Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
When you buy a refrigerator, the first thing that will come into your mind is the electric consumption.
How many amps will the refrigerator use?
This question is quite common when it comes to these appliances because they rank highly when it comes to the household power consumption.
In most homes, you will discover that a refrigerator is the highest consumer of power. And it just gets worse with the old refrigerator models. They tend to be heavy consumers.
So, knowing the exact number of amps that it consumes will be wise.
And when it comes to the real numbers, the average consumption of a refrigerator ranges between 3 to 5 amps if you are connected to a 120 volts power line.
There is more that you need to know beyond these stated numbers.
For example, you would like to know the size of wire that you should connect the fridge to and also the specifications of the accessories that you should use on the refrigerator.
It is also critical to know that the amps alone don’t give a full representation of a refrigerator’s energy consumption. You will still have to consider many other factors, key among them is the voltage supplied and the energy rating of the appliance.
Keep reading to find out more about this.
Key electrical parameters of a refrigerator
Here are some of the basic electrical parameters that you should know about a refrigerator.
Well, this is the main topic of discussion. It defines the current that flows through the electric circuit to the refrigerator. It also refers to the current rating of the fridge and is determined by several factors.
The circuit should be designed to handle the amperage of the fridge.
This is the rated power of a refrigerator. These appliances are designed to consume more power when starting, and after some time, the wattage will remain steady. In some cases, the wattage will even go lower than the initial value.
Most refrigerators have a rated wattage of between 100 to 300 watts.
This is the rated power source of the refrigerator. It can be 120 volts or 240 volts depending on your electricity source.
While this does not affect the power consumption, it will still be good to know. The frequency of most refrigerator ranges between 50 to 60 Hertz.
This defines how good the fridge is good at consuming the supplied power. In most cases, it is referred to as the Energy Star rating and defines how much energy the fridge consumes in a year.
From the efficiency, you will be able to predict the amps that a refrigerator uses.
How to calculate the refrigerator amperage
How have we come to the conclusion that a refrigerator uses between 4 to 6 amps?
There are numerous ways of getting these values. Let’s look at some of these methods.
Method 1: Using the nameplate average
While this method may seem to be a guesswork, it is the easiest way of getting the estimated value. You will find the amperage using the refrigerator nameplate amperage as given by the manufacturer.
Usually, the value as stated on the nameplate is derived from the duty cycle of the fridge.
Method 2: Using the Energy Star Rating
Image source Energy Sage Blog
A more concise way of finding the amperage of the refrigerator is by using its energy start rating. From there, you will do some simple calculations to determine its actual current consumption.
The Energy Star Rating is usually the estimated electricity usage by the refrigerator and is labelled on every refrigerator that you purchase.
For example, a refrigerator may come with an Energy Star Rating of 300 kWh which translates to 300,000 Watts hours per year.
To do the calculation, you will first have to find the watts per day which is 300,00 divided by 365 days. You will end up with 821.917 watts hours per day.
You will further need to find out the consumption per day. So, you will divide 821.917 by 24 hours. This will give you 34.24 kWh.
So, how do we get the amps consumed in an hour?
We will go back to the formula Amps= Watts/Volts
Assuming that you are connected to the 120Volts power source, it will be 34.24kWh/120v
In this case, we will end up with 0.28A
Method 3: Using the energy Meter
This method comes in handy for the refrigerators that don’t have the Energy Star rating. Old models and commercial refrigerators belong to this group. Unless you find the star rating from the manufacturer, you will have to buy an energy meter. The values obtained by this meter are always deemed to be accurate.
These meters come in different designs and models. But it is still easy to use them. Simply plug one end of the meter to the power source and the other end to the refrigerator. Leave it there for some time as the refrigerator continues running.
The meter will do its calculation and give you the estimated power consumption of the refrigerator.
How do I use an energy meter on a refrigerator? They come with detailed instructions from the manufacturer. So, using them should not be a problem.
Can I run a refrigerator on a 15 amp circuit?
Both the refrigerator and freezers should be connected to the dedicated 15 to 20 amps electrical circuits. Given the significant amps that they draw, a dedicated circuit will guarantee safety and efficiency of these appliances. The wiring should also match the amperage of the refrigerator.
How many amps does a freezer use?
The amperage of a freezer is slightly lower than that of a refrigerator. Most modern freezers use between 2 to 4amps.
Just like in the case of refrigerators, the amps usage will still vary depending on numerous factors.
Now you know the amps that a fridge uses, you can easily predict the amount that you will be expected to pay for your power bills.
Ensure that the refrigerator is connected to the right circuit and is in a proper running condition.
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