How Much Electricity Does a Mini Fridge Use?


A mini fridge is a popular choice for college dorm rooms, small apartments, offices, and even for road trips. They provide an alternative to conventional refrigerators that require less space and can even be portable. While these compact appliances offer a lot of convenience, it’s essential to understand their energy usage. Just how much electricity does a mini fridge use?

Let’s get into mini fridge power usage specifics, discuss ways to save energy, and tackle some frequently asked questions.

How Many Watts Does a Mini Fridge Use Per Day?

The watts that your mini refrigerator uses in a day depends on how new the model is and the size of the mini-fridge.

Most mini fridges use between 70-90W to run, but for older mini fridge models, that number can go up as high as 100W.

Note that this wattage is running wattage, and many will need a higher wattage (anywhere from 280-360W) to get started. Once you know the running wattage, you can estimate the starting wattage – it’s three times higher.

Refrigerators don’t run constantly; they run intermittently throughout the day to maintain the appropriate internal temperature. They’ll run more in the summer than in winter as they must fight against the naturally hotter external temperatures.

To understand how many watts a mini fridge uses daily, you must know how long it’s running. Then, you can calculate the total watts used per day and how this translates to average electricity prices in your area. 

Calculating the Energy Usage of Your Mini Fridge

Most mini fridges run about 8-9 hours per day. To calculate the daily energy consumption in kilowatts per hour, multiply the running wattage by the number of running hours and divide by 1000. For this example, we’ll estimate 8 hours of running per day for a mini fridge that requires 90 running watts.

So, (90 x 8) = 720/1000 = 0.72kWh, meaning your mini fridge uses 0.72kWh of energy per day.

This is one example of how much energy a mini fridge might use daily. If you want to calculate the energy usage of your mini fridge, you’ll need a few pieces of information first.

Find your fridge’s wattage. The refrigerator may have a sticker with this information, or you may need to find the user manual. If the wattage isn’t listed but you see figures for volts and amps, you can use these numbers to get the starting wattage. Then, you can divide this number by three to get the running wattage.

If the volts are 240 and the amps are 1 – then the starting wattage is 240 W. To get the running watts, divide that figure by three to get 80 W.

Then, to calculate daily energy use, multiply that wattage by hours per day. Let’s say it’s summer, so it’s running 9.5 hours per day.

80 x 9.5 = 760

Then, divide that by 1000 to get kilowatt-hours.

760/1000 = 0.76kWh of energy used daily for your mini fridge.

Effective Ways to Save Energy With Your Mini Fridge?

With the rising cost of electricity and the impact on the environment, you might be looking for ways to save energy with your mini fridge. Here are some practical tips:

Set the Optimal Temperature

Ensure your mini fridge is set at the optimal temperature – not too cold or warm. The ideal temperature range for a refrigerator is between 35-38 degrees. The FDA recommends keeping it below 40, so use this as a baseline. There’s also usually a switch inside the fridge that you can use to set the ideal temperature.

Clean Regularly

Regularly cleaning your mini fridge can help it run more efficiently. Defrost any ice build-up, wipe down the coils, and remove food debris. A clean fridge will have better airflow and use less energy.

You’ll also want to remove old or expired items from your fridge regularly. Too many items crammed inside your mini fridge will negatively impact the cold air circulation and force the refrigerator to run longer each day, increasing its power usage. Cleaning and tossing out unwanted or old items will keep the remaining items adequately cooled.

Buy a Newer Model That’s Energy Star Rated

Newer mini-fridge models run more efficiently than old ones. They’re also more likely to be Energy Star-rated, a program established by the Environmental Protection Agency. They recommend buying an Energy Star-labeled fridge due to higher efficiency and lower energy usage.

Don’t Open the Fridge Often

Whenever you open your mini fridge, it lets out cold air and forces the refrigerator to work harder to bring the temperature back down. Avoid opening the fridge excessively, only opening it when necessary, and minimize the time left open each time you peer inside or grab an item.

Choose a Cooler Location

The location of your mini fridge can also impact its energy usage. Avoid placing it in areas with direct sunlight or near heat sources like ovens or stoves. A cooler location will help your mini fridge run more efficiently and save energy. Ideally, you’ll want to keep it somewhere the AC can circulate and away from direct sunlight.

Power Your Mini Fridge With a Solar Generator

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective way to power your mini fridge, consider using a solar generator like an EcoFlow Solar Generator. Solar generators use the sun’s energy to generate electricity, making them an excellent alternative to traditional power sources. You won’t be paying for the energy used to run your refrigerator, as the solar panels will capture energy, and the generator will store it, powering your mini fridge free of charge. 

For example, the EcoFlow Glacier Portable Refrigerator can be paired with the EcoFlow DELTA Pro for a 16-day runtime or even the EcoFlow RIVER 2 for a 3-day runtime.

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing a Solar Generator

Buying a solar generator can significantly reduce energy costs and help you save on the additional energy needed to run a mini fridge. After the initial purchase, you can adequately run the mini fridge with solar power and dramatically lower your energy bills. 

When choosing a solar generator for your mini fridge, there are several key factors to consider:

Mini Fridge Energy Requirements

Before purchasing a solar generator, you’ll need to know the energy requirements of your appliance. As mentioned, most mini fridges require around 70-100W to run and anywhere from 280-360W to start. Make sure the solar generator you choose can handle these requirements.

Solar Generator Battery Capacity

You’ll also want to consider the size of the battery capacity of the solar generator. If you plan to use it to power other devices or appliances, you’ll need a larger battery capacity to accommodate the additional energy usage for your home. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re only planning to use the solar generator to power the mini fridge, make sure its capacity is slightly higher than your estimated daily energy needs for the refrigerator. Power usage may fluctuate in hotter months or when containing more food and drink items.

Higher Conversion Efficiency

Efficiency levels are crucial when choosing a solar generator for your appliance. Look for generators and solar panels with higher conversion efficiency, which can convert more sunlight into electricity and charge your generator faster.

Additional Features

Consider an appliance’s additional features, such as connecting multiple solar panels for faster charging or a built-in display screen or app showing how much energy is generated and used. Some mini fridges also come with various outlets/USB ports and surge protection, adding to their functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Will a Mini Fridge Raise My Electric Bill?

The impact on your electricity bill will depend on the wattage of your mini fridge, the hours it’s running per day, and how much electricity costs in your area. To calculate how much the fridge will cost to run, multiply wattage x hours, divide by 1000, and multiply that number by the cost per kilowatt hour of energy.

How Much Electricity Does a Mini Fridge Use?

Most mini fridges use around 70-100W to run and 280-360W to start (starting watts are about 3x higher than running watts). The exact amount of electricity it uses will also depend on your fridge’s size, age, and energy efficiency. You can typically find the wattage in the instruction manual or on a sticker on the refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

A mini fridge can be a great addition to your home or outdoor adventures, but you should determine how much energy it will use and what it might cost you before getting one. Calculating a mini fridge’s estimated daily energy use is simple once you know some information, such as wattage, running hours, and energy cost.

If you don’t want to pay for additional energy usage on your electricity bill, you can always use a solar generator to power your mini fridge. With a portable mini fridge option like the EcoFlow Glacier Portable Refrigerator and the Ecoflow DELTA Pro Solar Generator, you can use free and clean energy from the sun to power up the refrigerator and even take it on the go.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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