Going off the grid and adopting alternative sources of energy can prove challenging. Sure, technology for batteries and solar cells has come a long way, yet there are limits to the daily energy output. Thus, it is best to economize on electricity consumption when switching over to a lower yield source.
One way you can do that is to switch over to a smaller fridge. Unless you’re a professional chef, you may only have to worry about ice and a few edibles, which makes a 330-liter refrigerator kind of an overboard investment. Still, you might wonder how many Watts does a mini-fridge use and whether your power backup solution can power it. Well, you need not be nervous as this piece will tell you everything about it.
How Mini-Fridges Differ from Regular Refrigerators
A mini-fridge works on the same basic principle of heat exchange as standard-sized refrigerators. However, the process of that heat exchange makes them stand out. Mini-fridges can have any of the following mechanisms:
Compressors have a working fluid that transfers the heat energy from the cooling area into the air. Instead of ozone-depleting chemicals, compressors in mini-fridges have more eco-friendly working fluids like R143a. These are long-lasting and often more efficient than freon gas used in larger refrigerators.
An absorption mini-fridge has a single heating element that makes its cooling process much more effective. It uses ammonia, water, and hydrogen to remove heat from the refrigerated area. Absorption mini-fridges don’t have any mechanical parts and are zero-maintenance. Moreover, their silent nature makes them perfect for hotel rooms and villas.
This type of mini-fridge has an electrical junction that creates a temperature difference through a voltage difference. Thermoelectric fridges are heavier than other kinds of mini-fridges (due to a DC converter) but don’t require any chemicals to operate. They are silent and don’t cause any pollution. Most thermoelectric mini-fridges can create considerable temperature differences, even allowing for freezers in the right conditions.
How Many Watts Does a Mini-Fridge Use?
The energy that your mini-fridge draws depends upon the type of mini-fridge you’re using. Compressor and thermoelectric mini-fridges can drain 50-100 Watts. Absorption mini-fridges are a bit less efficient. A standard variant can draw around 130 Watts. All mini-fridges can work through a regular 240-Volt outlet, although 250-Watt inverters can conveniently run them as well.
You can easily calculate how much power in KWh your mini-fridge consumes in a day. Look over the manual or the back of the fridge to know the exact wattage. Say, for example, that it runs on 90 Watts. If you use your mini-fridge for 10 hours a day, it means that your fridge draws 900 Watt-hour or 0.9 KWh per day.
Factors That Determine Wattage for a Mini-Fridge
In addition to the type of mini-fridge, you also need to consider other factors that affect power consumption. These include:
Your fridge compartment needs to remain as isolated from the atmosphere as possible. If the insulation has gaps or the seals are loose, it puts a lot of load on the cooling mechanism. Leaving the door open for more than a few seconds is not a good idea, either. Simply opening the door for shorter durations can help you save on your electricity charges.
The older your mini-fridge becomes, the higher the chance of degradation and leakage. Old fridges are subject to rust in the cooling system, insulation damage, and compressor dust, among other problems. Therefore, you should always check your mini-fridge for cooling issues every few months. A few bucks for repairs can save you plenty on replacing it for a brand-new model.
It might sound like an oxymoron, but frost is an enemy of cooling systems. When frost forms on your refrigerator, it takes up the energy intended to keep other items cool. You cannot guarantee an absence of frost formation, which is why mini-fridges with an auto-defrosting function are more energy efficient.
The temperature difference between the environment and the cooling compartment also affects your fridge’s energy consumption. The higher the difference between the refrigerator and its surroundings, the more power it requires to maintain. Thus, it helps to keep a range where your soft drinks remain chilled, but it doesn’t require a premium payment on your electricity bill.
Yes, the way you place your refrigerator also affects its power consumption. Most people put their mini-fridge in a closet for its compact space, not realizing that the heat must dissipate into an open space. You should always place your mini-fridge in an expansive area, such as close to the dining hall or just off the far corner of the living room.
Is a Mini-Fridge Safe for Bedrooms?
Yes. Most mini-fridges are safe to place in bedrooms so long as they have enough space for heat dissipation. You might have some trouble sleeping if you have a compressor-type mini-fridge, but other versions are silent enough to give you adequate rest.
How Many Amps Does it Take to Run a Mini-Fridge?
Most mini-fridges can work effectively on a 2 Amp current or less. Nevertheless, checking the owner’s manual or studying the specs online is best before connecting your mini-fridge to a live circuit.
Can You Run a Mini-Fridge with a 1000W Inverter?
Yes. A 1000-Watt inverter can easily power a mini-fridge for a day or more, depending on the battery capacity. If you recharge with enough power, you can run other appliances alongside it, such as a laptop charger, lights, fans, and a hair dryer.
Now that you’ve learned how many Watts does a mini-fridge use, you know it can prove to be an excellent investment. It makes for a valuable addition to your regular refrigerator as well. You can use a mini-fridge for stocking up on drinks or take it with you for an extended vacation.