Refrigerators are one of the common household appliances. They come under the category of large appliances which means they consume a lot of power.
However, the advent of technology has led to high energy-efficient refrigerators that can reduce power consumption by 10-30%. You can identify the efficiency of a refrigerator by seeing the BEE Star Rating label. Besides the rating, you can follow energy-saving best practices to reduce their power consumption.
This article explains how you can calculate the power consumption of a refrigerator and suggests tips to reduce it.
How Much Power do Refrigerators Consume?
Our team of experts analyzed over 200 refrigerator models from prominent Indian brands to understand their energy efficiency. We also calculated the electricity charges of the refrigerators based on their power consumption.
Below are the findings of the study. Please note we have used the average values for power consumption. The actual value will vary depending on the specific model.
- A Single Door Refrigerator with a capacity of 190-220 liters consumes Avg. 160 units of electricity in a year. Considering a unit price of 7 Rs., the refrigerator costs Rs. 1100-1600/year or Rs. 100 – 130/month to you in electricity bills.
- A Side By Side Door Refrigerator with a capacity of 550-570 liters consumes 510 units/year. With a unit price of 10, the electricity costs amount to Rs. 5000-7200/year.
- A Double Door Refrigerator with 220-350 liters capacity consumes 240 units/year. This translates to Rs. 1600-3500/year or Rs. in electricity bills with a unit price of 7.
On average, refrigerators contribute up to 15% of your monthly electricity bills.
How to Calculate the Power Consumption of your Refrigerators?
As mentioned, the above numbers are average values of the power consumption. Your refrigerator does not necessarily have to consume the same power. It depends on the specific model. There are two methods to calculate the power consumption of your refrigerators,
The simplest method is to check the BEE Star Rating label on your refrigerator. BEE stands for Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The rating will give you the annual energy consumption of your refrigerator.
The other method is to multiple your refrigerator wattage by the number of hours you run in per day. Then, multiply this value by the number of days you run the refrigerator in a day. This will give you the annual energy consumption.
How to Identify an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator?
All refrigerators come with a BEE Star Rating label to indicate energy efficiency. BEE Star Rating is approved by the Indian government and is a standard system for representing the power consumption of electrical appliances.
BEE Star Rating rates refrigerators based on their energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. We recommend you get a refrigerator with a rating of 4 or above, even though it is a bit expensive.
Components in a BEE Star Rating label
The BEE Star Rating label displays different information about the refrigerator, such as annual power consumption, category, brand name, and other data. The power consumption rating is represented by 5 stars. Out of that, the number of colored stars indicates the efficiency of the refrigerator.
However, there is one major drawback in this standard for measuring power consumption. If the refrigerator becomes old, it becomes less efficient.
Energy Saving Tips to Reduce Power Consumption
Even though you have an energy-efficient refrigerator, there are certain steps you can follow to further reduce power consumption. Below are these steps,
1. Install your Refrigerator in the Right Place
You should install your refrigerator in a cool place. Do not keep any heat-generating appliances such as an oven or radiation near your refrigerator. If you do so, it will reduce the efficiency. Also, the temperature should not fall below 100 C.
Additionally, you have to place the refrigerator in a well-ventilated location. Do not place it against the wall. Leave some gap between your refrigerator and wall.
2. Set the Right Temperature
When you reduce the temperature of your refrigerator by 10 C, it increases the power consumption by 5 to 10%. So, do not reduce the temperature more than the required setting. We recommend setting a temperature of 50 C in your refrigerator body and -180 C for your freezer.
3. Activate Energy Saving Mode
The latest refrigerators come with an energy-saving mode to reduce power consumption. When you activate the mode, it turns off the anti-sweat heater. We recommend you activate this mode at all times.
4. Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance ensures that the efficiency of your refrigerator does not decrease. Besides, it also increases the longevity of the appliance. Below are a few tips to maintain your refrigerator.
- Do not let ice build up on your freezer. An increase in ice length of 2mm will reduce the efficiency by 10%. We recommend you defrost your freezer at least once a year or if there is too much ice build-up.
- Do not let dust and debris settle on the radiator. Regularly clean it to get rid of the debris.
- If the door does not close properly, replace it immediately.
- If you are not using your refrigerator for a long period, take out all the food items and turn them off. Also, leave the door open.
5. Proper Daily use
Apart from regular maintenance, following best practices in using the refrigerator can increase the efficiency. Below are some of such best practices,
- Do not open the door frequently. Also, open it as little as possible.
- Do not place hot food in the refrigerator. Wait until it cools down.
- Do not keep too much food in your refrigerator.
- Do not leave the fridge empty. If there is too much space, keep some polystyrene blocks.
- Wrap up the food before keeping it in the refrigerator.
- Turn off the automatic ice maker when not in use. It increases power efficiency by 15-20%
6. Consider Replacing your Refrigerator
Well, this might seem like an extreme measure. But wait till you see how much power old refrigerators consume. More power will translate into higher electricity bills.
- 5-year old refrigerator – 10% more electricity
- 10-year old refrigerator – 20% more electricity
- 15 years and more – 30% more electricity
If you maintain your refrigerator properly and follow our best practices, you can retain its energy-efficient feature to a certain extent. If you feel your refrigerator consumes more electricity, it is better to replace it.
7. Purchasing an Inverter Refrigerator
If you have taken our advice in discarding your old refrigerator, then we suggest you take a look at inverter refrigerators. The initial cost of an inverter refrigerator is high. But, you can compensate for this in your electricity bills.
The logic behind an inverter technology is that a compress requires more power to start. So, the compressor never switches off. Even if the temperature stabilizes, it continues to run at a slow speed.
Regular Refrigerator vs. Inverter Refrigerator: Which is Better?
So, we have established that inverter refrigerators save more power. But, how much power do they save? Studies revealed that inverter refrigerators are 22% more energy-efficient than automatic defrosting refrigerators.
To help you understand the energy-saving features of an inverter, we have prepared a table by comparing it against a BEE high-rated refrigerator.
Ideally, you can use a refrigerator for 12 years. Beyond that, you can choose to replace it depending on its power consumption. We highly recommend you go with an inverter refrigerator for high energy efficiency.
But if the inverter refrigerator does not fall within your budget, then you can opt for a conventional refrigerator that has a BEE Star rating of 4 or above. If you maintain it properly and follow our best-practices, it should be enough to lower the power consumption.
If you have any queries or doubts, please let us know using the comments section. We will help you out. You can also post your opinions in the comments box.