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How Much Does It Cost to Run a Mini Fridge

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Mini Fridge?

Mini fridges can have a lot of uses. You can find them in offices, dorm rooms, garages, bars, and of course, man caves. They allow you to have cold drinks without taking up as much space or costing as much to run as a full sized fridge. So how much does it cost to run a mini fridge in your man cave?

When it comes to cost, you can look at the question in a few different ways. There is the precise cost of powering and using the mini fridge. You also have to look at how much money you save from a mini fridge instead of a full size fridge. Knowing the difference could factor into your decision, especially if you are currently setting up the room.

Quick Answer: How Much Does It Cost To Run a Mini Fridge?

On average, the cost to run a mini fridge is between $18.98-$37.96 a year. The mini fridge will use between .4-.8 kilowatts a day. You can read the rest of the article to see all the information about how you calculate that number and what could make your specific mini fridge cost more or less.

Factors to Consider

There are many factors to consider when figuring out how much it will cost to run your mini fridge. For example, the size of the mini fridge. Whether or not it has a freezer portion. If it does have a freezer, can you turn it off? You also have to know if the fridge is energy star efficient.

Some mini refrigerators are just large coolers with a fan that circulates the coldness you add with ice packs. These styles don’t have compressors, and as such, they cost less money to buy and run, but they don’t offer the same utility.

The age of the unit will also change how much it costs to run. Newer models are more efficient, so they cost less. Older units can use three times as much energy to achieve the same results and cost you a lot more.

The location of the unit will also affect how much it cost to run. You want to make sure that it has plenty of room to circulate air. The fridge should be free from debris that can clog up vents and air intake. Heat sources like grills and stoves can increase the running cost.

How often you use it will also increase the cost. However, sometimes opening up the smaller mini fridge can help you save money instead of opening a full sized fridge door. You will have to determine which one costs you less money.

Electricity Use

How much electricity does a mini fridge use? All these factors make it a little harder to answer these questions. However, there are some trends you can look at to get an idea of how much electricity the mini fridge might use.

You can find an energy calculator that can help you understand how much your exact unit is using. A mini fridge will use between 50 and 100 watts an hour with an average of 80 watts, and they will run about 8 hours a day. That means the average fridge will use around 640 watts per day or .640 kilowatts.

You can plug in the exact numbers for your fridge to determine your specific energy use. You will find your watt usage on the information plate of the refrigerator. Once you know how much energy you are using. It will be straightforward to figure out how much the unit is costing you on your energy bill.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a government-backed certification for energy-efficient devices. It is a safe and easy way to know if the device you are using would be considered efficient.

If your mini fridge has the Energy Star sticker on it, you can probably find all the energy information about the item on the Energy Star website. Energy Star has been around since 1992, so it is likely the site has featured your fridge at one time.

If your fridge predates Energy Star, that means it is over 29 years old. It also indicates that you will be using a whole lot more electricity to run it.

Savings From a Full Size Fridge

According to a 2014 Consumer Reports study, some mini fridges can use as much or more energy than full size fridges. The study reveals that, even if the mini fridge used less energy, you still lose money for the size difference. The full sized fridges offer better per cubic foot cooling.

This efficiency means that if you are hoping to save money with a mini fridge, you have to be very careful in picking your model, so you get any savings at all. Likely, you will be better off just getting an energy-efficient, full sized option if your primary concern is energy savings.

If you need to save space, you can find energy-efficient options that will be cheaper to run and still give you cold drinks and food in cramped spaces.

Bottom Line

So, how much does it cost to run a mini fridge? At the top of the scale, if your man cave uses the national average of 13 cents per kilowatts/hour at 100 watts running eight hours a day, it will cost you $37.96 a year. At the lowest consumption of 50 watts, you’ll spend $18.98.

The average for an 80 watt fridge for 13 cents per kilowatt/hour costs $30.37 a year. This price is the average energy used by a mini fridge. If you place the mini fridge in a good spot, or you don’t open it very often, you may be able to drop this cost a little.

You’ll save money per square foot of storage if you use an energy-efficient full sized fridge. If you’ll use the extra storage space and have the room, a full fridge can be better. If you have limited space or only need a small amount of storage for something specific, pick the mini fridge for your man cave needs.

If you’re ready to buy a mini fridge, check out our picks for the best beer fridges for your man cave.