Getting a new mini fridge can make it a lot easier to store all of your food, especially if you have a big family.
They can be a great addition to your home office, garage workshop, or even just to keep drinks in the living room.
But, anytime you’re adding a new appliance to your home you should pay attention to how much the electricity bill will increase.
So, how much energy does a new mini fridge use?
I’ll take a look at how much energy an average mini fridge uses, and will also talk about the different features and factors that can change energy use.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- Are mini fridges energy efficient?
- How much electricity most mini fridges use per year
- What changes impact mini fridge electricity use
- And much more!
What's in this Guide?
Are Mini Fridges Energy Efficient?
With everyone paying more attention to their carbon emissions, it’s important to look for appliances that are more energy efficient than they used to be. Even smaller appliances, like a mini fridge, should be energy efficient and eco-friendly.
So the first question you should ask is whether your mini fridge is energy efficient.
Thankfully, most modern mini fridges are relatively energy efficient in the right circumstances.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t notice a change in your energy bill after you get one. But it does mean that, most of the time, your mini fridge will be efficient.
However, you’re still using a compressor to cool the mini fridge. Compressors are relatively high energy use equipment, and you’re using them to cool a relatively small space. So, while most mini fridges are designed to be energy efficient they generally aren’t as efficient as larger refrigerators and freezers.
Read More: >> How Long Does It Take For Your Refrigerator To Get Cold?
If you’re looking for a mini fridge with a freezer section, it’s likely going to be less efficient than other models. That’s because it’s difficult to fully insulate a mini fridge freezer well enough to prevent temperature changes.
So, if your mini fridge has a freezer it’s going to spend more energy to keep the freezer cold than it would use to refrigerate a larger space at normal fridge temperatures.
Looking for the most energy efficient refrigerator models? Consumer reports has a good analysis of the best brands, though most of these models are full size refrigerators.
Now, I know mini fridges can be pretty loud. Here are some tips to help reduce the noise in case you’re looking for a new office or bedroom refrigerator.
How Much Energy Does A Mini Fridge Use?
There is a lot of variation in how much energy any given mini fridge uses. Different manufacturers use different techniques to keep energy consumption low, which means that every mini fridge is a little different.
That said, most manufacturers are trying to get Energy Star rated efficiency and most mini-fridges have similar usage rates. Here’s an overview of the energy efficiency improvements made in modern times.
The typical range of energy use per mini fridge is about 80 to 110 watts.
That said, the actual energy use of mini fridges depends on how often it is cycling on and off and how long each cycle lasts. So, while your mini fridge likely requires 80 to 100 watts, its actual energy use varies quite a bit.
For instance, if you accidentally leave the door to your mini fridge open it will use a lot more energy than if the door was closed. While that’s an extreme example, there are plenty of circumstances that can cause your mini fridge to use more energy than normal.
It’s important to consider where to put it and how you’re going to use it when considering what impacts your mini fridge energy usage . For example, the more often you open your fridge and the warmer the room it’s in, the more energy your mini fridge will utilize.
Read More: >> The Best Beer Fridges For Your Garage
How Much Does the Energy for a Mini Fridge Cost?
Most mini fridges are energy efficient enough that they only cost a few pennies to a few dollars a month. Some mini fridges cost as little as $10-$20 a year. With these more efficient models, you’ll probably see a monthly energy increase measured in cents instead of dollars.
However, some mini fridges can be a little more expensive averaging between $20 and $60 a year. For these less efficient models you should expect a couple dollar increase on your monthly energy bill.
If you’re seeing a larger energy cost increase, you should consider that your mini fridge might not be in the best location or that it might not be working the way it should. Sometimes, a faulty compressor or bad insulation can lead to higher energy bills the normal. The sooner you catch these problems the less money you’ll spend on energy in the long run.
In short, your new mini fridge should only cost a couple of extra dollars per month in electricity costs. If you’re spending more than that, it’s probably not the best mini fridge or it may not be working. In either case, you should contact the manufacturer for replacement/return options or select a more efficient model.
How To Reduce Your Mini Fridge’s Energy Use
The more often your mini fridge turns on the more energy it’s likely to use. So, anything you can do to reduce how often your mini fridge turns on can also reduce the amount of energy it uses every year.
Even though average energy costs for a mini fridge are low, it’s still important to consider reducing the amount of energy you’re using. Even if it isn’t important from the utility cost perspective it still eco-friendly thing do.
With that in mind, here’s what you can do to keep your mini fridge energy use as low as possible.
Choose a Temperature Stable Room
Your mini fridge’s compressor is working against the temperature of the room to keep your food cold. Or, it’s working against the temperature of your room to prevent your food from freezing.
Choosing a temperature stable room, specifically one that doesn’t go up and down in temperature through the day and night, helps prevent the compressor from having to work as hard. Temperature stable rooms make it easier to maintain the temperature inside your mini fridge, reducing the number of times your mini fridge will cycle on.
Open the Door As Little As Possible
This is common sense, but it still important. The less often you open your mini fridge door the easier it is for your compressor to keep the inside cool. Try to remember not to open your mini fridge unless you have to and to close it as quickly as possible if you do.
Keep Your Mini Fridge Out Of the Sun
if your mini-fridge is in direct sunlight, even if the rest of the room is temperature stable, the sun will heat your mini-fridge and will make it harder for the compressor to keep the insides. It’s important to make sure your mini-fridge isn’t in direct sunlight as much as possible.
That doesn’t mean you need to keep your mini fridge in the dark. Indoor lighting doesn’t produce attentive heat so it’s fine to have your fridge in a well lit place, just not sunlight.
Read More: >> The Best Mini Fridges For Kegerators
Keep Your Mini Fridge Away from Heating and Cooling Vents
Like sunlight, heating and cooling vents can change the temperature inside your mini fridge. The more often the temperature changes in your mini fridge, the more often the compressor has to kick on.
Try to place your mini fridge at least 1 foot away from any heating and cooling vents in your home. That way the hot or cold air will have a chance to dissipate before it can change the temperature inside your mini fridge.
Keep Your Mini Fridge Full
This might seem counterintuitive, but, a full mini fridge is more likely to stay cold than an empty one. That’s because the food and beverages in your mini fridge have thermal mass.
Basically they hold heat and cold for your fridge. Since foods and beverages hold temperature better and longer than air does, they’ll stay cold longer in a full fridge than in an empty fridge.
Therefore, keeping a reasonable amount of food in your mini fridge actually helps it be more energy-efficient.
If your mini fridge is empty for long periods of time you should consider unplugging it instead of wasting energy to keep it cold when there’s no food inside. Not only is that more eco-friendly, it will also save energy costs from an overworked compressor.
My Final Thoughts Mini Fridge Electricity Usage
Getting a new mini fridge can be a great way to keep your food organized, or even just to get a little more beverage space in your home. Paying attention to its energy use is a great way to stay eco-friendly, even after adding another appliance to your home.
It’s not hard to choose a great mini fridge that’s energy-efficient; most modern fridges are. But, if you follow some of the tips in this guide you can make your mini fridge even more efficient at home.
Greater efficiency means lower utility bills and more money in your wallet. It’s worth upgrading to a better mini fridge if it means greater energy efficiency.
No matter how you’re going to use your mini fridge, these tips will help make it more affordable. Now, it’s your turn to think about where your new mini fridge should go to the most energy-efficient in your home!