How Many Amps Does a Mini Fridge Use

How Many Amps Does a Mini Fridge Use?

This article will your answer “how many amps does a mini fridge use?”. When buying a new appliance for your home, it’s important to know how much electricity the appliance uses. Out of all the appliances in your home, a refrigerator is a power-hungry consumption only after the air conditioner. So, if you’re thinking of getting a smaller fridge, knowing how many amps does a mini fridge use can reduce your electricity bill. 

How Many Amps Does a Mini Fridge Use
How Many Amps Does a Mini Fridge Use

What Are Refrigerator Amps?

Amps, wattage, and voltage are three important indexes involved in calculating how much energy your refrigerator consumes. In general, amps is the amount of electricity the compressor uses to cool the internal temperature. On average, amps can range from 3 to 5 if it uses 120 voltage.

Calculating how many amperes does a refrigerator use:

It’s fairly easy to calculate the total amps your fridge uses if you know the total wattage and voltage the fridge delivers. There is a simple formula that you need to follow:

Amps = Watts/Volts.

Assuming your refrigerator has a 420W motor and a voltage of 120, then 420 watts / 120 volts = 3.5 amps.

How many amps does a mini fridge use?

You can calculate how many amps does a mini fridge use by determining the wattage. Most refrigerators have their watts stamped on their nameplates or on the back of the appliance, so make sure you check that out. The higher the watts, the more power it consumes.

In general, mini-fridges use between 55 watts and 85 watts, but many can run up to 240 watts. In this case, when applying the formula, most mini-fridges will use 2 amps or less. This is extremely useful if you are thinking of buying one for your dorm as this is a restriction set by most universities.

How many amps does a refrigerator use?

As a rule of thumb, the larger the refrigerator, the more amps it draws. This is because it has a larger compressor that uses more power, especially during defrost cycles where the fans tend to run at different periods. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average refrigerator consumes about 725 watts with some having 400 watts or 1300 watts ranging from 3-11 amps.

How many amps does a refrigerator draw on startup?

Start-up amps and running amps differ as most start-up amps require more power to start, especially larger capacity units. This happens because a fridge is in its firing-up phase, where the compressor runs until it reaches the optimal temperature. A device then spends time to maintain and self-regulate its temperature.

Start-up amps and watts sometimes triple the running power. That said, most use about 15 amps to 20 amps on average to run.

How many amps does a 3.2 cubic foot refrigerator use?

Compact refrigerators typically have a capacity of 1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet. Amps depend on watts, voltage, initial size, and mainly insulation level. There is no exact answer to this question, but we will take a few examples for your consideration.

The 3.2 cubic feet of the Hisense RT32D6ASE model has 0.8 amps. Or the Haier model HC32TW10SB pulls in 1.1 amps while running, but consumes up to 4 amps at the start-up phase.

How many amps does a 4.4 cu ft refrigerator use?

The 4.4 cubic foot refrigerator is a mini-fridge. And, again, you can check out a few examples below to get an idea of how many amps a mini-fridge uses.

The Danby Designer 4.4 cubic feet model DAR044ABDD-3 draws in 1 amp when the compressor is on. On the other side, the 4.4 cubic feet Hisense LCR44D6NSE uses 0.8 amps

How many volts does a mini fridge use?

Note that the amp of the refrigerator varies depending on its location, so you need to double-check the voltage that is normalized at where you live. The standard voltage of a refrigerator is 120 volts in the United States, but it will likely be 220 volts in European countries. 

Since voltages vary based on regions and watts based on model and size, therefore, amps will never be the same between devices.

How to Find Energy Usage?

Method #1: Using the Energy Star Rating to Figure Out the Average Power Consumption:

Most mini-fridges and regular refrigerators are equipped with an Energy Star Rating ranging from A+++ to D with D being less efficient. You can check the rating on its label to see how many amps does a mini fridge use in a day, and choose one that can help reduce power. Typically, most appliances provide an estimated kilowatt-hour (kWh) annually, and following a simple calculation below, you’ll know how many amps your appliance consumes in an hour.

Assume that the energy consumption per year is 250 000 kWh. Divide it by 365 (1 year), you get 684.93 watt-hours. Continuing to divide the watt-hours by 24 (1 day), you will get 28.5 – the average power level hour.

As we all know, to calculate total amps, you take Watts / Volts. In this case, 28.5 watts/120 voltage (a standard measurement in the US) would get 0.24 amps.

Here’s a process you can use to break down kWh in a year into amps per hour that your appliance uses.

Method #2: Use an Energy Meter to Measure Power Consumption:

If your refrigerator doesn’t offer an Energy Star Rating, or you simply don’t want to calculate every time you want to know the amps, buying a meter is a great idea. This method has proven to be more accurate as the device will calculate it for you.

how much electricity does a mini fridge use
Energy Meter

As with any other device, the energy meter will also come with an instruction manual that shows you how to use it. It’s generally easy to use as you simply plug the meter into an electrical outlet and connect the refrigerator to the meter. It will provide real-time information about how much power your device is using.

They are somewhat inexpensive these days, so consider buying one if you want to save calculation time and have an accurate measurement. Knowing the right numbers allows you to adjust your temperature settings and usage habits to reduce that electricity bill.

Method #3: Do a Calculation Using the Nameplate Amperage:

A nameplate amperage is the amount of power, can be wattage or amps that the compressor pulls in when it is on. You can try using this nameplate amperage rating along with the estimated duty cycle to calculate amperes. You will probably get the result, but not 100% correct.

What Is A Duty Cycle?

As you probably know the refrigerator compressor doesn’t run all the time, instead it turns on and off periodically. Have you ever witnessed your device suddenly vibrate and make a loud noise or vibrate and become quiet? That is called the duty cycle, which indicates the percentage of time the compressor is running.

The nameplate average is much lower than its actual value due to the duty cycle. Therefore, a normal refrigerator typically runs on 35% of the duty and 65% for the freezer. 


To sum all this, obviously how many amps does a mini fridge use is completely dependent on watts, voltage, size of the fridge, insulation level, and your usage habits. To determine the number of amps consumed, simply use the formula:

Amps = Watts / Volts

This suggests taking the total of watts used divided by your location’s standard voltage.

If not, there are other methods you can use to calculate the ampere usages such as Energy Star Rating, energy meter, and the nameplate amperage. Determining how many amps does a small refrigerator use will make your shopping process easier and reduce your electricity bills in the long run.

See more:

Wine Cooler vs Mini Fridge: Differences, Similarities

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