Do mini fridges use a lot of electricity and increase your bill?
How different are they from big fridges and from other appliances? How much do they cost to run? And how to keep their running costs as low as possible?
I am an electrical engineer and a certified energy manager, and I wrote this short guide in order to help you answer these questions and know if it is find to get a small refrigerator and a mini freezer or not.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Do Mini Fridges Use a Lot of Electricity?
Mini fridges do not use a lot of electricity, and they are considered one of the small loads that do not add a lot to the electricity bill, and they consume a little bit than the big fridges that are considered to be small-medium size loads.
A mini fridge can be considered to an equivalent to using1-2 light bulbs of 25-watts, and the actual consumption depends on the size of the mini-fridge, the brand, and the use that differ from one to another.
What Affects The Energy Consumption of a Small Fridge?
How much electricity a small (and a big) refrigerator uses depends on many factors, such as:
- The brand and the efficiency level of the mini fridge (Energy Star certified or not).
- The size of the mini fridge.
- Does it come with a freezer (not a big effect).
- How often you open its door, for how long, and how often you add warm stuff to it.
- The cooling setting you leave it on.
- Do you clean the condenser coils on regular basis.
- Do you keep it with enough space behind it where the air can move easily, or is it in a confined space that makes it difficult on the coils to find cool air around them.
- The cooling setting you leave it on.
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How Much Electricity Does a Mini Fridge Use?
A mini fridge uses around 25-80 watts in order to run, depending on its size, efficiency, and the personal use, as explained in the previous section above.
That’s the power required to run the mini fridge on continuous basis.
The amount of energy the mini fridge uses is around 0.025-0.08 kWh (kilowatt hour) per hour of operation.
In a full day, the mini fridge uses around 0.6-1.9 kilowatt-hours of electricity. (Multiply the numbers above by 24)
And over a month, a mini fridge uses between 18-57 kWh of electric energy that is added to the utility meter. (Multiply the daily consumption by 30)
In a year, the total electricity consumption of a small fridge would be in the range of 219-694 kWh. (Multiply the daily use by 365)
And if you check out the specifications of the different mini fridges, you will find that the estimated annual consumption ranges between 220-350 kWh for normal mini fridges, with or without a freezer.
And you might find some special mini fridges that consume a little bit more like the small cooler with a glass door.
How Much Electricity Does a Mini Freezer Use?
A mini freezer uses anywhere between 0.5-0.7 kWh of electricity per day, which accumulates into 15-21 kWh per month, and around 190-250 kWh per year, which is not a lot.
Do Small Refrigerators Increase Your Electric Bill?
A small fridge can increase your electric bill if it was added to your appliances, not as a replacement to a big fridge.
However, the increase on your electric bill due to a mini fridge is not that significant, unlike the space heater for example that consumes a lot of electricity when run for many hours a day.
Mini fridges are usually energy efficient small appliances that do not cost a lot in order to run.
How Much Does a Mini Fridge Cost to Run?
A mini fridge costs between 9 cents to 27 cents to run per day, based on the energy consumption range of 0.6-1.9 kWh per day, and the average electricity price of around 14 cents per kWh.
How Much Does a to Run a Mini Fridge per Month?
Per month, a mini fridge would cost around $2.7 – $8.1 to run, based on the estimated consumption range of 0.6-1.9 kilowatt hour per day, and the average electricity rate of 14 cents per kilowatt hour.
Notice that these are the average estimates of what it would cost to run a small refrigerator.
The exact costs depend on the actual consumption of each small fridge, and on the actual electricity rate as energy companies charge different rates from one another.
For example, in New York, where the rate is around 20.6 cents per kWh, the cost of running the mini fridge would be around $3.7-$11.7 per month.
And in Idaho, where the rate is around 10.6 cents per kWh, the monthly cost of running the mini fridge would be around $1.9-$6.
These estimates include mini fridges that include either just a refrigerator cabin, or both, a refrigerator and a freezer in the same unit.
How Much Does a to Run a Mini Freezer per Month?
The cost of running the mini freezer would range between 7-10 cents a day, or $2.1-$3 a month, based on the average electricity rate of 14 cents/kWh.
The actual cost depends on the brand, capacity, efficiency, and usage of the freezer, and on the actual electricity price in your area.
Good Habits Reduce The Running Cost of a Small Fridge
Mini fridges do not operate on full load all the time, as they have good insulation, and the low temperature, once reached, can be maintained for a long period of time while running the fridge’s condenser on a lower speed.
Opening the mini-fridge frequently and leaving the door open for long periods of time let’s the cool air escape, which makes it work on full load again until it maintains the low temperature that is set for it.
Also, not cleaning the dusty coils on the back of the mini fridge makes the condenser work harder than necessary in order to reach and maintain the low temperature inside it.
And not leaving enough space behind the mini fridge (at least 10 centimeters or 4 inches), or leaving it in a corner or in a confined space like a small cabinet, all make it difficult to replace the air around the condenser coils, which makes them get warm, and leads the mini fridge to using more energy working on full load for a longer period of time until it reaches the desired temperature.
Conclusion – Small Fridges Don’t Break The Bank
Mini fridges are small appliances that do not use a lot of electricity, but make sure that you don’t leave their doors open all the time so that they don’t add a lot to your electric bill.
And when buying a new one, consider getting a good energy efficient mini fridge that is Energy Star certified, like some of the Black+Decker mini fridges and Insignia mini fridges, as this certificate for mini fridges means that they use 20% less energy than the standard mini fridges.
I hope that my short article was helpful for you, and you know now how much it would cost you to use a mini fridge, and how to keep its consumption low.
If you still have another question or need any help on this topic, please, let me know in the comments’ section below, and I will do my best to help you out 🙂
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