How Many Amps Does A Refrigerator Use On Startup?

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

As heavy-duty appliances, refrigerators consume so much power and draw a heavy amount of current to enable them to run correctly but are irreplaceable.

This may cause you to wonder if this is normal.

However, this article will outline the standard amperage and wattage that refrigerators should work on. 

Most refrigerators use 15 to 20 amps for a startup. After which, they steadily run on 3 to 5 amperage for the 120-volt circuit. Run this on a dedicated volt circuit since the start-up voltage is high. Local electrical codes help determine energy-efficient levels and choose how to utilize power and avoid circuit fluctuations and short circuits. 

How Many Amps Does A Refrigerator Draw On Startup?

Most household refrigerators generally run on 6 or 7 amps conveniently. However, this triples for an in-rush amperage at startup.

The standard startup amperage is 15 to 20 amp and is usually required to be plugged on a dedicated volt circuit. 

However, in the event of certain discrepancies, your refrigerator continues to draw excessive power even after the startup has been completed.

So, when this occurs, you would suspect that there is extreme power consumption in your refrigerator.

In that case, there are straightforward yet golden practices you can put up to help maintain and reduce energy consumption; they include:

#1. Always Keep The Refrigerator Door Closed

Endeavor that the doors of the refrigerator are always closed. Avoid opening the doors unnecessarily for a long time when you need to get an item from the fridge.

Leaving the doors ajar makes it easy for cold air to escape while letting warm air get in.

This automatically shifts the balance in the fridge’s average temperature balance and exerts pressure on the appliance to maintain and work on optimum temperature. 

#2. Purchase A New Model To Replace Your Old Refrigerator

Refrigerators that are energy star-certified consume less power than old models of refrigerators without this feature.

So, purchasing a newer refrigerator model is a sure way to reduce energy consumption.

But, more preferably, go for the latest models of energy-star certified refrigerators in the market.

#3. Always Keep The Coils Clean

Condenser coils often get clogged from dust, ice packs, hair, and other food particles, so you should clean them regularly to reduce the tendency of making your appliance work harder to generate energy and the appropriate maintenance to run correctly.

#4. Keep Refrigerators In Cool, Dark, And Dry Environments

When exposed to direct sunlight or in hot environments, refrigerators tend to work towards maintaining an average interior temperature and against any foreign sources of heat and light.

However, this process makes the refrigerator work harder to reduce the energy consumed and avoid wastage. 

How Many Watts Does A Refrigerator Use On Startup?

Refrigerators need at least 2000 watts for a start-up. While on average, refrigerators need 350 – 780 watts to run efficiently. 

However, they are some factors that determine and affect the power consumption value of a refrigerator.

For example, the model, size, age, room temperature of the kitchen, position in the home, and type of refrigerator all determine the power consumption value of the fridge. 

The power requirements for refrigerators vary significantly from model to model.

For instance, a newly purchased energy star-certified refrigerator is at least 9 percent more efficient than most models of the same size.

Most small refrigerators use less energy compared to how much energy regular-sized refrigerators consume. In addition, top mount refrigerators are also very energy efficient. 

You can purchase the Galanz GLRIOTRDERFR True Top Freezer Retro Refrigerator Here, a high-energy-efficient refrigerator.

Other energy-efficient refrigerators are the Frigidaire FFHT1425VV 28 Inch Freestanding Top Freezer Refrigerator and Whynter MRF-340DS 3.4 Cubic Feet Energy Star Stainless Steel Compact Refrigerator/Freezer, which can both be purchased on Amazon. 

How Do You Calculate Amps For A Startup? 

You can use several methods to determine how many amps refrigerators draw and use over time.

#1. Using Energy Star Rating

The simplest way to find out the energy star rating of your refrigerator is to Google the model and check if it comes with an energy star rating.

Then, the estimated yearly electrical consumption is found on it. 

This estimated yearly energy usage is divided by the number of days in a year, giving you the number of Watts per day in hours.

You then divide the running Watts by the standard voltage, and you automatically get the amperage your refrigerator uses over time.

#2. Purchase An Energy Meter 

Since most commercial refrigerators don’t come with an energy star rating, you will need to reach out to the manufacturers of your refrigerator or purchase a KWH meter.

This energy meter is a highly simplified way of estimating the power usage of your refrigerator.

It is easy to operate and stands out as the method of measuring energy consumption with the highest accuracy

KWH meters come with their specified user manual. They work by simultaneously plugging the meter into a dedicated amp circuit while you plug the refrigerator into the meter.

The meter then calculates the amount of energy the appliance uses at a particular time and subsequent times.

They are also very cheap and economic friendly while helping you understand and estimate the amount of power your device consumes. 

#3. Using Nameplate Amperage To Determine Power Consumption

This is another excellent method of calculating power consumption. It involves calculating the nameplate amperage rating.

However, the results obtained from this calculation are tagged to be an educated guess relying solely on the estimated duty cycle of the refrigerator. 

So, the duty cycle is simply the percentage of the time the refrigerator’s compressor runs.

At the same time, the nameplate is the number of amps the fridge draws while the compressor is in a cycle.

However, due to the duty cycle, the amperage level is likely to be significantly less than the value of the nameplate. 

Since the efficiency level of every refrigerator varies with the insulation value, the power consumption of a fridge can be estimated by calculating the duty cycle and nameplate value by dividing the nameplate value by the duty cycle of the refrigerator. 

How Many Amps Does A Small Refrigerator Draw? 

A mini-sized fridge needs at least two amps to run and consumes about 80 – 100 Watts per hour. So you will have to connect it to a dedicated amp circuit of 15 – 20 amps. 

Like every regular-sized refrigerator, mini-sized refrigerators have their power usage details outlined in the user’s manual.

In addition, due to modifications, mini-sized fridges can also chill food and drinks while using tiny amounts of energy.

These refrigerators, however, run for only eight hours daily, which is just one-third of the day.

Therefore, the amount of electricity utilized by mini freezers is determined by how often the fridge is used or how it runs. 


Refrigerators require about 15 to 20 amps for a startup, after which they run conveniently on 3 to 5 amps on a 120 dedicated volt circuit.

While regular-sized refrigerators draw about 6 or 7 amps, mini freezers draw about two amps at the rate of 80 to 100 Watts per hour.

Refrigerators generally need 2000 watts for a startup while needing just about 350 to 780 watts to run. You can calculate the amperage by multiplying the volts by the watts. 

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