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Refrigerators FAQs: How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use?

There are many occasions we need to figure out the AMPs and Watts of our refrigerators. And it is also vital to know the basic technicalities of our refrigerators. So, we are here with perfect solutions for how many amps a refrigerator use as well as how many watts does a fridge use over a specific time.

Well, the first and easiest method to find out amps of refrigerators is to search on google with your refrigerator’s details like model and serial numbers. Check whether it has an Energy star rating or not. If it has an energy star rating, you can easily find out the amps of your refrigerator on a per year basis.This is because these ratings come in KWH i.e. Kilo Watt Hour per year format. For example: 300 KWH per year i.e. 300,000 Watts hour per year.

How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use

Understanding Technicalities of Energy Rating:

Before going for the calculation of amps or watts uses by refrigerators, we need to know few technical terms, and how they affect the energy ratings.

On an average a refrigerator uses 700-750 watts of electricity (let’s say 725 watts) and 15-20 amps to run. Well, this much power can be more than 10 percent of your total household energy uses. And to know how, you need to learn about some technicalities.

What are Watts taken by Refrigerators and how many watts does a fridge use?

Wattage is the power that measures the rate of energy being converted to electricity in certain point of time. It is always denoted with watts. And your refrigerators which come along with energy star rating must have a label showing its wattage. This particular number we are going to use for calculating the amps of your refrigerators.

What are AMPs and how many amps does a refrigerator draw?

The Ampere of a refrigerator is the amount of electrical current taken by the compressor of refrigerator to provide cooling to its compartment. This is denoted by AMP.

On an average most American household refrigerators have a voltage of 120 and the average AMPs taken by them lies between 3-5.  Actually, AMP measures the flow rate of electricity. So, the size of wires and circuit breakers are the major factors affecting the power. And in case the amperage is high for your refrigerator, you will need to have a dedicated circuit of 15 – 20.

Dedicated Circuit:

You will need a dedicated circuit of your refrigerator, because when more than one household appliances run on the same circuit the total amperage of them gets added and can create circuit overload. This may result in wire overheat and can cause fire hazard. So, while choosing the circuit you must calculate the total amperage and select the circuit based on the total ratings.

The appears are calculated by dividing the total number of watts by the total voltage. For example: In USA to voltage taken by refrigerators are 120 on an average so you can get the amps of refrigerator by dividing total wattage by 120 Volts. By this way, you can easily calculate the amps depending on the watts you get on energy star rating of your fridge.

How to Calculate the AMPs and Average Power Consumption using the Energy Star Rating:

Now that you have the basic knowledge of all the technical terms we are going to discuss, you need to check the wattage of your refrigerator. Once you are done with that we can determine the specific APMs.

Well, Amperage is defined as the wattage of unit devides by the voltage and can be written as:


Now, the American have 120 volts for their home. So we can now move on to calculate the Amperage with the above formula.

Let’s assume your refrigerator takes 360 KWH power that means 360,000 WH. And now, if we will devide it with the number of days in a year then we will get the watt per day value.

SO; 360,000/365 = 986.30 WH

Now again if we divide the 986.30-watt hours per day by the number of hours in a day i.e. 24 then we will get the average running watts.

SO; 968.30/24 = 41.09 WATTS

Finally, we have calculated the how many watts my refrigerator uses.

Now if we divide the watts, we have calculated by the voltage then we will get our desired amperage.

SO; 91.09/120 = .34 AMP

So, this way you can calculate the amps that your refrigerator takes to run.

Don’t have an Energy Star Rating?

In case you are using an old refrigerator and you don’t have an energy star rating then you have to contact the manufacturer of the refrigerator to find out the power consumption of the refrigerator. You can also find out by searching it on google for your model. Another best way to do this thing in simple process is to by a KWH meter. This tool will give you accurate reading of power consumption in KWH for your refrigerator. And then you can apply the above process to calculate the amps of your refrigerators.

Factors Affecting the Consumption of Energy and Amps taken by Your Refrigerators:

The calculation we have done above do not consider various factors that can affect the real situation. As there are many causes that can result in increasing the amperage of your refrigerator. Lets talk about them:

Location Of Refrigerator:

Location of a refrigerator has a huge impact on the energy consumption. Like if you have placed the refrigerator in cool area the compressor will not need to have extra power to provide cooling. But, in case you have placed the refrigerator next to Oven or microwave, the heat can result in forcing compressor to do extra effort for cooling and this may result in extra power consumption.

Refrigerator’s Size

The refrigeration specialists say, the bigger the refrigerator, more will be the energy consumption. So, this may be another cause of variation of calculation of real consumption of energy for your refrigerator.

Type of Usage:

The rougher you use the refrigerator; more will be the power consumption. Like, if you open the door and held it open for long time it will force the compressor to work harder to cool the compartment and will result in more power consumption.

As per the studies, if you put refrigerator vacant then it will consume more power compared to well-filled refrigerator. The chemistry here is that when the fridge is vacant there will be a lot of warm air compared to filled fridge and the compressor have to replace more warm air in order to cool the compartment and this will result in higher power consumption.

Age and the condition of the Refrigerator:

The older refrigerators consume more power than the newer refrigerator models. The age is a prominent factor of increasing power consumption of refrigerators.

If your fridge is older, you have to take a look for the maintenance as it can cost you more energy consumption. Make sure your refrigerator is sealed thoroughly and no passage of air throughout. If there is vacant place, this will decrease the efficiency of your refrigerator and increase the work of compressor.

Tips to Lessen the energy consumption by your Refrigerators:

There are so many ways you can save the power consumption of your refrigerators by simply knowing and understanding about the proper use of the fridge. As you know how to calculate how many watts does a fridge use you should focus on setting these points:

  • It is essential to not keep your refrigerator empty. This will surly gonna cost you by more power consumption. If your fridge will be filled with stuffs, there will be less space for warm air, so it will be easier for the compressor to cool the compartment. You can simply save a lot of electricity bill by doing this simple stuff.
  • Get rid of your older refrigerators. Because the older refrigerators consume a lot of power. Most importantly, they even don’t have a Energy Star rating that claims to save power. While opting for new refrigerator models make sure of using small size refrigerators, if you want it to consume less power.
  • Defrosting is another essential task for your refrigerator maintenance. By doing this on a regular basis you can make sure that your fridge is operational, in proper state and also restrict the usage of electricity. Another thing you have to take care is to make sure that your fridge is not placed in a hot or warm place like in direct sunlight or near the oven. Doing this can save you a lot of power consumption.

For the average USA households, the refrigerator power consumption per month is 10$. And for sure, this is not too much costly for a single family, home with few members.

Wondering Why Your Refrigerator AMP is much lesser than the Rated Amperage?

Now that you know how to calculate how many amps does a fridge draw from the energy star rating, you must have been confused that why your refrigerator AMP is much lesser than the nameplate rated AMPs.

Well, the nameplate amp is the total amount of current the machine pulls when the compressor of the refrigerator running. And the cycle of the compressor (ON and OFF) make it much lower than the original value. The other factors include the Rated current and Surge currents are different for a running refrigerator.

Rate Current:

The rated current is defined as the maximum amount of current at which the all units can operate in a continuous mode. But, in actual situation the current does not go to its maximum value so, the values differ. However, if the current goes beyond level of the rated current then this can cause a serious breakdown and may result in some component failure.

Startup Current:

The Startup current or the surge current is defined as the ratio of AMP and power drawn to the peak for any running refrigerator. The refrigeration process is totally dependent on its major component, Compressor. Once the compressor completes the cycles, the AMPs return to original state.

So, these can cause the difference between your calculated AMP of your refrigerator and the one which is on the nameplate. However, the other environmental factors and insulation value of the refrigerators also cause some difference in the average AMPs. Finally, you have known and analyzed the factors about How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use and How Many watts Does a Refrigerator Use. If you have other questions regarding this, you can ask in the comments section.

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