How much does your fridge run/use?


I know it has been asked a while ago, but the community grew since.

How much does your “average american” fridge/freeze combo use?

Our fridge is turning 30 soon, and its running fine. It runs 11hrs a day (seems high?), using 180W, so it costs me around $85 a year (that’s what sense claims, not sure if that is right). Don’t worry, I’m on 100% certified green energy :wink:

I’m curious what a modern fridge uses these days…



Purchased 2016 - GE Cafe Series - Model CYE22USH.
Energy Star website says it should average 665 kWh/year, but we seem to be half that. Probably due to the fact that it is not opened / closed that often, so its not having to regain chill loss that much. That being said, it does feel like it runs a lot.

Daily stats



Old fridge in the shop = 283w average
‘Medium’ age fridge = 152w average
6 month old GE = 99w average

Dont have accurate costs because they’re either not used normally or they’re missed quite a bit because of other high loads,



Mine uses right at 100 watts and runs about half the time. It a few years old, 2013 if I remember right.
I’ve posted mine to the community library.
I think it would be great for you to do the same @samheidie as you have a variety and can share the range of wattage from a single appliance type.
First link is my fridge, second is a link of where to post if interested.

Frigidaire Gallery refrigerator (FGUS2642LF2)



I plan on submitting quite a few devices and some signatures of undetected devices when I have more time to do it right, thanks for your efforts putting that all together :slight_smile:

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My 18 year old 23 cubic foot GE profile is on an HS110 and estimates 1280Kwh per year.
Even the tiny bar fridge is 580Kwh per year.

I think it isn’t time to plan for new fridges. Hopefully we can upgrade when they are on special.



15 year old GE Monogram built-in Refrigerator = 650 KWH per year
Ancient 20 CF Upright freezer = 1100 kWH per year.
(Both reporting via HS110)



Mine is less than 400 and 26 foot



Ours is a Samsung refrig. / freezer, 28 cu ft. from 2012, documented in the device library via HS110 plug:

Sense is estimating 577 kWh / yr, which is not too far from the Energy Star label estimate of 531 kWh / yr.

It does run a lot, so I’ve been wondering if it had any problems. Curiously it uses more electricity when we are away in the winter and the house is colder and it is not opened. I would think it’d be the opposite.




Your refrigerator probably uses more while your away because it isn’t stocked as well. Freezers work the same way. I keep gallons of water in the freezer to fill the space as that frozen water helps keep it cool and not works as hard.
Try this in your refrigerator, same gallon jugs of water and I’ll wager it makes a difference.
The more empty either are, the more work they have to perform.
The larger power draw your seeing once a day is the defrost heater cycling.
Using the ice maker would use a negligible amount of electricity as the freezing of the water is a byproduct of the compressor keeping the freezer cold. It would add a very small amount for the ice maker heater to dump and the motor to turn the blades to release the cubes.

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I have a 26cu ft Kenmore side-by-side from 2006 and it seems to run ~10hrs (+/-1hr) a day, at 133W. Sense is guestimating 453kWh per year; unfortunately there isn’t any Energy Guide rating for my model so I can’t tell if it’s better or worse. I recently cleaned the coils, which seemed to help lower the run time ever so slightly (but maybe that was all in my head).

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That appears to be an urban legend.



I would t believe it had I not seen it. My in-laws has dual residency and spent little time at one home in particular. The freezer at that location would actually have things defrost and spoil when it was near empty versus completely full.
Also, there are supporting articles for both views. I believe the one you provide me a link to doesn’t discount it completely but states the writer has not seen evidence to support it.
Here is one from the department of energy claiming the opposite

Of course the link I provided only applies if you trust the government. :wink:



I have a 30 CuFt new four door Samsung, but have no idea since Sense has not found it. It did find the older 11 year old GE side by side that we have in the garage. Not sure I believe what it is telling me, even though it has about three months of data on it. The states for the last 30 days claim it uses only $18 a year based on 168.4 kWh per year. The avg usage is 123w and it ran 144x for the last month at an average run time of 29m 4s and cost 92 cents for the month. Just seems way too low. Now we only open it about a half dozen times a week and it is packed solid, but it is in a fairly warm garage in Florida.



Maybe Sense isn’t catching every on cycle or maybe it is correct.
Our side by side is opened 944x a month and uses less than 400KWH a year. Sense estimates $37 a year to run it.
Two screenshots. Top is fridge and the bottom is the fridge light showing how many times it’s opened.



Your URL states
“Second, don’t set the temperature colder than necessary. Refrigerators should be set between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezers between 0 and 5 degrees. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer full can also help regulate the temperature inside. If they aren’t full, try putting bags of ice in the freezer, or pitchers of cold water in the fridge.”

This does not state that keeping it full saves energy. It states that keeping it full can help regulate the temperature.



If you are helping to regulate the temperature by having it full of cold, the compressor has to run less. That translates into less electricity used. Dead air is hard to cool and keep cool.
If you notice that article also states fridge sizing is important. Why is this? Dead airspace!
Keeping it full is more energy efficient.
You can easily test this yourself. Track your usage through a smart plug or sense for a week while it’s full and then do the same with little in it. You will see that when empty, it cycles more often and for longer periods of time.



I agree with Sam on that point. A full fridge will use less electricity. Now, an empty fridge filled with room temperature stuff just to make it full will cost more than an empty fridge. When you open the door, air inside an empty fridge will be replaced quickly by room temp air. That’s why a chest freezer is better that a vertical freezer, cold air stay down.



Just for the fun of it : Full is not always a good. This picture is a refrigeration tech trying to find why this freezer don’t work. When i saw him i had no choice to take this picture. The plastic bags block air circulation si ice at the bottom will melt. :joy::joy:



That’s hilarious Marc.
My family was in wholesale food distribution for decades. Those “open air” coolers and freezers you see at convenience stores and grocery stores always made me wonder about operating cost.
Your right about the chest freezer and that’s the only type I will own for that reason. I don’t want to open the door and cold air “fall” out.
What I’ve been doing lately is when my HelloFresh boxes come with ice packs is to put them in the freezer where this too much empty space. They are still pretty frozen even after spending the night with UPS.