How many amps does a small refrigerator use?

How many amps does a small refrigerator use?


When it comes to small refrigerators, one common question that arises is how many amps they use. Understanding the electrical consumption of a small refrigerator is important for various reasons, such as calculating energy costs or determining if a particular outlet can handle the load. In this article, we will dive deeper into the topic and explore the average amperage of small refrigerators, factors that can affect their power usage, and other relevant details.

Average Amperage of Small Refrigerators

The amperage of a small refrigerator can vary depending on its size, model, and efficiency. On average, a small refrigerator typically uses around 1 to 2 amps of current. However, it is important to note that this is a general estimate, and the actual amperage can vary. Some smaller models may use as little as 0.5 amps, while larger compact refrigerators may require up to 3 amps.

It is worth mentioning that the amperage mentioned here refers to the running or operating amperage. When a refrigerator starts up, it may draw a higher amount of current for a brief period, known as the startup or surge current. This surge current can be around 2 to 3 times higher than the running amperage but lasts only for a few seconds.

Factors Affecting Power Usage

Several factors can influence the power usage of a small refrigerator, impacting its amperage. These factors include:

Size and Capacity: Larger refrigerators generally require more power to operate compared to smaller ones. The size and capacity of a refrigerator can affect its amperage.

Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient models are designed to consume less power while maintaining optimal cooling performance. Refrigerators with higher energy efficiency ratings tend to use lower amperage.

Temperature Settings: The temperature at which a refrigerator is set can impact its power usage. Lower temperature settings may require the compressor to work harder, resulting in higher amperage.

Frequency of Door Openings: Frequent door openings can cause the refrigerator to run longer, increasing its power consumption. It is advisable to minimize unnecessary door openings to conserve energy.

Other Considerations

While amperage is an important factor to consider, it is equally essential to ensure that the electrical circuit and outlet used to power the refrigerator can handle the load. Small refrigerators typically operate on standard household circuits of 15 or 20 amps. However, it is recommended to check the manufacturer’s specifications or consult an electrician to ensure compatibility.

Additionally, it is crucial to maintain the refrigerator properly to optimize its efficiency and power usage. Regularly cleaning the coils, ensuring proper ventilation around the refrigerator, and avoiding overloading the unit can help improve its performance and reduce power consumption.


In conclusion, the average amperage of a small refrigerator typically ranges from 1 to 2 amps, but this can vary depending on the size, model, and efficiency of the unit. Factors such as size, energy efficiency, temperature settings, and door openings can affect the power usage of a small refrigerator. It is important to consider these factors and ensure that the electrical circuit can handle the load. Proper maintenance of the refrigerator is also essential for optimal performance and energy efficiency.