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Are Mini Fridges Expensive to Run? (Read This First!)

Mini fridges are a popular product that is widely used in hotel rooms, houses with roommates, dorm rooms, and plenty of other spaces. It can fit in small spaces, for example, under a counter, due to its small size.

It is used as additional storage space to store food items, drinks, and other products. People also use mini-fridges by the pool or a holiday home. 

Are mini fridges expensive to run?

Average mini-fridges cost less than $50 per year to run. More modern and efficient ones can cost less than $30 per year to run. Whether they are expensive to run or not depends on how much energy it uses, the size of the fridge, and if it has any additional power-consuming features. 

Do mini fridges cost a lot to run? 

The operating costs of mini-fridges vary between models and brands. The ones on the smaller section that are around one and five cubic feet, tend to cost around $20 to $40 per year.

 Although brands and models play a large role, size is the biggest factor. Smaller refrigerators use less energy which is why the smaller your fridge, the less costly it will be to operate. 

The next thing to look for is features. Some mini fridges have an automatic defrost function which can add to the energy consumption. Mini fridges indeed cost less to run when compared to a full-size fridge.

Full-size refrigerators use twice as much energy as compact refrigerators. However, they have greater cooling capacity and cost less per cubic foot of cooling space. 

How much does it cost to run a mini fridge?

Typically, operating costs for mini-fridges are 12 cents per 1kWh in the US. If your mini fridge runs for 8 hours a day, it will cost you between $19 – $29 per year, and around $1.5 – $4 per month. The price can vary depending on the brand, model, and additional features if any. 

Research has shown that a mini-fridge of 4.5 cubic feet will have running costs of $27 per year whereas a large fridge of 20.6 cubic feet costs around $47 per year. Some other factors that contribute to the operating cost as location, season, usage, settings, and age.

If your mini-fridge is placed in a warm position, it will use more power, which will result in greater costs. The running costs will be higher in the summer. It has also been proven that the older your model, the more energy it will use.

So if you have an old mini-fridge, it can cost you more than the modern ones. 

Galanz - 1.7 cubic foot compact dorm refrigerator, Black

How much electricity does a mini fridge use per month? 

The energy consumption is different for every fridge. It can have the same level of performance but different energy consumptions because of the models. How much electricity it uses is measured in Watts. 

Typical mini fridges use around 55 to 85 watts per hour. That is around 13.3 kWh per month. 

If your mini fridge has freezer compartments, you can expect a power consumption rise of around 20%. Silent refrigerators also have higher consumption rates. You will be able to check the fridge wattage before you purchase it. 

To calculate how much it costs, follow these simple methods:

Fridge Wattage (W) multiplied by Hours Per Day (H) =Watt hours per day

kWh per day= Watt-hours divided by 1000 

Will a mini fridge increase the electric bill? 

Yes, a mini-fridge can raise your electric bill around $20 to $50 per year, if they are around 1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet. The insulation levels also matter. It is not possible to predict how much it will exactly increase your electric bill as they don’t consume energy all the time.

Most modern mini-fridges consume less energy. Some mini-refrigerators have double-glazed doors and many layers of insulation. If your interior is protected properly, it will consume less energy. 

Are water filters and carbon filters for mini fridges expensive? 

Both water filters and carbon filters are widely used and need to be replaced regularly. They are often used to filter the water in the ice maker. Water and carbon filters are expensive in terms of a mini fridge. They need to be replaced regularly.

For big refrigerators, it will cost around $30 to $50 to replace. Carbon filters are very expensive since granular carbon filters are made of organic elements. They can cost anywhere between $50 to $500 to install. 

Mini Fridge, TECCPO 1.7 Cu.Ft. Small Refrigerator, Energy Star, 6 Adjustable Thermostat Control, One-touch Easy Defrost, 37 dB, Compact Refrigerator for Bedroom, Dorm, Office - TAMF30

Should a mini fridge run all the time?

No, a mini-fridge should not be running at 100% capacity for long periods of time. On average, they operate anywhere between 4 to 8 hours straight. Newer and modern refrigerators can run 80 to 90% of their lifetime. Your compressor will need a break from time to time. 

Your mini fridge might be running all the time for the following reasons: worn-out door gasket, dirty condenser coils, faulty defrost thermostat, faulty evaporator fan motor, fault condenser fan motor. It could be because of either of these reasons and it needs to be checked out. 

How can I make my mini fridge more energy efficient?

There are many things to consider to make the mini fridge more energy efficient. Let’s take a dig into it. 

Proper ventilation:

Keep your mini-fridge properly ventilated. Do not place them between wall cabinets or enclosed cabinets because it will use more power. Avoid keeping them in warm places such as an oven or HVAC vent. 

Make use of timer switches:

This is a great way to save energy and bills. With the help of timer switches, your mini-fridge will only run when it is required to cool the items in your fridge. 

Change the temperature settings of your mini fridge:

Many mini-fridges are automatically set at very low temperatures by default. Such low temperatures are often not required.

You can increase the temperature level, so that less power is used. Do this with a thermometer and change your settings.


Regularly clean all vents and coils so that dirt does not build up. It is required to ensure proper airflow. It will also increase the lifetime of your fridge. If your mini-fridge is empty, leave it unplugged to save energy.

BLACK+DECKER BCRK25W Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 2.5 Cubic Ft., White

Are mini fridges expensive?

Mini fridges can be expensive. This depends on the brand and size of your mini-fridge. If it has special features such as different colored lighting, it will most likely be costly. Some mini-fridges cost as low as $60 whereas others can go as high as $800.

A decent mini fridge will cost you around $200. Silent ones with additional cooling features will also be expensive. Ones that use more energy will be slightly less expensive.

Energy-efficient mini-fridges tend to be on the pricey side as they will save you utility bills in the long run. The size rule is pretty simple. The more space it takes, the more it will cost. You need to find a balance between price and quality.

Why are mini fridges so expensive?

There can be a couple of reasons for a mini fridge to be expensive. Those can be like:

Saves energy and space:

As they are compact, they can be kept anywhere in the house without worrying about space. But all technology and features need to be similar to large-sized refrigerators. This is why they can be expensive.

Their small size also results in less energy being used. This will save your utility bills. It loses a lot less cold air than our average kitchen fridge. Hence, it is much more energy-efficient. 


They have plenty of features. They are more stylized and often have stainless steel details along with a glass door to showcase the drinks. They might also come with adjustable chrome metal shelves that have holes for proper circulation of cold air.  

How much do mini fridges cost?

Mini fridges can cost anywhere between $30 to even $1000. It is all up to the brand and type of mini fridge you need. There are different types of mini-fridges, some are portable, some are built-in. Built-in ones usually cost more. 

Here are some popular brands along with their capacity and price range to guide you. 

Brand NameCapacityPrice Range
GalanzAround 3.1 Cubic Feet$66 to $169
HaierAround 3.1 Cubic FeetAround $150
CostwayAround 3.2 Cubic Feet$50 to $400
Black+DeckerAround 1.7 Cubic Feet to 3.2 Cubic Feet$120 to $250
CooluliAround 10 litres$48 to $100
Arctic KingAround 3.2 Cubic Feet$130 to $280
DanbyAround 4.4 cu. ft. 124 Liters$100 to $500
New AirAround 90 Can capacity$26 to $250
InsigniaAround 3.0 Cubic Feet$126 to $150
MediaAround 3.1 Cubic Feet$150 to $300
HisenseAround 93 litres$100 to $150
FrigidaireAround 4 litres$32 to $200
DaewooAround 1.6 Cubic Feet$170 to $200

How long does a mini fridge last? 

Mini fridges can last between 6 to 14 years but they should be replaced after 10 years. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America, mini-fridges last less than nine years.

A regular standard fridge lasts over 13 years. Mini fridges will last long if you clean and maintain them regularly. The lifespan might be reduced due to poor maintenance. Don’t keep them in direct sunlight or heat-producing appliances.

Another thing to remember is to keep them 2 to 3 inches away from the wall. 

RCA RFR322-B RFR322 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, Platinum, Stainless

Are mini fridges worth it?

Whether purchasing a mini-fridge is worth it or not is up to your living habits. If you have enough storage in your regular refrigerator, it might not be necessary. But, mini fridges offer accessibility if they are in your room. You don’t have to get up and go to the kitchen.

You will also be saving space if you live in a dorm. However, they have much less space than a regular fridge. Whether it is needed is up to you. It can come in handy because of all its uses and features.

Mini fridges are not that expensive to run if you compare them with a regular refrigerator. Always check how much power it consumes before you purchase it. If you feel it is too expensive to operate, there are plenty of energy-saving tips that can help you. 

Contact Brand Support for Repair & Service

In case if you have any other issues with your mini fridge and cannot fix them, you can contact your mini fridge brand repair and service center for further assistance.

Mini Fridge BrandSupport Page For Repair & ServiceContact Number
FrigidaireSupport Page1-800-374-4432
Haier Support Page1-877-337-3639
Danby Support Page1-602-777-7061
Black and Decker Support PageN/A
Magic Chef Support Page1-888-775-0202
Kenmore Support Page1-844-553-6667
Whirlpool Support Page1-866-698-2538
IglooSupport Page1-800-273-7024
RCASupport Page1-800-968-9853
Avanti Support Page1-800-220-5570
Galanz Support Page1-800-562-0738

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are the Dimensions of a Mini Fridge?

Why Does My Mini Fridge Smell? How to Get Rid of the Smell?

Can I Unplug a Mini Fridge?

Do Mini Fridges Give Off Heat?

Can Mini Fridge be Transported on Its Side?