Home » How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use?

How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use?

The refrigerator has become a normal part of everyday life so much so that it has become inconceivable to even try and imagine life without it.

It has truly become an indispensable part of every household. How many amps does a refrigerator use though? This is a question you may be asking for a host of reasons.

The average household refrigerator uses anywhere from 15 to 20 amps. This number of amps a refrigerator depends mainly on the size of the compressor the fridge is running. A large compressor generally needs more amperage to run efficiently.

What are Amps?

I’m sure you’ve seen the word being thrown around quite a bit and you know that it has something to do with electricity.

You’re right, it does have something to do with electricity. To best explain what an amp is, let me give an analogy. Electricity consists of electrons and these electrons move from negative to positive producing what is known as voltage.

The higher the voltage, the stronger the force with which the electrons are being pushed. Let’s imagine that this current is water.

Let’s further imagine that there are 2 scenarios. Scenario one is water coming out of a water gun and scenario 2 has water coming out of a garden hose.

Though the water gun holds less water, when the water is forced through a really small nozzle, it can create a great amount of pressure.

In fact, the pressure in the water gun can be strong enough to turn a wheel the same as the water from the hose even though the hose has much more water coming out of it.

The amount of water flowing out through the 2 different outlets signifies amps. Amps, therefore are the number of electrons passing through a given point during a specific time.

The higher the amps that a specific appliance requires, the thicker the wires needed to pass the electrical current through. That’s why the wires on an electric stove are generally thicker. If the wires are thin, they can heat up and even burn.

How Many Amps Does a Normal Refrigerator Use?

The US Department of Energy says that the average refrigerator uses 725 watts of electricity and 15 to 20 amps which makes up about 10 percent of your total household consumption.

This is the case if you live in the States where the voltage output in households is 120Volt. In Europe and Africa where they use 240V, the amperage figure is about half what US appliances use.

How many Amps Does Portable Refrigerator Use?

A portable refrigerator is a small fridge that charges and you can carry it on the road with you when you travel long journeys.

You can enjoy cold food and beverages during long road or camping trips. This type of refrigerator can be operated in cold only mode, freeze only mode or cold and freeze at the same time.

It generally has 2 compartments that can be operated independently. It generally operates anywhere between 1 to 4 amps per hour and it can peak at 5amps depending on external temperatures.

Make sure it stays away from direct sunlight and be sure to roll down the windows if it is in a hot car. It is advised that you load it up a day before your camping trip and allow it to run while plugged into the mains.

How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use on Start-up?

Even though the wattage rating of a standard fridge can be anywhere from 15-20 amps, the actual running amperage can actually be around 5 amps. There is also a different figure for how many amps a refrigerator uses at start-up.

This figure differs depending on the compressor you have on your fridge and you can find the rating at the back of your compressor just after LRA. It looks something like this; LRA 5A

5 Energy Saving Tips for Refrigerators

To wrap this article up, here are 5 tips to help you conserve energy in your refrigerator.

  1. Make Sure There is Sufficient Room Around the Refrigerator Your fridge produces heat at the back during operation and you need to make sure that this heat escapes so that the compressor doesn’t overwork. If your fridge is close to the wall, for example, the heat will be trapped and your unit will overcompensate to bring the temperature to the required levels. Leave at least 6 inches of space around the refrigerator.
  2. Avoid Opening the Fridge Often When you open the door to your refrigerator, the cold air that has built up escapes. When this happens, the fridge has to work to bring the temperature down to the optimum levels. This has adverse effects on your overall energy consumption so you will do well to keep your fridge closed.
  3. Keep Your Temperature Control at Medium Make sure that your temperature control is set to medium as the default setting. When you do this, the fridge maintains a good balance of power consumption and operational efficiency.
  4. Do Not Overstuff the Refrigerator When you place too many things in the refrigerator, the air won’t circulate properly and you can end up having things which are not cold. Only put the things that are absolutely necessary.
  5. avoid Putting Hot Things in the Refrigerator Though fridges like Philips range do not discourage putting hot things in the refrigerator, the heat emitted by these items will cause the internal temperature to rise up thereby causing it to work for longer in order to reach the necessary temperatures. Make sure that you allow food to cool down a bit before placing it inside the refrigerator. the fridge.


So, how many amps does your refrigerator use? That really all depends on a number of factors that include the make, model and size of the fridge and where you are located in the world. I hope this article has helped you answer this question.

Leave a Comment