As we all know that the current refrigerator models have been developed to conserve almost 70% of energy, it is natural that older models consume almost around 1400 kWh of electricity per year in comparison. Hence, it can be said that the newer models are more energy-efficient and, although they have the same capacities, they consume around 350-700 kWh units of electricity per year (depending on the star rating).
In this article, we’ll discuss the factors responsible for increased power consumption, the methods to calculate power consumption of your appliance, and some tips to help reduce the power consumption.
Factors That Affect Refrigerator Power Consumption
There are many factors that are responsible for the energy consumption of your fridge. Let’s take a detailed look at each one of them down below:
1. Type Of Fridge: The energy consumption of a fridge or freezer hugely depends on the kind of machine that you have opted for. For example, a commercial display fridge or freezer will use 10 times more energy in comparison to a bar fridge at your home.
2. Size Of The Refrigerator: As we all know, the greater the volume of the machine, the more electricity it will consume. To explain this, a double-door fridge will consume more power than a single-door fridge.
3. Positioning: The positioning of the fridge also plays an essential role in its energy consumption. For example, if the refrigerator is placed in a warm position or a poorly ventilated corner, it is more likely to use more power than usual.
4. Season: One of the most exciting and common facts about refrigerators is that they usually use more power during summers than in winters due to the higher ambient temperature.
5. Usage: This is an important point to remember as we all may have, in some instances, been guilty of doing this. If we keep the fridge door open for a long time, warm air gets in from the temperature outside and tends to heat the cooled space. This puts immense pressure on the compressor to function harder to keep your refrigerator cool by replacing the warm air pockets will cool air temperature, thus using more power than usually required.
6. Temperature Setup: Many refrigerators usually keep the inside cooler than necessary due to their factory settings, resulting in their compressor working harder by using excessive power energy.
7. Age & Condition: It is needless to mention that old refrigerators usually use more energy in comparison to the new ones. Also, if the seals are in poor condition, they tend to become less energy efficient.
8. Compressor Technology: Refrigerators with inverter technology tend to consume less power than a normal fridge. If you want to know more about the compressor of the refrigerator, look at our article on how a refrigerator compressor works and which type of a compressor should you ideally look for.
9. Energy Star Rating: The energy star rating refrigerators are significantly more efficient than others with the same volumes.
10. Filled Fridge: To be specific, a fully stacked fridge consumes less power than a comparatively empty fridge because an empty refrigerator has a large volume of normal temperature air that needs to be cooled down, and hence the compressor uses more energy to do its job.
11. Ventilation of your fridge: If your fridge is not adequately ventilated, the hot air surrounding it will heat your fridge’s compressor, resulting in increased power consumption. Therefore, it is usually advised to keep at 5-7 inches of gap between your fridge and the walls to not disturb its process of gushing out warm air and cooling the air inside.
Also Read: Haier Refrigerator Review
How Much Power Does Your Refrigerator Consume?
In case if you do not have a BEE star-rated fridge, then there are two ways by using which you can find the power consumption of your fridge. The first is by using a device called Kill a wattmeter (accurate method), and the second is by manual calculation (less precise way).
1. Basic Calculation
To start with, if you have a BEE star-rated sticker on your refrigerator, the calculation becomes comparatively easier. On the sticker, search for the annual consumption of your fridge below the energy-saving stars. After that, divide the annual consumption of your refrigerator by 12 to get the machine’s monthly electricity consumption. For example, the monthly power consumption of a refrigerator may be 460 kWh/12 – 38.33 kWh of electricity, which means that the daily electricity consumption is 38.33 kWh/30 – 1.278 kWh. Therefore, from the above calculation, we have,
- Fridge Wattage x Hours Per Day = Watt-hours per day
- Watt-hours / 1000 = kWh per day
Although the above power consumption is not very accurate because the fridge may not consume its rated wattage, this is known as the basic calculation method. Additionally, the compliance plate will not account for all the other variables that cause higher power usage.
2. Using A Watt Meter
A Kill a wattmeter is considered a simple device used to acquire accurate results of any device’s power consumption. To use it, you have to first connect your refrigerator to the Kill a wattmeter and then plug the latter into a power source. Now, while restarting the refrigerator or re-plugging it to the power source, you’ll be able to see the kWh units of electricity that the fridge may be using. For appliances that have compressor like AC, refrigerator it is advisable to take the reading for 3-7 days to get actual power consumption.
Also Read: How To Choose Stabilizer For Refrigerator
How To Reduce Refrigerator Power Consumption
There are many tricks and tips to help reduce the energy consumption of your refrigerator, one of which is switching on to a modern energy star model. Let’s take a glance at other following ways to reduce power consumption:
You must place your fridge in a cool area and away from all possible heat sources. Also, don’t forget to check for the climate class of your fridge; for example,
- ‘N’ indicates that your fridge will be less efficient below 16°C temperature.
- ‘SN’ indicates that your fridge will be less efficient below 10°C temperature.
- ‘ST’ indicates that your fridge will be less efficient between below 18°C and 38°C temperatures.
- ‘T’ indicates that your fridge will be less efficient between below 18°C and 43°C temperatures.
Additionally, make sure that your fridge has adequate ventilation to avoid breakdowns and increase power consumption, as well as overheating.
Regularly check the temperature of your fridge, the ideal temperature being 37 degrees Fahrenheit (for refrigerator) and 0 degrees (for the freezer). Do not forget to change the temperature after a few hours if your freezer has a boost function (which lowers the temperature to -24°C to freezer bulks of food quickly).
I. Clean it: You must clean your appliance every three to four months to get rid of dusty coils, dirty kickplates, and other problems.
II. Defrost Your Freezer: Remember to defrost your freezer at least twice a year to avoid more power consumption.
III. Dusting The Radiator: Don’t forget to dust the radiator located on the back of your fridge.
IV. Door Deals: Replace or repair the door seals occasionally.
If you’re planning on taking an extended vacation somewhere away from home, consciously empty your fridge and clean it with a good disinfectant. You should also either turn it off or keep the door open.
4. Daily Use
I. Don’t over stack your fridge completely with bulkier quantities of food.
Wrap up the food stored in your fridge.
II. Keep the door open as little as possible. This will help reduce power consumption.
III. Keep only cool food inside your fridge. Cooldown hot food items on your counter before you put them in your refrigerator.
IV. Seal up with rubber gaskets around the appliance to keep cold air inside, which helps avoid cold air leakage.
After you have taken all of these steps and your refrigerator is still consuming a lot of power, it might be time update your refrigerator and buy a new one.
The higher the star rating of your appliance, the less power it consumes. Along with the star ratings that are usually displayed on the labels, there are other essential things that you must keep in mind while considering appliances- annual power consumption, manufacturing year, brand name, etc. In refrigerators, it is advised to choose one with a BEE rating or an inverter technology.