With power interruptions being so rampant in the U.S. in the previous years, you’ve probably thought about getting a generator to have a backup power supply for your house. And we’re guessing that one of your top requirements is a generator that can support charging your devices and your refrigerator – because of course, you don’t want to deal with food spoilage in case the blackout goes on for days.
If you’re planning to buy a power generator, it’s essential to determine the required watts for your electronics and appliances. In this article, we’ll teach you how to compute your refrigerator’s power consumption and provide recommendations for a generator that will keep your fridge operating even during longer power outages.
How many watts does a refrigerator use?Typically, an average home refrigerator uses around 300 to 1000 watts of electricity with most models using 3 to 9 amps and 120 volts.
A few key terms to remember
- Amps (amperes) - a unit used to measure the amount of electricity running through a circuit.
- Volts (voltage) - refers to the measure of the electric pressure/speed at which the electricity flows through a circuit.
- Watt (wattage) - it is the amount of power that an electric device consumes. To calculate this, you simply need to multiply amps and volume to get the wattage.
For example, if a refrigerator runs on 120 volts and uses 3 amps this means its wattage is 360 watts. It’s good to mention that in reality, a refrigerator has a much lower running wattage because it cycles on and of throughout the day. To estimate the actual energy usage of your fridge, a good rule of thumb to follow is to divide its wattage by 3. So in the earlier example, a 360-watt generator will only use around 120W.
W = 120 x 3
360W/3 = 120W
How do I calculate my refrigerator’s power consumption?
If you want to figure out how much it costs to run your refrigerator, refer to the sticker inside your fridge to get the volts and amps then compute the wattage.
Using the example above, the running wattage for the refrigerator is 120W - multiply it by the hours of the day (24), so you get 2,880 watts. Divide 2,880 by 1,000 to convert to kWh and you’ll get 2.88 kWh.
120 W x 24 hours = 2,880 W
2,880 W / 1,000 W = 2.88 kWh
However the refrigerator's wattage is usually rated when the compressor is on. In the real life, the refrigerator's compressor is not always on. The compressor may only kick on 1 minute for every several minutes depending on the usage. Assuming the compressor is on 1 minute for every 5 minutes, the power consumption will be reduced to 1/5 (1 minute / 5 minutes).
It’s also important to note that this is just an estimate since there are several factors that affect the power used by a fridge. These factors include:
- Type and Size - commercial display refrigerators use 10x more than a typical fridge, while naturally, a larger fridge uses more electricity;
- Location - a refrigerator placed in an area with poor ventilation uses more power;
- Usage - the frequently the fridge door is opened/held open, the more the compressor will work to keep the air cool inside, and therefore the more it will consume electricity;
- Season - all types of refrigerators uses more energy in summer compared to winter because of the ambient temperature;
- Age - Compared to newer models, old refrigerators are less energy-efficient so it uses more power to run.
What kind of generator can run my refrigerator?
When the grid is down, having a solar generator is valuable to keep your fridge up and running.
And it’s no surprise why more people (such as yourself) are looking to for backup power since electric interruptions in the U.S. are getting worse. In fact, it was reported that an average American experienced over eight hours of power outages just in 2020 alone.
What’s the cause of power failures in the U.S.? An analysis of government data by the Associated Press points to climate change that stirs up destructive storms, which cripples the country’s aging power grid.
So, if you’re looking for a source of backup power, might as well steer clear from fossil-fueled generators and use a clean-energy generator instead, such as solar-powered generators.
Can I run a full-size refrigerator using a solar generator?
The short answer to this question is yes – there are solar generators that can run a full-size refrigerator plus other smaller electronics. These generators are not only ideal as backup power for houses but are also suitable for a stable source of power for off-grid living.
Nature’s Generator Platinum System is a clean generator that doesn’t require gas to operate so it does not emit any toxic fumes that traditional generators release. The generator uses two natural ways to generate free electricity, one is through solar panels and the other through the wind generator port.
The Platinum System includes Nature’s Generator, Power Pods, three 100W solar panels, a universal heavy-duty cart (designed to work with the generator and power pods), and app access. Through the Power Panel (solar panel) and Wind Turbine, the system generates its own electricity and recharges the generator so you have peace of mind that it can continue to power your refrigerator and other devices even in a prolonged power outage.
If you’re looking to power your refrigerator and other appliances, or want to have backup power for longer periods, you have the ability to expand and upgrade Nature’s Generator system to fit your needs.
For example, adding a Power Pod to Nature’s Generator can give you 167% more run time and adding two Power Pods means 334% more run time for the generator. Each Power Pod has a built-in expansion port that can connect to other Power Pods. Plus, the Power Pod has a built-in solar port to increase the recharge time as you expand your system.
When supplying backup power for heavy appliances like a refrigerator, another great addition to your Nature’s Generator is the Power Transfer Switch Kit that connects Nature’s Generator to existing powerlines in your breaker panel. In case of power loss, you won’t have to worry about moving your refrigerator to connect to the generator since the Power Transfer Kit can power the circuit where the appliance is plugged in.
If you have more questions about how you can power your refrigerator and other appliances with Nature’s Generator, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and we’ll be more than happy to answer your queries.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ishna Sablaya, contributed research and content to this blog titled: How Many Watts does a Refrigerator Use? Thank you, Ishna, for your contributions!