Updated at: 24-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

The amp draw and power consumption of the refrigerator will decide how much additional load can be placed on a given circuit breaker.

Whether it’s an RV, a business, or a house, electrical wiring is wiring.

Overloading a circuit might cause the unsafe electrical equipment on it to malfunction or be destroyed.

There is also the potential for the circuit to short out, which might lead to disastrous consequences such as the start of a fire or the malfunctioning of an electrical system or even the destruction of expensive electronic devices.

How many amps does a refrigerator need? As a general rule, most refrigerators will need between 15 and 20 amps of electricity, which is equivalent to about 700 watts.

This figure is affected by many variables, including as the refrigerator’s age, usage, cubic foot capacity, temperature setting, and voltage and location.

How Many Amps Does Refrigerator Use?

The amperage required to power a refrigerator varies greatly depending on its size. In order for larger refrigerators to effectively cool as much food as possible, larger compressors are required.

How Many Amps Does A Refrigerator Use? - Kitchen Infinity

The refrigerator’s compressor also uses the most electricity. The refrigerator’s light bulb uses energy much like the compressor does.

A regular 40W bulb is utilized, so it won’t affect the stability of the system.

Domestic refrigerators typically use between 1 to 15 amps, though this can vary widely depending on appliance size and the amount of power required by the refrigerator’s compressor.

When you know the wattage of a refrigerator, you can quickly figure how how much current it uses. The watts can be found by dividing the voltage by the current.

A 480-watt refrigerator, for instance, draws 4 amps of power at 120 volts.

The wattage of your refrigerator, though, may prove more difficult to determine.

Some examples of what I mean are as follows:

  • When in use, an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator will require 6 to 7 amps of power.
  • A little freezer just needs one amp to run.
  • The current consumption of beverage chillers is between 6 and 12 amps.
  • Any small wine refrigerator can be powered by a 20-amp breaker.

Manufacturers rarely make this clear in their documentation, and instead boast about inflated annual energy consumption figures attributable to the refrigerator’s cycle.

In most cases, the watts are listed in terms of the startup wattage, which is based on the locked rotor amperage of the compressor and is thus far higher than the steady current the fridge will require for the vast majority of its operating life.

Refrigerator Full Load Amps – Amperage Draw Chart (Appliances)

A compilation of reviews on the most popular home appliances.

For your convenience, I have compiled the following table detailing the average daily electrical consumption of some of the most often used electronic devices:

Refrigerator Cycles

A refrigerator’s cooling system is based on dissipating the internal heat. This is made possible by the special liquids and gases housed in these gadgets.

Even though these liquids boil at temperatures considerably below their freezing point, their states can be altered by changing the pressure at which they boil.

The compressor in a fridge is the part responsible for this. The major function of this device is to increase the pressure of the coolant, thus turning it into a liquid.

When a coolant is heated to a temperature over its boiling point, it absorbs heat from its surroundings and changes phase from liquid to gas as it moves through cooling components.

But the coolant isn’t being regularly cycled. Fridge compressors go through on/off cycles. Everyone who pays attention can see this for themselves.

Sometimes you may hear a soft buzzing, and sometimes there’s nothing at all.

A break is taken from time to time so that the compressor may cool down, and this is why it happens.

Even across models from the same manufacturer, there can be significant differences in cycle time.

Classic refrigerators ran on 30- to 40-minute cycles, followed by 6- to 9-hour rest periods.

On the other hand, the off periods of newer devices rarely exceed 30 minutes, and the on periods can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.

There is no way to get a reliable reading on the refrigerator’s amperage consumption without first determining when and how the appliance powers on.

In addition, the position of the refrigerator is only one of several elements that affect these cycles.

This is why most refrigerator compressor labels will list both the rated current and the LRA, or locked rotor amperage.

Rated Current

The compressor in the fridge can only operate at full capacity up to the maximum current rating.

During the on-cycle, when the full load is being applied, this is typically the amount of current that flows. This is the maximum amount of current your refrigerator will use when it is turned up to its highest setting; at lower temperatures, it will use a lower amount of current.

To put it simply, the refrigerator compressor will not run above its safe operating voltage if it is supplied with a voltage much lower than the rating for which it was intended.

This failure mode has the potential to impact the electric motor components of the compressor.

Locked Rotor Amperage

When a compressor is first turned on, it faces some inertial resistance from the coolant it must move, as well as some electromagnetic and mechanical resistance.

This can be prevented by increasing the cycle’s amperage for a brief period.

This higher current is referred to as a launch, locked rotor, or surge current.

The average refrigerator uses twice as much power as it’s rated for, and some of the older models can use as much as five times as much.

As a matter of thumb, you can use up to six times the rated power.

What Type Of Circuit Breaker Do I Need For Refrigerator?

Choose breakers that are three to four times greater than the rated current of the refrigerator.

So you can take a deep breath in the event that the voltage in your electrical system drops.

Most fridges can handle a 10% drop or rise in voltage from its nominal level without affecting its operation.

Most household refrigerators need a circuit breaker rated at either 20 amps or 15 amps to operate properly.

You should verify the amperage requirements of each device before plugging them into a single circuit.

Because of its high amperage needs, a refrigerator can often prevent other appliances from being used simultaneously.

What Voltage Does A Fridge Use

A refrigerator’s voltage requirement is determined by the appliance’s dimensions, shape, and function.

Some older refrigerators are really rated for the lower voltage of 115 volts, hence this feature allows for voltage swings of up to 10 percent.

When it comes to this grade, there are no problems at home.

RV and camper freezers often use gas-electric absorption cooling systems.

However, power is needed to drive the various controllers and lights inside. Commonly, 12 volts is used for this function.

Only a small fraction of them run on 12 or 24 volts, and some even use the same freon systems as common residential refrigerators.

There are a variety of portable refrigerators with extremely small capacities that can be run from the 12 volts outlet in your car’s dashboard.

This is why you’ll find these ports in the trunk as well as the center console.

Depending on the brand, it may be difficult to determine how many amps your refrigerator actually needs.

Your refrigerator has a lower amperage rating that keeps it running under full load, but it also has a starter amperage that begins the cooling process.

The second rating is always much higher than the first one.

A refrigerator’s cooling cycle uses 3 to 6 amps of electricity, depending on the model and make.

How Many AMPs Does a Refrigerator Use? - Hero Kitchen

10 Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Refrigerator (and Freezer)

As the seasons change, many homeowners are seeking for methods to conserve money and energy without compromising the comforts they’ve grown to expect at home. Sadly, not everyone considers how to maximize the efficiency of their secondary freezer or refrigerator. Having these two necessities in your home causes you to waste energy constantly.

If your refrigerator is older than 15 years, you should probably replace it so you can take full advantage of the energy savings it offers. If you have an older refrigerator, you should consider replacing it with a new Energy Star model. Despite the high upfront cost, investing in a new appliance will save you money in the long run.

The task of making your refrigerator more energy efficient may seem overwhelming at first, but there are many paths to take. Here is a list of ten tips for improving the efficiency of your fridge or freezer.

1. Replace the Rubber Seal on the Door

In spite of the fact that this plastic coating is crucial to your appliance’s smooth and efficient functioning, it is frequently overlooked.

This gasket, or seal, ensures that no heated air can enter your refrigerator. The gaskets’ ability to maintain a tight seal is diminished with each opening and closing of the doors. Although refrigerator gaskets can survive for decades, they often deteriorate and tear after only a few years of use.

If your fridge or freezer has to work more to maintain food freshness, you should expect higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan from the device.

2. Protect Your Fridge From High Heat Sources

To maintain the appropriate temperature of your meal, the compressor will go into overdrive when it is close to a heat source. Not only does this increase the stress on your refrigerator, but it also wastes electricity and could even shorten the life of your refrigerator.

When designing the architecture of your kitchen, try to avoid placing the refrigerator next to any other appliances that generate a lot of heat. You should also try to keep it out of the sun for as long as possible.

3. Tidy up Your Condenser Coils

The condenser coils in your fridge are responsible for dissipating the heat generated inside. Having unclean large coils at the back or bottom of your fridge reduces their efficiency. If these coils are working harder than they should be, it can raise your appliance’s energy consumption, which can cause problems later on.

The accumulation of junk over time may be easily removed with the help of an inexpensive bristle brush, which you should get in order to facilitate the cleaning of your coils. You’re good to go so long as you don’t have to clean the coils too often.

4. Cool Off Your Leftovers

The smallest changes might have a significant impact on your next energy bill. Leaving food out for a few hours after a meal is a quick and easy way to reduce the amount of heat your appliance absorbs. Wrap your food in plastic or Tupperware before putting it in the fridge to keep any residual heat out. Keep in mind that if you let food out to cool for too long, it may go bad.

5. Keep the Doors Closed

This is the simplest and cheapest way to reduce your refrigerator’s electricity use. Spending a lot of time in front of a running refrigerator will drive up your electricity bill.

As cold air escapes, it requires more effort to bring the appliance back to the appropriate temperature. Before you open the fridge or freezer, make a list of what you need. When possible. Consider if you really need to open the fridge every day before you do so, as this will reduce the amount of energy you use.

6. Take Advantage of In-Door Water & Ice

If you want to get some ice cubes or a bottle of water without having to open the freezer door, use the in-door feature. To save money and make your appliance last longer, use this simple trick.

If your refrigerator does not have a built-in ice dispenser, a countertop ice maker is a convenient alternative. This handy appliance eliminates the need to open your freezer door every time you want some ice.

7. Organize & Remove Clutter From Your Refrigerator

Bring out your inner neat-freak by arranging the contents of your fridge and freezer. You can cut down on the amount of time spent with the refrigerator door open by keeping items that you use frequently in easy reach within the refrigerator.

You should also remove some of the bread, food boxes, and serving utensils from the top shelf of your refrigerator.

Putting heavy objects on top of your refrigerator can force its compressor to work harder, which will increase your energy bills and wear it out faster.

8. Check the Temperature Inside

Increasing an appliance’s temperature by a few degrees can help reduce your monthly energy costs. When it comes to optimizing your refrigerator and freezer for your family’s needs, the sweet spots are 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit and 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. In the event that your appliance does not produce precise degree readings, the center position on the temperature dial should do the trick.

A thermostat setting adjustment may not take effect for up to 24 hours. Your energy use should have decreased, which will be reflected on your subsequent bill.

9. Initiate the Power-Saver Switch

Not all refrigerators have this feature, but many newer models have tiny heaters built right into the walls to prevent condensation. Turning on the energy-saver or power-saver mode can fast get rid of this function if there isn’t a lot of visible condensation on your unit.

10. Reduce Your Frost Accumulation

Depending on the make and model of your fridge, defrosting may need to be done by hand. As material accumulates in the coils of your refrigerator, it forces the appliance to exert more energy than is necessary to maintain the desired temperature inside. If you don’t defrost your fridge and freezer regularly, they may not be able to maintain their cold temperatures.

If your pipes are covered in frost, you may be squandering a lot of money and energy. Manual or semi-automatic refrigerators need more regular defrosting in hot and humid climates.

If you follow these ten easy steps, you can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on electricity by making some adjustments to your refrigerator. If your present appliance is on its last legs, you may want to look into upgrading to one that has earned the Energy Star label. You can help the planet even more by recycling your old fridge.

The 6 Best Energy-Efficient Refrigerators

Consider the energy efficiency rating when shopping for new home appliances. Inefficient appliances not only increase your electricity bills, but also contribute to environmental damage by using more energy and resources than necessary. Upgrades in refrigerator efficiency have been made over the years in response to both consumer demand and government regulations.

According to Noah Horowitz, director of the NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, the DOE regulations for most goods are changed every six years or so to reflect improvements in technology. The Department of Energy’s restrictions on energy efficiency save the typical American family $500 or more each year.

It was a priority for us to find energy-saving measures. You’ll find the most energy-efficient refrigerators on this page.

Best Overall: Whirlpool 21 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator in Monochromatic Stainless Steel

Dimensions (in inches): 32.75 x 66.63 x 33.63; capacity (in cubic feet): 21; shipping weight (in pounds): 242; warranty (in days): 1; annual energy consumption (in kilowatt-hours): 602; price (in dollars): $1,299.

The Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator is a great choice. Black, white, and monochromatic tones are all acceptable paint jobs for stainless steel. There are four baskets/bins and three shelves in the freezer, four shelves in the refrigerator, and two movable gallon door bins to provide you more options when loading the fridge’s freezer. The refrigerator has a number of useful features, including a humidity-controlled crisper drawer and a control panel. In addition to the ice maker, this fridge has a water dispenser on the exterior and a separate ice maker within.

This fridge is Energy Star certified and has LED lighting on both shelves and a nightlight by the water dispenser.

Best Budget: LG LTCS20020S 20 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Dimensions: 20.2-cubic-feet volume, 202-pound weight, 1-year warranty (parts and labor), yearly energy consumption of 430 kilowatt-hours (kWh)

If you’re looking for a high-quality refrigerator but have a limited budget, the LG Top Freezer Refrigerator is a great choice. As a result of its ultra-quiet operation, it has been designated as a 2020 Energy Star Most Efficient product. The fridge can be purchased in either a stainless steel or smooth white finish. This fridge includes two gallon-sized containers on the door and a separate compartment on each tier for storing products that need high humidity. An ice maker is an available upgrade at checkout.

The linear compressor (parts) carries a six-to-ten-year warranty, while the sealed system and compressor (parts and labor) have a five-year warranty period.

Best Splurge: LG LTCS24223S 33-inch Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Energy consumption per year is 501 kWh, and it has a 28.8-cubic-foot capacity and a weight of 284.

In light of its numerous useful features, this LG refrigerator represents excellent value for money. There is also an alarm that goes off if the door is left open for too long, and powerful LED panels for illumination. This crisper has a built-in humidifier and operates at a whisper.

The design features glass shelves that can be removed and concealed hinges. A digital sensor and touchpad allow for precise regulation of both temperature and relative humidity. The limited palette of available hues and coatings is a major limitation.

Best Large: Dacor DRF36C000SR 36″ Counter-Depth Free Standing Refrigerator

The fridge’s dimensions of 35.75 by 70 by 30.87 inches and its weight of 375 pounds add out to a total of 22.6 cubic feet of storage space. The parts are covered for three years, while the labor is covered for two.

The slide and fold shelves and adaptable storage divider in Dacor’s freestanding refrigerator make it perfect for stowing away bulky items. This refrigerator’s French doors provide extra space for storing taller, wider items. You can put anything from cold drinks to deli meats in a full-width drawer. Besides the standard ice and water machines, we also provide a 48-ounce pitcher water dispenser with an infuser.

The fridge has plenty of storage options, including seven door bins, three full-width shelves, two adjustable shelves, a slide-and-fold shelf, and a flip-up shelf. There are also three drawers: two crisper drawers and a freezer drawer. Dacor’s freestanding refrigerator has been certified as Energy Star-qualified.

How Many AMPs Does a Refrigerator Use - Fork & Spoon Kitchen

Best Small: Frigidaire FFET1022UV 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

This device has a capacity of 23.75 x 59.87 by 26.25 inches, weighs 123.5 pounds, uses 296 kWh of power yearly, and has a limited guarantee of 1 year.

Apartment dwellers and those with limited counter space will appreciate the white, black, or stainless steel finish of the Frigidaire Top Freezer Apartment-Size Refrigerator. In addition to the two crisper drawers, there are two full-width door bins that may accommodate gallon jugs and other bulky items. Two movable glass shelves allow for easy storage of items of varying heights. The freezer is equipped with two compartments and a single shelf.

With the option of a door that can swing in either direction, placing a refrigerator in a small space is less of a hassle. This fridge has Energy Star-approved LED lights.

Best Smart: LG LMXS28596S 28 cu. ft. Smart wi-fi Enabled InstaView™ Door-in-Door® Refrigerator

Dimensions: 28 cu. ft.; Shipping Weight: 322 lbs.; Warranty: 1 year (parts and labor); Annual Energy Consumption: 760 kWh.

The LG InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Wi-Fi Refrigerator is an energy-efficient refrigerator featuring cutting-edge technology. Scratch- and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel and black stainless steel variants are available for a modern look. The refrigerator’s functionality can be managed in part thanks to SmartThinq Technology.

The SmartThinQ app notifies you when the water filter needs to be changed or the door is left open, and it also allows you to remotely adjust the temperature of your refrigerator or freezer. Also, the fridge may be managed via voice commands with the use of services like Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. The availability of child locks. If you have an LG refrigerator with a door within a door, you can see what’s inside by simply knocking twice on the mirrored glass panel.

There’s a secret door inside the main door of the fridge that leads to an extra storage area. There are a total of four shelves inside the fridge, and the freezer has two separate doors and compartments. There are four shelves in the fridge and a “Glide n’ Serve Drawer” for storing serving platters. This refrigerator comes with a water dispenser that can be accessed from the outside. There is currently on the market a product that meets the criteria set out by Energy Star.

What to Look for in an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator

Size and Type

Before purchasing a new refrigerator, think about the kinds of food you intend to store in it. According to Energystar.gov, the most energy-efficient refrigerators have a capacity of between 16 and 20 cubic feet.

Side-by-side freezers, as stated by Noah Horowitz of NRDC, are more expensive to purchase and consume far more energy than top- or bottom-mounted freezers.

Energy Use

You can tell if a fridge is energy efficient by looking for the Energy Star label. Energy Star is a labeling program run by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that assists consumers in identifying items that are among the most energy-efficient on the market. According to Horowitz, Energy Star-certified products use 10% less energy than those that meet DOE’s minimal efficiency criterion.

The Energy Guide label is regulated by the FTC and is available for inspection. This resource allows users to evaluate operational costs on an annual basis. This label will also include the estimated annual kWh consumption for the refrigerator.


What appliances need a dedicated circuit?

Some appliances, including electric ranges, need their own dedicated circuit. A wall oven. Refrigerators. Powerful over-the-range microwaves. Freezers. Dishwashers. Toxic waste disposals A toasting oven.

How long will a 100Ah battery run a 12V fridge?

Some appliances, including electric ranges, need their own dedicated circuit. A wall oven. Refrigerators. Powerful over-the-range microwaves. Freezers. Dishwashers. Toxic waste disposals A toasting oven.

How long will a 12 volt battery run a 12 volt cooler?

Ranges that use electricity need to be plugged into a dedicated circuit. It’s a built-in oven in the wall. Refrigerators. Extra-large microwaves. Freezers. Dishwashers. Contaminated dumps A toaster oven.

How many refrigerators can be on a 20 amp circuit?

You can plug 10 outlets into a 20-amp circuit if each one draws no more than 1.5 Amps, which is another rule of thumb.

How long will a 12 volt battery run a refrigerator?

Depending on the size of the refrigerator, a standard 12 V DC battery may power a dometic or narcold RV fridge for six to eight hours. Small freezers designed for boondocking can often go for up to 30 hours on as little as 70 watts of power.

Does a fridge need a 20 amp circuit?

A 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuit is needed to power a modern refrigerator. A dedicated 120/125-volt circuit for the refrigerator should be created during any major remodeling, even if you currently have a smaller refrigerator hooked into a general lighting circuit.

Can I run a refrigerator on a 15 amp circuit?

On average, refrigerators use 3 to 6 amps, but can draw as much as 15 amps when running at full capacity. Installation of refrigerators and freezers requires a dedicated 120-volt, 15-20-amp circuit.

How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use - Appliance FAQs

Are new refrigerators more efficient?

According to Horowitz, refrigerators have greatly improved in terms of energy efficiency since that time. The federal efficiency standards set by the Department of Energy are to blame for this. These rules have reduced the average yearly electricity use of new refrigerators from 1,000 kWh in 1990 to 500 kWh today.

Do energy-efficient refrigerators qualify for tax credits?

Energy efficient refrigerators are not eligible for tax credits to reduce their out-of-pocket expense. However, certain service providers and manufacturers do offer rebates to their customers.

Is a full refrigerator more energy efficient?

Horowitz claims that refrigerators utilize less energy when they are full.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Here is a list of the most energy-efficient freezers on the market, compiled with the help of an energy expert from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental advocacy group. After that, we considered things like yearly energy usage, energy-saving options, and user and outsider criticism.