We’ve been eyeing up mini-fridges the last couple of months; there is nothing like having a mini-fridge for when you are hosting guests on a deck or even in your finished basement. They use a lot less power than a full-size fridge, and they are very useful. But how much does it cost to run that mini-fridge? First, have to answer how many watts does a mini fridge use.
How to calculate power consumption
The process of converting the energy used by an appliance is:
- Find how many watts per hour the appliance uses.
- Multiply by hours used in a day to get your daily Watt-hours.
- Divide Watt hours (Wh) by 1000 to get daily Kilowatt-hours (kW)
- Multiply it by the cost of electricity (average is $0.12 per kilowatt) to get the daily cost of the device.
What is the energy consumption of a mini-fridge
We will quickly dive into figuring out how many watts a mini-fridge uses then we will show you how much your mini-fridge will cost you on your power bill based on the watt-hours.
A compact fridge or mini-fridge is going to vary in wattage used based on its size and the manufacturer. Compact refrigerators range in size from 1.7 cubic feet to 4.5 cubic feet, with the average size of a mini-fridge being around the 3.5 cubic foot mark. They are often able to fit under a countertop or in a dorm room.
How much power does a mini fridge use?
There are different types of mini-fridges, and most of them will range between 50 to 100 Watt-hours, with them averaging around 80 to 100 watts per hour. That is with an energy star rating on the appliances. Older mini-fridges may use more because they weren’t not built as energy-efficient as the newer models.
For simplicity, let’s use 100 watts per day. That’s how many watts it uses in an hour. If a fridge is running for 6 hours per day. Usually, the fridge runs on a cycle. It will turn on and off periodically throughout the day if it is kept closed. Then it will use a total of 600 watts or 0.6 kilowatts per day. Keep it plugged in all year long at that usage rate, and it will use 219 kW a year. With a 12 cent per kilowatt, the operating costs of this small fridge would be $26.28 a year.
As you can see, small bar fridges don’t use a lot of power.
Mini Fridge Energy Usage Calculator
We know you probably have a whole bunch of questions, so we built this mini fridge power consumption calculator so you can figure out how many watts your mini-fridge will use and what it will cost you.
Because let’s be honest, we are all wondering how much this compact fridge will cost us. It’s nice to have a separate place where we can keep our drinks cold and out of the way of our full-sized refrigerator, but only if the electricity cost makes sense.
How to reduce the power of a mini-fridge
You’re going to save money on your compact refrigerator. The easiest way to do that is to unplug it when it’s not in use. Typically these fridges only get used for special occasions unless they are in a dorm room, in which case they’re your whole life.
If you find that you are using this on a seasonal basis, the best thing you can do to reduce your mini-fridges cost is to unplug it. This will reduce the electricity consumption for the time it’s not in use. If you need to plug it in again, here is how long it takes for a refrigerator to get cold.
Next, we will need to decide how often we are using it.
Knowing the wattage is great. But there is also how frequently it gets used. Of course, it will vary depending on if you’re plugged in for a few hours or if you are leaving it plugged in all the time. Remember that if you are plugging it in intermittently that it can take time for a fridge to get cold, whether it’s a mini-fridge or a full-size refrigerator. It’s not like flipping a switch, more like a thermostat gently rising to the right temperature.
Another way to reduce the power is to turn down the cold air setting. This will reduce the amount of power it draws and can cut down on your mini-fridge costs.
Types of Mini Fridges
This isn’t meant to be an article on the best mini-fridges, but here are some to give you an idea of what is out there and their power consumption. Depending on the size of your mini-fridge, they can range from under $100 up to $1000 or more. It depends on the features you are looking for in your tiny fridge.
Retro Mini Fridge
There are a variety of types of Is out there. Frigidaire makes a lot of portable and compact refrigerators. I really like the Retro look of the refrigerators like this one.
Glass Door Mini Fridge
If you are looking for a glass door model display. This stainless steel one is highly rated and can hold over a hundred cans, with offers 2.2 cubic feet of storage. This would look perfect as an under-counter bar fridge or small fridge elsewhere in your house. It has low energy consumption as well, making it one of the better mini-fridges out there. Its power is listed as 85 watts, and temperature settings range from
34 Degrees F to 64 degrees F.
Marshall Mini Fridge
But if I’m buying a mini-fridge, it’s definitely this one. This Marshall amp mini fridge model will look perfect in a rec room (or any other rooms in the house) and looks cool. It’s got 3.2 cubic feet, so it’s considered a medium-capacity bar fridge. It has a high energy efficiency freezer and advertises its use as 0.01-kilowatt-hours a year, making it very energy efficient.
Final thoughts on how many watts does a mini fridge use
A mini-fridge is a great way to keep drinks and other things cold. As you can see, they don’t use a lot of watts per hour. This makes these fridges a great value per cubic foot; if you can find an energy star-rated fridge, this is a great way to make space in your full-size refrigerators while not adding too much to your power pills.