Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Kitchen and Food
So, you want to buy a freezer. As an intelligent buyer, you are gathering essential data about it. Beyond the size, you would like to know the amps that it uses.
The amperage of a freezer is not a constant number. It will depend on various factors such as the size, model, type, usage and even the age of the freezer.
To give you an answer, the capacity of most freezers ranges between 10 to 20 cubic feet. Their amperage will range between 2amps to 5 amps. We are assuming that you are running the freezer on a 120A.
In some cases the running amps can be as low as 0.5A, especially if you are using the latest models of freezers.
Like most electric devices and appliances, the amps that a freezer uses will shoot high at the starting phase and gradually go down when the machine has attained the required power and energy.
Calculating the amps a freezer uses
How have we arrived at the value of between 2 to 5 amps?
There are some mathematics that have been involved to give us the accurate amperage of the freezer.
The first thing that we need to find out is the power consumption of the freezer, which is rated in watts. We then have to consider the voltage of the power source which is in volts. Some homes have 120 volts while others have 240 volts.
Once we have these two parameters, we will use the Ohms Law to find out the amps using the formula: Power = Volts × Amps meaning that Amps=Power(watts)/Volts
Let’s use this example:
You have a freezer whose wattage as stated by the manufacturer is 250 watts. You should always check this value as it is labeled on all the freezers by their respective manufacturer. Some have higher wattage while others have low wattage.
Your home’s electricity can be 120 volts or 240 volts.
The next step is to divide the wattage by the voltage which will be 250W/120V=2.08A.
Now this is the running amps that a freezer uses.
As we have already mentioned, this is just an estimated value. It is likely to change depending on several factors that we have listed.
For example, during the startup, the freezer will experience a current surge of up to 6A or even 8 A.
Why does a freezer consume high current at startup?
If you are keen on measuring the amps that your freezer uses, you should be able to discover that the amps usage is highest at the startup.
The main reason for this is more electric energy will be needed to overcome the initial resistance of the freezer in starting the refrigeration cycle.
When you turn on the freezer, the compressor will have to strain to bring down the temperature in the freezer to the desired low temperature. At the same time, more energy will be spent to start up the motor that will kickstart the cooling cycle.
The starting current, which is also known as the inrush current will only run for a few seconds and once the compressor is up to the speed, the current usage will be stable. In fact, once the amps that a freezer uses will further go down when the temperatures hit extreme low levels as less work will be required by the compressor.
However, take note that the starting current will be way higher if the temperatures outside are higher or you have put the freezer in a hot room. This implies that you have some power on the starting current of a freezer.
Factors that affect the amps a freezer uses
Image source Nothern Nester
Here are some of the key factors that determine the amps a freezer uses
Size/capacity of the freezer
The larger the freezer, the more the amps it will use. Well, that is the general rule of thumb that defines the amperage of a freezer. This happens because larger freezers have larger space that needs to be cooled, so the compressor will have to do more work to cover the whole area.
For example, a 7 cubic feet freezer will use 2 amps while a 18 cubic feet freezer will use 3-4 amps. However, it will be impractical to buy a small freezer just to save on the few amps. Also, there are other key factors that still affect the amps it uses.
Most freezers come with different temperature settings. You can choose a higher temperature setting or lower settings.
In most scenarios, freezers tend to use more amps when operating on low settings. This is because the compressor will be forced to do more work.
So, you should choose high temperature settings if you want the freezer to use less amps.
This refers to the temperature around the freezer. It has a direct impact on the inrush current that a freezer uses. High ambient temperature means that the freezer will work extra hard to cool itself hence use more amps. On the other hand, low ambient temperature means lower amps will be used by the freezer.
Frequency of opening the door
The amps a freezer uses will depend on how frequently you open and close the door. Every time you open the freezer’s door, you will be exposing it to ambient temperature. This is likely to lead to more amps that a freezer uses.
Type of the freezer
The amperage will also depend on the type of freezer that you are using. These types include mini freezer, upright freezer, deep freezer, commercial freezer, refrigerator freezer, chest freezer, among others.
Find out the running amps of each freezer type before you buy.
Ideal circuit for a freezer
Can a freezer run on a 15 amp circuit? Yes, you should connect the freezer to a dedicated 15 amps circuit. Additionally, the circuit should be connected to a circuit breaker rated between 15 to 20A.
Now that you know how many amps a freezer uses, you should be in a perfect position to get the best from it.
And in case you would like to buy electronic components for the freezer’s circuit such as switches and circuit breakers, ensure that you get from reputable sources.
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