • 6.

    Wait until your food cools before you store it

    The hotter the item inside your fridge, the harder the fridge will have to work to cool it down. Instead of placing your hot leftovers in the fridge while they're still hot, let them cool off on your counter—just don't forget to put them in the fridge once it's cool!
  • 7.

    Set your fridge to the right temperature

    Make sure your fridge isn't set too cool! The FDA recommends setting your refrigerator to 40 degrees F or 4 degrees C. You can purchase an appliance thermometer to get a super accurate read of your fridge temperature. If your food is getting frosty, it's a good sign that your fridge is too cold.
  • 8.

    Defrost your refrigerator and freezer

    Some refrigerators and freezers require manual defrosting. Frost builds up on the condenser coils inside your fridge can impact the efficiency of your fridge.
  • 9.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
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