How Much Electricity Does a Mini-Fridge Consume?

You’ve probably seen those home-makeover shows where they update the host’s kitchen with a stainless steel mini fridge placed just under the counter, or you’ve probably stayed in a hotel with a mini-fridge in the room. It would probably be cool to have one of those in your room or even the living room where you hang out. But before you whip out your credit card and order one, you should first ask yourself, “how much energy does a mini fridge use?” Well, let’s find out the answer, shall we?

Understanding Refrigerator Energy Consumption

First, you need to understand how most refrigerators consume electricity at home. In actuality, it’s quite difficult to predict a regular fridge’s running cost accurately because it doesn’t consume electricity constantly. Even though the fridge is “on,” it’s not always “running.” They stay turn on and run until the ideal temperature inside is reached and maintained. After that, the fridge stops running for a time.

Frequent use of the refrigerator consumes more energy. That means every time you open the door to your fridge, place warm items, or increase the cooling settings, you’re also increasing its running time. This is also influenced by the amount and quality of insulation.

However, most mini-fridges are quite energy efficient compared to other refrigerators. The newer ones with the latest inverter technology are much more efficient. Considering all these factors, it’s quite hard to predict how much electricity a mini fridge uses exactly.

The EnergyGuide Label

Fortunately, one thing can be relied upon when measuring a refrigerator’s energy consumption—the EnergyGuide label. It turns out that compact refrigerators are part of the federal EnergyGuide labeling program, which helps consumers understand the estimated energy consumption of major appliances. Look out for those black and yellow guide stickers to find out an appliance’s energy consumption.

Looking at the EnergyGuide label, you’ll see the annual estimated energy cost and the annual estimated electricity use. Looking for both numbers will give you a better idea of how much energy the mini-fridge consumes and how much it would cost to keep it running.

Are Mini-Fridges Expensive to Run?

Take a few minutes to look up some mini-fridge models online and look for the EnergyGuide information. You’ll see that the operating costs vary quite a bit depending on the model. Generally speaking, smaller refrigerators consume less energy, larger ones consume more. An annual operating cost of less than $40 for a mini-fridge is very much affordable.

A small fridge has so many uses. In fact, it can even lower your energy consumption if you compare it to regular-sized refrigerators. They also lose a lot less cold air every time you open it because of their more compact size. A mini-fridge that can store 90 cans of drinks is only 2.2 cubic feet in volume. The average volume of a standard kitchen refrigerator is 18 to 27 cubic feet. Imagine opening a 25-cubic foot fridge every time you just want to grab a soda.

You also have to consider you and your family’s behavior when opening a refrigerator. If you find yourselves opening your fridge too often just to take out a few things, then a mini-fridge might be more ideal for you. It just comes down to your preference, kitchen space, and monthly budget for utilities.


Based on their compact size alone, mini-fridges are far more energy-efficient than regular-sized refrigerators, especially for heavy users. It depends on what your needs are. If you have the budget for it, why not buy both and enjoy the benefits of having a full-sized refrigerator and a compact one for your entertainment area.

If you’re looking for a trusted resource containing all things refrigerator, then look no further than Pixel Fridge. We have a lot of guides, reviews, and refrigerator advice to help you decide which is the best refrigerator to buy for your needs. From mini-fridge electricity costs to maintenance tips, we have a lot of informative articles for you. Visit our website to read more about refrigerators.

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