How Many Watts Does a Freezer Use? Do They Consume Lots of Power?
It’s hard to imagine our lives without a freezer. We use it to store meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables, to name a few. The freezer runs 24/7, extending the expiration date of our food. It does require power to work, of course. So, how many watts does a freezer need? The reference wattage ranges from 80 to 900 watts, with most models using 25–45 watts per day.
The factual consumption depends on the size, settings, and cooling stage. That’s right: the numbers on the back of the freezer don’t necessarily represent the real power requirements. So, join us, and let’s see how many watts different freezers consume, compare that to common home appliances, and pick the right model for you!
Chest vs Upright Freezer: What’s the Difference?
Before we talk about wattage, let’s take a quick look at the various types of freezers available on the market:
So, What’s the Average Wattage for a Freezer?
The most important thing to know about freezers is that the different cooling stages have a huge impact on power consumption. This is true for refrigerators as well. If we take a dozen freezers and calculate average usage, we’ll see that it can be as low as 80 watts or as high as 900 watts. The older the model, the higher its usage will be.
Reference wattage for newer units is much lower: 80–310 watts. And when the freezer is idle, it needs very little energy to run. In contrast, when it’s in the active cooling stage, usage is quite high. Thus, you should expect a new, properly-configured freezer to consume as little as 25–45 watts per day. The lowest consumption is 15 watts, while the highest usage reaches 74 watts.
Wattage Consumption by Freezer Type
As mentioned, upright freezers are the “hungriest” ones and may use up to 74 watts in the active cooling stage. As for chest freezers, they are significantly more energy-efficient and consume as little as 23 watts for most of the day, keeping the monthly utility bill low. But what about deep and compact models, though? Do they need more or less power to run?
Here’s a quick look at the lowest, highest, average, and most common usage for all four types of freezers. We divided the list into four categories to make it easier for you to navigate through the chart and decide which freezer type you like more. These are the average numbers. Your freezer will, most likely, be slightly more or less efficient:
|Freezer Type||Lowest Consumption||Highest Consumption||Average Usage
|Most Common Usage|
|Upright Freezer||28 Watts||74 Watts||51 Watts||45 Watts|
|Chest Freezer||23 Watts||39.5 Watts||28 Watts||23 Watts|
|Deep Freezer||19.5 Watts||39.5 Watts||25 Watts||22 Watts|
|Compact Freezer||15.5 Watts||45.5 Watts||26.5 Watts||27.5 Watts|
Electricity Consumption by Freezer Type
On average, a freezer consumes 350–400 kWh of electricity annually or 31 kWh per month. The lowest electricity usage for a freezer is 140 kWh. As for the highest usage, it can reach 650 kWh. And here’s how much electricity you should expect different types of freezers to consume. Just like with wattage, compact freezers are the most efficient option on the market, while upright freezers charge more to keep your food from spoiling:
|Freezer Type||Low Electricity Usage||High Electricity Usage||Average Usage Consumption
|Most Common Consumption|
|Upright Freezer||247 kWh||650 kWh||445 kWh||400 kWh|
|Chest Freezer||200 kWh||350 kWh||250 kWh||200 kWh|
|Deep Freezer||170 kWh||350 kWh||235 kWh||200 kWh|
|Compact Freezer||140 kWh||400 kWh||235 kWh||240 kWh|
Freezer Wattage Requirements vs Common Appliances
We just went over exactly how many watts different types of freezers use, including upright and chest freezers. Now it’s time to see how they compare to other essential kitchen appliances. No modern-day home in the US makes do without a laundry machine, air conditioning system, or microwave. So, here’s how many watts they use and how much that costs annually:
|Appliance||Wattage Usage||Electricity Cost|
|Average-Sized Freezer:||80–900 Watts||$200 per year (24/7)|
|Electric Water Heater:||3.5K Watts||$330 per year (2 hours a day)|
|Air Conditioner:||500–4K Watts||$320 per year (4–5 hours a day)|
|Space Heater:||1–4K Watts||$260 per year (8 hours a day)|
|Washing Machine:||400–1.4K Watts||$20 per year (3 times a week)|
|Microwave Oven:||600–1K Watts||$10 per year (15 minutes a day)|
Do Freezers Use Lots of Electricity?
As we just learned, freezers are NOT the most power-hungry appliances out there. While they do, indeed, use decent amounts of electricity, compared to air conditioners or, let’s say, water heaters, they are rather efficient. Freezers need a lot more power than TVs or ceiling fans yet only consume 3–5% of the total electricity consumption of an average house in the States.
Technically, freezers are among the most efficient home appliances. They work 24/7 and still cost less to run than a heater that you only use for a couple of hours a day. And one more thing: if you want to know exactly how much you’ll have to pay for a freezer per day, month, or year, use an electricity usage calculator. Don’t worry: these are very intuitive and only take seconds to process a request.
How Long Do Freezers Last?
If you take proper care of the freezer, it will serve for up to 20 years. As for the average lifespan, it’s 12–16 years. This is true for both chest and upright models. That makes the freezer one of the longest-lasting devices in a modern-day home. And, just like any other appliance, it will benefit from regular maintenance. So, make a habit of defrosting the freezer when the ice gets thick (like 1/4 inches).
Usually, that happens once in 6–12 months. While you’re at it, give the freezer a good clean. Grab a piece of cloth and clean it thoroughly using water and soap. If you don’t do this, all that ice will take its toll on the freezer and boost your energy bill. Next, make a habit of wiping spills. Lastly, check on the thermometer, coils, and wiring once a year.
Tips for Using the Freezer Properly
With the average life cycle of a freezer out of the way, here are some tried-and-true tips on how to use it the right way:
Freezers do need electricity to run, but they’re not the most power-hungry appliances in an American household. Depending on the size and the type, the power consumption can be rather low. In any case, it’s very important to know exactly how many watts your freezer needs to operate. This way, it will be much easier to “predict” the electricity bill for the month.
Now, before you invest in a new freezer, make sure it’s not too big yet spacious enough for all your food. And remember: new models require less power/watts to maintain below-freezing temperatures. They do cost more but compensate for that in the long run. Take care of your freezer and it will keep your products from spoiling!
Featured Image Credit: AhmetCelik, Shutterstock
- 1 Chest vs Upright Freezer: What’s the Difference?
- 2 So, What’s the Average Wattage for a Freezer?
- 3 Wattage Consumption by Freezer Type
- 4 Electricity Consumption by Freezer Type
- 5 Freezer Wattage Requirements vs Common Appliances
- 6 Do Freezers Use Lots of Electricity?
- 7 How Long Do Freezers Last?
- 8 Tips for Using the Freezer Properly
- 9 Conclusion