How Much Electricity Does a Mini-Fridge Use?

by Kitchen Cookware
How Much Electricity Does a Mini-Fridge Use?

Do you have a mini-fridge in your dorm room or home office? If so, you may be wondering how much electricity it consumes and how much it costs to run. Not sure if using a mini-fridge is pocket-friendly or not? Want to estimate the cost of using a mini-fridge? Whatever it is, we hear you. 

This guide will answer all those questions and discuss the amps and watts of a mini-fridge so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to buy one. So, read on and know everything about mini-fridges. 

How much electricity does a Mini-Fridge use?

Mini fridges use between 50 and 100 watts of power, which is about one-fifth to one-tenth of the power used by a standard fridge. The average cost of running a mini-fridge is about $8 to $10 per month (which changes according to electricity prices). The average mini-fridge costs about $80 to $100 per year to operate.

However, mini-fridges typically have a much lower capacity than standard fridges (usually around four cubic feet), so they use less electricity overall.

The amount of electricity a mini-fridge uses is subject to change. Say you’re using an old fridge with no energy-saving or power-reduction options. In this case, it will consume relatively more electricity than a modern appliance with all these controls.

It’s better to get a mini-fridge with excellent insulation and power-saving features to ensure you don’t pay anything more than you should.

Benefits of using a mini-fridge include;

  • They are cheaper to operate than standard fridges.
  • They take up less space, and can be used to store food and drinks that you want to keep chilled but don’t need to spend on a big appliance.
  • Also, since you can plug mini-fridges into extensions and low-voltage switchboards, they’re good for dorms and offices.

So, if you choose a smart mini-fridge, it’s bound to offer great value for the money.

Do Mini-Fridges Use a Lot of Electricity?

Luckily, no. These compact appliances lie between 50 and 100 watts of power, which is minimal compared to regular fridges. The cost of running a mini-fridge will depend on the price of electricity in your area, but it is typically between $8 to $10 per month.

This means that the average mini-fridge costs about $60 to $90 per year to operate. However, the actual cost will depend on the size of your mini-fridge, how often it is used, and the price of electricity in your area. So, a mini-fridge won’t blow through electricity units.

Now, these are rough numbers and keep changing. If you want a near-perfect estimate of how much your mini-fridge will cost, here are some factors to consider: 

Size: The larger the fridge, the more it will cost to operate.

Type of mini-fridge: Compressor-based models tend to cost more to operate than absorption models.

Age and condition of the fridge: An older or well-used fridge will likely be less energy efficient than a newer one. Energy efficiency has improved over the years, so an older or less-efficient fridge will use more power than a newer one.

Insulation: The insulation layer of a mini-fridge will impact its wattage needs. A fridge with thicker insulation will require less wattage because it won’t need to use as much energy to maintain its internal temperature.

How often the door is open: The more you open and close the fridge, the more work it has to do to maintain a consistent temperature and the more electricity it will use.

Climate: If you live in a warm environment, your fridge will have to work harder to keep things cool and use more energy.

All these factors will affect how much electricity your mini-fridge uses. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to consult with your fridge manufacturer or an appliance expert.

However, in general, most mini-fridges use around 60 watts of power. So, if you leave your fridge on all day (assuming 8 hours), it will use around 480 watt-hours or 4.8 kilowatt-hours. This will cost you about $0.56 per day, or $17.28 per month.

Remember that electricity rates vary depending on your location, so your costs may be different.

How Many Amps Does a Mini-Fridge Use?

Mini fridges use between two and four amps, which is about one-tenth to one-fifth of the power used by a standard fridge. A mini-fridge typically uses about 2-3 amps. This means that a mini-fridge would use about 60-90 watts of power.

To calculate your monthly electricity consumption, you can use this wattage estimate and multiply it by the number of hours the fridge is turned on each day. Then, divide that number by 1000 to find out how many kilowatts you are using each month.

For example, if your fridge is on for 8 hours per day and uses 80 watts of power, it would use .08 kilowatts or 800 kWh in a month. Knowing how much electricity your appliances are using can help you to make informed decisions about whether or not to replace them with more energy-efficient models.

How Much Does it Cost Per Month to Run a Mini-Fridge?

The cost of running a mini-fridge will depend on the price of electricity in your area, but it is typically between $8 to $10 per month. This means that the average mini-fridge costs about $60 to $90 per year to operate.

If your mini-fridge operates all day long, it will cost a little over $12 per month, and the yearly cost will exceed $100. However, if you’re careful with your mini-fridge and its good quality, you can keep the monthly cost under $8.

Mini-fridges are 4 cubic feet and use 2-3 amps of electricity, which are not big numbers. These small appliances can hardly cause a hike in your electricity bill.

Also, if you rarely use the mini-fridge, its compressor won’t undergo any pressure, and you’ll experience uninterrupted cooling. Since picking a particular number is hard, take a look at your mini-fridge user manual to understand its requirements better. 

Is It Economical or Expensive to Run a Mini-Fridge?

This isn’t easy to answer because it depends on so many factors. For example, the size and age of the fridge, how often the door is opened, what temperature the fridge is set at, and what kind of food is stored inside.

In general, however, it is quite pocket-friendly to use a mini-fridge. These small and energy-efficient appliances don’t lose that much cold air and run shorter cooling cycles, so they don’t dent your budget.

It is economical to use a mini-fridge because these appliances don’t consume a lot of electricity and therefore don’t add much to your monthly electric bill.

But if your mini-fridge is old and low-quality, it won’t do much good, mainly because it will blow through many watts in one go. So, it’s better to be careful with a few things.

Here’s what you can do to keep a mini-fridge economical:

  • Place it in a Cool Spot

The first and most important step is to place your mini-fridge in a cool spot. If possible, put it on an interior wall away from any windows, heating vents, or other heat sources.

Fridges generate heat as they run, so you want to ensure they’re not placed in an already warm location. You can also try using a fridge thermometer to make sure the fridge is staying cool enough.

The ideal temperature for a mini-fridge is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Set it at the Right Temperature 

The next step is to set your fridge to the right temperature. Again, you’ll want to consult a fridge thermometer to ensure the temperature is where you want it. The general rule of thumb is that the colder you set your fridge, the more energy it will use.

So, if you’re looking to save money, don’t set your fridge too cold. Just make sure the temperature is low enough to keep your food/drinks cold. 

  • Make Sure the Mini-Fridge has Sufficient Ventilation

Another important factor to consider is ventilation. If your mini-fridge isn’t getting enough air, it will have to work harder to keep cool, which will use up more energy. Make sure the fridge has plenty of room to breathe on all sides.

You also don’t want to block the vents on the back with furniture or other objects. If your mini-fridge is pushed against the wall, slide it forward to keep its back-facing compressor free. 

  • Regularly Clean the Fridge 

One important tip is to clean the coils on your mini-fridge regularly. The coils are responsible for dissipating heat, so the fridge will have a harder time staying cool if they’re dirty. You can clean the coils with a vacuum attachment or a coil brush.

Also, if there’s dust build-up on the ventilation fans of your mini-fridge, they won’t work as well, and the appliance’s energy consumption will rise. Just make sure you unplug the fridge while cleaning it to be safe.

  • Get an Energy-Efficient Mini-Fridge

If you’re in the market for a new mini-fridge, look for an energy-efficient one. Many newer models are designed to use less power, so they’ll save you money in the long run. Some things to look for include ENERGY STAR certification, low power consumption, and thermostat control.

Thick insulation layers of a mini-fridge ensure low power consumption and better cooling. So, do your research and get a smart appliance to save your money in the long run.

  • Keep the Doors Closed

Last but not least, make sure you keep the doors of your mini-fridge closed as much as possible. Cold air escapes whenever you open the door, and the fridge has to work harder to cool it down again.

Stack your mini-fridge nicely and open it only when needed to keep cold air in.

Can a Mini-Fridge be Used in a Camper and RV?

Yes, a mini-fridge can be used in a camper or RV. These appliances are designed to operate on 12-volt DC power, the same type of power used in RVs and campers. You will not need to purchase a separate power source for your mini-fridge. You can plug it into the same outlet that you use for your RV or camper’s lights and other 12-volt appliances.

How to Safely use a Mini-Fridge in a Camper Van or RV?

When traveling in a camper van or RV, it’s important to use safe appliances that will not cause any damage to the vehicle. One such appliance is a mini-fridge.

Here are a few tips on how to safely use a mini-fridge in your camper:

  • Make sure the mini-fridge is securely installed in the vehicle.
  • Do not put the mini-fridge in an unventilated area, as this could cause the fridge to overheat.
  • Keep the mini-fridge away from heat sources to avoid overheating.
  • Make sure the mini-fridge is properly plugged into an electrical outlet.
  • Do not overload the electrical outlet with too many appliances.
  • Keep an eye on the mini-fridge to ensure it’s not getting too hot. If it is, unplug it and let it cool down before using it again.
  • Make sure the mini-fridge is properly ventilated to prevent heat and moisture build-up.

Following these tips will help ensure safe and enjoyable travels in your camper van or RV with a mini-fridge.


A mini-fridge can be your good friend if you want a compact and energy-efficient cooling appliance. Since these compact fridges don’t consume a lot of energy, they’re economical to use in the long run. But if your mini-fridge works non-stop and doesn’t have a strong cooling mechanism, it can be counterproductive. Therefore, we decided to explain everything you need to know about a mini-fridge and its operating cost. We hope your confusion about these fridges is clear by now and you’ll enjoy their performance. Good luck! 

You may also like

Leave a Comment