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How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use (Day, Hour, Startup)

A refrigerator is a savior! A lifetime friend! But the saddest part is the extra electricity bill that adds up to your expenditure.

At the end of the month, this is what people struggle with. Thus, if you can know how many watts a refrigerator use can save us from these hefty bills.

Watts usage for a refrigerator

Typically, refrigerator usage varies from time to time. It needs 225 watts to run per hour and a total of 4500 to 5500 watts to work per day. A simple calculation proves it can work for 165000 watts per month at maximum. However, the startup power is no less than 2000 watts.

This is a clear outline of what homeowners can expect from their refrigerators. Well, knowing them in detail can open a new perspective for you too.

Per Hour:

A refrigerator has to work day and night to preserve food. In that case, it is quite obvious that it will need a tremendous amount of power per hour.

On average, the normal refrigerator has a tendency to use at least 180 watts of power supply. This can also strike up to 225 in some hot days when it is stuffed with food.

This power consumption is no less. To sum up, the general price of electricity is more than 0. 03 US dollars per hour. In the long run, it can be hideously expensive.

Per day:

When a refrigerator has a demand of 180 to 225 watts of power supply per hour, man can imagine how much it is per day. Multiply it by 24 hours and that’s only the lowest cost.

It’s no joke! This price can hike up and can be equal to 4500 to 5500 watts. Again, that’s the theoretical data; real life may have more values to show.

As each refrigerator has different power input, it is not logical to expect each one to fall within this range. Rather, it’s better to check the usage before buying any product. Otherwise, say hello to the sleepless nights.

Per month:

You can imagine its value. Per month it has a skyrocketing power consumption of 165000 watts. Not unbelievable. A usual calculation would also provide you with the same data.

And the cost for this is no less. If thought on a larger scale it is more than even 190 US dollars annually. It may not look much for many owners. But why compromise? Having a less-powered refrigerator is good to go for you.

Plus, this power outrage can be reduced by preserving food and stocking them with other means. That would surely be a groundbreaking idea.


The starting power demand of any refrigerator is no less than 800 watts. Instead, it can rise to even 2000 if needed.

Especially in summer, the foods are rotten so quickly that people couldn’t even decide what to eat. And the result is heaps of wastage.

Inevitably, in these times, your refrigerator would need the heaviest power to provide you with delicious food. And unluckily this automatically fluctuates the startup power and voltage of the device.

What is the average refrigerator wattage consumption by defrost type & ice making functionality?

Both the commercial ice maker and defrost type refrigerators have different power requirements for effective functionality. That’s normal. As their function and work vary from sky to bottom, their changing demand is justified.

For instance, defrost type freezers have the highest rate of power consumption. Surprisingly, it may even ask for 2200 kWh per month. And for this, your bills can burst out.

Comparatively, the ice making refrigerators will relieve you in one sense. They are not highly expensive. Rather, they are within the budget for anyone out there.

Thus, there is good news for the homeowners. With the power demand of less than 350 kWh, your expenses can drop below 20 dollars per month. That’s incredible!

Besides, this is not any general rule. The actual power consumption of any defrost or ice making function can require more or less power depending on the size, model, and energy efficiency of the refrigerator.

So, keeping an eye on that beforehand would be really helpful for you.

What size generator do I need to run a refrigerator and freezer?

To run a refrigerator or a freezer, most of the time, homeowners have to rely on generators. According to the size of the freezer itself, the size of the generator and the power requirement can vary.

Therefore, a rough idea will help you to find the best size for the generator.

Small refrigerator:

To begin with, a small refrigerator often needs a moderate amount of energy. Luckily, that amount can be easily fulfilled by some medium-sized generator of 1500 to 2000 Watt.

Mini refrigerator:

However, the necessity can be even lower for a mini freezer. No wonder. They can have an abated value of 1000 watts generator. And you will see that’s will be more than enough for that little chunk.  

Large refrigerator:

In case you own a large refrigerator, get ready for a larger generator. The golden rule suggests it will need a generator worth at least 4000 watts. And yet, that can be an understatement depending on the usage.

Side by side refrigerator:

Settling on the side by side freezers is an innovative idea that most homeowners are applying to get rid of the excessive costs.

This simple modification magically reduces the power consumption. And the best part is now you can get your job done with a small 780-watt generator.

Standard refrigerator:

Apart from all this, a standard refrigerator has a power consumption of 3000 watts monthly. Therefore, choose the generator compatible with that production. And the rest automatically falls in place.

What factors affect refrigerator power consumption?

The above-mentioned criteria of power consumption are nothing but a theoretical value. The practical implication can be a lot more different and weird than this.

Furthermore, this consumption is highly affected by several factors. When one knows this minutely, the whole thing becomes as clear as crystal.


The power consumption mostly depends on the usage of the refrigerator. It is no new news that the continuous and uninterrupted use of any device would result in excessive power demand.  That’s what happens with the refrigerator too.


Seems unlikely, but weather can also be a determining factor. In summer, when the outside temperature is as high as to boil skins, expecting food will retain for a long time is folly.

This is the time when the consumption is highest. The opposite happens in winter.

Model and type:

The power consumption mostly depends on this criterion – model and the type of refrigerator. Without a doubt, depending on the size and brand the demand will change. Thus, having detailed knowledge about the device before choosing is mandatory.

Thermostat settings:

With your varying food needs, the thermal condition needs to be changed too. As you changed the thermostat settings, power usage also changes. Thus, it looks like saving energy is easier with the high-end settings.

How to estimate your refrigerator’s power consumption?

There are several calculators for energy consumption lurking here and there on the internet. However, it is preferred to estimate the data on your own. Though it may seem boring to many people, one will be awed to see how simple it is!

Find out the voltage and current:

If you do not know the power, then this technique will be ingenious for you. Nonetheless, for applying this you need to know the voltage and the current it needs.

The user manuals can reveal this data to you. Sometimes, the device also has seals mentioning this. If other options fail, a simple call to customer service is enough.

Decide the time:

Now, it’s time to decide the allocated time up to which you want your calculations. For starters, it is better to calculate the value of one day.

However, if anyone wants to find the power consumption monthly or annually, other options are available in the following steps.

Multiply the data:

When you are done deciding, a common formula from your high school can save the day. All one needs to do is multiply the voltage, current, and hour together.

To know the kilowatts, it is recommended to divide them by 1000. Voila! That’s the value of energy consumed per day

Find monthly or annual consumption:

Monthly and annual power rates are actually needed while comparison. Utterly, they are the real data that everybody seeks.

Finding the monthly and annual rates is also not a big deal. We just need to multiply the value by 30 to get for one month and by 365 for one year. Simple math can save the day.

Final Thoughts

Therefore, it is clear that power consumption can vary greatly depending on various factors. Most often a refrigerator needs a maximum of 225 watts per hour, 5500 watts per day, and a startup power of 2000 watts. Again, one must remember, that these are no real values. The reality can be shocking!