Refrigerator Wattage Guidelines – How Many Watts Does Your Refrigerator Use?

If you've never considered how much energy your refrigerator uses, it's probably a good time to start. Your refrigerator is one of the biggest appliances in your home, and it uses the most power after your air conditioning unit, washing machine, and dryer.

This is why it’s so necessary to determine how many watts your refrigerator uses, so you can understand and anticipate what your new fridge’s impact will have on your electricity bill. Read on to learn everything you need to know about refrigerator wattage.

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How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use?

Many factors determine the power or watts your refrigerator uses, including its age, size, and type. For example, a larger fridge will likely use more watts than a small fridge. And a newer model will probably use less power than an older one. In addition, the kitchen's average temperature can affect the refrigerator's cooling system, which can also cause a variation in power usage.

Considering factors such as age, type, and size, a typical home refrigerator can use between 100-400 watts.

How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use Per Hour?

Knowing how many watts does a normal refrigerator use per day is important if you’re concerned about energy usage and cost.

Most typical fridges use between 100-400 watts. To find your fridge's wattage, just:

  • Multiply the number of amps listed on the fridge's nameplate by the voltage (usually around 120).
  • Then, because the compressor only runs about 30% of the time, divide the total wattage by 3.
  • This number gives you the average running wattage of your refrigerator per hour.


For example, on average, a fridge with 6 amps and 115 volts uses 230 watts per hour.

  • 0 amps X 115 volts = 690 watts
  • 690 watts divided by 3 = 230 average running wattage per hour

How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use Per Day?

To find out how many watts to run a refrigerator, take the average running wattage per hour and multiply that by 24. So, in the example above, the refrigerator uses 230 watts per hour. When multiplied by 24, you see that the watts per day equal 5,520.

  • 230 (average running wattage per hour) X 24 (number of hours in a day) = 5,520 watts per day

FAQs About Refrigerator Wattage

What is the average refrigerator wattage?

The average refrigerator wattage is the average hourly power used by the refrigerator, which considers that the fridge's compressor is turned on only 30% of the time.

Do refrigerators use a lot of electricity?

While most modern models use 25 percent or less energy than refrigerators from the 1970s did, they still use a lot of electricity. In fact, your refrigerator uses the most energy after your air conditioning, washing machine, and dryer.

How much does it cost to run a refrigerator per day?

To calculate how much it costs to run a refrigerator per day, take the number of watts used per day (in our example above, it was 5,520) and divide it by 1,000.

This simple equation will give you the number of kilowatts, which in our example would be 5.52 kilowatts).

Next, find the cost per kilowatt-hour on your electricity bill and multiply that by the number of kilowatts. For instance, if your power company charges $0.15 per kilowatt-hour, then multiply 5.52 kilowatts by $0.15, and that's how much it costs to run a refrigerator per day.

5.52 x $0.15 = $0.82 per day

How much does it cost per month to run a refrigerator?

To calculate how much it costs to run a refrigerator every month, multiply the cost per day times the number of days per month.

$0.82 per day x 30 (average days in a month) = $24.60 (cost per month to run your refrigerator)

While you may have an older, yet fully functioning, refrigerator, it can be worth investigating whether upgrading to a newer model might be something to consider. Not just because of the newer features, but because the annual electricity cost savings may be significant enough to warrant a new fridge. The newer features will be a bonus on top of saving money!

Don't hesitate to contact us if you need help figuring out how much it costs to run your current refrigerator or how much you could save with a new one.

You can always browse our full selection of refrigerators at any time.

Now might be the best time to research energy-saving refrigerators, as summer is the hardest on your electric bill. With your air conditioning running full time, your fridge constantly being opened and closed, and your washing machine and dryer continuously going, it's no wonder your summertime bill is higher. But you can start your journey now to save money!