How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use – Complete Guide 2024

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To carefully manage a household, you want to keep track of your living expenses, including your electric bills.

Every appliance and electronic device you have at home contribute to this cost.

Among these, the refrigerator is one of the devices that regularly use a high amount of electricity.

In fact, even when leaving on vacations, we tend to keep the refrigerator running to store perishable goods.

How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use?

It is possible to understand the power consumption of household appliances by learning about wattage and amperage concepts.

According to the United States Department of Energy, refrigerators have an average wattage of 725 watts, which, at 120 volts, computes to an amperage of 6.04 amps.

To get a better understanding of how to come up with this number, let’s talk about wattage and amperage in detail.


Expressed in watts, wattage is simply the amount of power (P) an electrical appliance needs to run efficiently.

The wattage of an electrical appliance is a factory preset setting, and government regulations require manufacturers to list the wattage somewhere on the product.

Basically, higher wattage indicates higher power consumption.


On the other hand, amperage is the strength of an electric current (I) that passes through the power supply unit of a particular electrical appliance.

It is the measure of how much current flows into the system, and it can tell you how much electricity a particular appliance is consuming.

What is Ampere?

Ampere, or amps, is the unit of measurement for amperage.

How to Calculate Amperage

To calculate the amperage draw of a particular appliance, such as a refrigerator, you will need to look for a few values.

The following outline explains the basic instructions for calculating the amperage of a refrigerator.

Step 1. Find the Wattage of the Refrigerator.

The wattage of any device is usually printed somewhere on the device itself.

If you cannot locate your refrigerator’s wattage, you can look for it in the owner’s instruction manual.

Another way to look for its wattage is to search for the particular model on the manufacturer’s website.

Step 2. Determine Your Power Source Voltage.

Refrigerators draw power from standard power outlets with a dedicated circuit.

Households in the United States have a standard power supply voltage (V) of 120 volts in every power outlet, plain and simple.

Step 3. Calculate the Amperage.

To get your refrigerator’s amperage, divide its wattage by the voltage, which is 120 volts.

How many amps is a typical refrigerator?

Besides trying to manage energy consumption, you can also use wattage and amperage to estimate all of your household power demands.

While the average wattage of most refrigerators sits around 725 watts, others can have ratings as low as 400 watts or as high as 1300 watts.

After some computation, we can come up with an amperage range between 3 amps and 11 amps.

Since refrigerators come in varying wattages, it is better to use them with dedicated circuits having a 20-amp circuit breaker.

Do refrigerators need a dedicated circuit?

The recommended best practice in construction is to have a dedicated circuit for a refrigerator.

A dedicated circuit means your refrigerator will be running on an entirely separate circuit with its own grounding connection.

At peak usage, a 6-amp refrigerator can spike up to 15 to 20 amps.

Local electrical codes recommend having a 15 to 20 amp circuit that can prevent an electrical overload.

The power supply outlet for your refrigerator should have its own 20 amp circuit breaker along with the other circuit breakers in your main panel board.

When dealing with home electrical systems, it is safer to allot large allowances for worst-case scenarios, including power spikes and surges.

How to Save Energy

When trying to manage a household, there are many things you can do to save on electric bills.

Purchase the Right Appliance

Thinking of buying a new refrigerator?

Choose the appropriate size and included features for your household.

If you do not need a two-door fridge or a chest-type freezer, you shouldn’t have them in the first place.

Do this with all appliances at home.

Choose Energy Star Rated Devices

Appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners have ratings for efficiency in electrical consumption.

Look for the Energy Star rating on new appliances you plan to purchase.

Refrigerators and air conditioners use compressors as their main motors.

Compared to traditional ones, you will find that the latest inverter compressors run more efficiently and save more electricity.

Inverter-type appliances may cost much more, but they offer a sizable return of investment in the long run.

Keep Settings Optimal

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that a fridge and freezer should have temperature settings of 40 degrees and zero degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.

Any temperature setting above these readings can be unnecessary and can jack up your electric bills.

Additionally, do the same with your household thermostat. If it is not that cold, turn down the heating; if it is not that warm, turn off the AC.

Power Down and Unplug Unnecessary Electronics

All unused devices should be turned off and unplugged from power sources.

Anything as tiny as a red LED indicator light on a TV or a bread toaster consumes a certain amount of electricity.

Use Passive Lighting and Cooling

You can do cold storage practices in large containers outside your home during the winter.

During this time, you can turn off any freezer you have and freeze your meats passively.

When it comes to lighting, turn off unused lights or open all the curtains and let the daylight into your house.

Study the positive and negative air pressure points of your home and open windows accordingly to passively cool portions of your home.

Install Solar Energy Converters

You can also consider converting solar energy into electricity for your home.

After carefully studying all appliances and electronic devices’ power demands, plan and integrate circuits with accessible electricity sources.

When setting up a solar power source, select which devices should be connected to the system, and look for the wattage of each.

Then, work out the number of hours each of the devices will be used daily and determine power demand in kilowatt hours.

Compute each device’s amperage so that you can determine the size and quantity of photovoltaic panels for your particular setup.


By understanding the concepts of wattage and amperage, you can estimate all power requirements in your household.

This information can come in handy when trying to cut costs on electric bills or planning to install solar panels.

It is also important to remember setting up separate circuits for high-powered devices, such as refrigerators, electric ranges, and electric water heaters.

These dedicated circuits ensure that no other appliance adds to the high-powered device’s amperage, which could possibly trip the circuit breakers.

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