Knowledge Base

How Many Watts Does a Freezer Use? (Freezer Wattage Tested)

By:Michael Johns

freezer header for watts

On this page, you will find out how many watts a freezer draws.

Every week I get home from the grocery store and throw several items in the freezer. From peas to pizza, it’s incredibly convenient. It is an incredibly efficient way to store food for long periods of time. There’s no doubt that you save money by not letting food go bad compared to the electricity needed to run the freezer. 

Below we will discuss and test freezer wattage, explain how to work it out for yourself, and calculate the total electricity required.

How Many Watts is a Freezer?

The average modern freezer uses between 70 to 300 watts.

The exact number depends on the size, model, and functionality of your freezer. For example, smaller modern freezers draw around 100W during cooling. While older larger chest freezer can use 300W or more. In addition, power draw can vary depending on what functions you use. If you have an in-built defrost function this will increase wattage when in operation.

The good news is that a freezer won’t always draw this maximum wattage. In fact, the majority of the time it is idle drawing zero power. The power only increases when it needs to cool the internal temperature. The rest of the time, insulation keeps temperatures below freezing. For this reason, it’s useful to look at the overall energy usage over time, not the running wattage.

How to Find Out Your Freezer Wattage

There’s 3 ways you can work out the wattage of a freezer.

  1. Check Product Specification

The quickest way is to look at the freezer’s specification. The watts (W) is usually written on a sticker on the base of the appliance. If not, you can check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for technical details.

freezer tech spec shows 100W power rating
This sticker shows a power rating of 100W
  1. Use a Wattmeter

A wattmeter is brilliant for getting a live wattage reading and tracking total energy usage of any appliance. You can simply plug it into your freezer to get instant information. 

Using one to test a freezer gave a live reading of 118W during a cooling cycle.

freezer wattmeter test showing 118W
  1. Wattage Formula or Calculator

If you know the amperage and voltage of your freezer you can use this to find the maximum watts. Simply use the formula Amps x Volts = Watts. Or you can head over to the ‘Watt Calculator’ to work this out.

Freezer Wattage Examples

Let’s take a look at specific examples of how many watts a freezer draws. Below is a selection of freezers and their power consumption rating:

ApplianceAppliance Watt Rating
Logik Freezer100
GenKraft Freezer160
EuroTek Freezer132
Fujidenzo Freezer107
Insignia Freezer100
Bluestar Freezer290
MC & Co Freezer205

You can also watch this video discussing how modern freezers work with example power consumption.

Power ratings vary between different freezers. So you should take the time to check your own appliance.

How Much Electricity Does a Freezer Use?

You can’t use a single wattage number to work out the electricity use of a freezer. As we’ve discussed, power levels vary throughout the day so there is no steady energy usage.

To find out your electricity usage from a freeze you can attach a wattmeter over a long period of time, such as a week or month. The meter records the total energy used in kWh. With this number to calculate daily, weekly, monthly, and annual usage. Adding to this, you can work out the cost via your utility bill that shows your ‘price per kWh’. This average in the USA is around $0.15 per kWh.

Plus all manufacturers now list the average annual energy consumption of a freezer and how much that will cost you. 

You will find that a compact under counter freezer uses about 190kWh a year. ($25 – $30 cost to run annually).

A large chest freezer used 350kWh+ a year ($50+ to run annually.)

As you can see, freezers are one of the largest energy consumers in your home. However, modern freezers are increasingly more efficient and reduce the cost to store your food. 

Using a Freezer Off-Grid

If you’re planning to use your freezer in an off-grid situation like a power outage, RV, boat, or truck the information above is important. It enables you to pick the correct power product and know how long it can run.

You can either use a power inverter, portable power station, or generator to generate electricity. 

To make sure everything runs smoothly you should check two things on this equipment – wattage capacity and total energy capacity. 

Your power source, like an inverter, should have a wattage capacity of at least 20% more than your freezer. This ensures it will be able to deliver enough power as they are never 100% efficient. To freeze food, you will need at least 1000W of power capacity to cope with surges when powering on (this can be triple the watt rating). In addition, you’ll be running your freezer for long periods of time so you don’t want your equipment to be on the limit all the time.

Secondly, you need to ensure your energy source, like a battery, has enough energy to run the freezer for the required amount of time. A compact freezer uses about 520Wh electricity every day. This is the equivalent to 43.3Ah on a 12V battery.

How Many Watts Does a Freezer Use Summary

I hope you now have a clear understanding of how many watts a freezer uses.

As you can see, a freezer does account for large portions of your utility bill. But to be fair, it needs to stay well below freezing at all times. On the brighter side, it’s not always drawing power so this dramatically reduces electricity costs. Plus the ability to store food for months is efficient and convenient. If you want to use a freezer off-grid, then check out the maximum wattage required before investing in your power setup.