Does my refrigerator have to be serviced annually?

Measure & calculate electricity consumption in the refrigerator

Which factors influence the electricity consumption of a refrigerator?

In principle, there are a number of variables that influence how much energy a refrigerator needs each year. The size has a decisive influence on the power consumption. The following generally applies: the higher the capacity, the higher the energy demand. The design of the refrigerator also plays a role in this context. Models with an integrated cooling compartment, for example, have a higher power consumption than similarly sized models without a cooling compartment. In addition, your own user behavior has an influence: For example, if you keep the refrigerator door open for a longer period of time, you contribute to an increase in consumption. Other influencing factors are the age of the device and its operating temperature.

The power consumption of different types of modern refrigerators

The annual consumption of a medium-sized refrigerator is between 60 and 90 kilowatt hours (kWh). The following list shows what the usual consumption values ​​of refrigerators are.

  • Fridge without freezer: 75 to 100 kWh with a volume of 150 liters, 100 to 125 kWh with a volume of 300 liters
  • Fridge with freezer compartment: 150 to 170 kWh with a volume of 150 liters, 175 to 250 kWh with a volume of 300 liters
  • Combination devices: 150 to 250 kWh with a volume of 200 liters, 250 to 300 kWh with a volume of 300 liters
  • Side-by-side devices: 350 to 500 kWh with a volume of 350 liters

How can the electricity consumption of a refrigerator be calculated?

In most cases, the refrigerator's energy label provides information on its annual consumption. If this is known, users can easily calculate the electricity costs using the following formula:

Annual electricity costs = annual electricity consumption of the refrigerator in kWh x electricity price in euros per kWh

For example, if the device consumes 150 kilowatt hours a year and the electricity price is 27 cents, the refrigerator incurs costs of 40.5 euros (150 kilowatt hours x 0.27 euros per kilowatt hour) over the corresponding period of time.

Measure the power consumption of a refrigerator

If no information on the annual electricity consumption of the household appliance can be found, it is alternatively also possible to determine the consumption in another way. How much energy the refrigerator swallows during operation can be determined with an ammeter, for example. Such a measuring instrument is already commercially available at a low price. In addition, there is the possibility of borrowing a corresponding device from many energy providers and sometimes also from the consumer center.

In order to record the consumption, it is necessary to switch the device between the refrigerator and the socket. So that the device can determine a reliable value, it should remain connected for at least one day. Consumers multiply the daily consumption determined in this way by 365 (the number of days in a year) in order to be able to use the formula mentioned above. In addition, some utilities make it possible to determine the electricity consumption of the refrigerator with a so-called smart meter - an intelligent electricity meter.

When to replace the old refrigerator with a new one?

Buying a new refrigerator is worthwhile in many cases. Current devices use considerably less electricity. A refrigerator model without a freezer compartment consumed an average of around 330 kilowatt hours per year in 2000. Current devices in efficiency class A +++, on the other hand, only require 90 kilowatt hours. With an electricity price of 27 cents, consumers pay just under 65 euros a year with an older model and just under 25 euros with a newer model.

However, consumers can not only save electricity and thus money with newer refrigerator models. A refrigerator that meets today's standards also has less of an impact on the environment. A lower power consumption ensures that fewer CO2 emissions are generated. The modern version in the example above would produce around 135 kilograms less CO2 per year than an old refrigerator - a clear difference in the ecological balance. The acquisition of a new device is therefore usually sensible from both an economic and an ecological point of view.

Tips: Reduce the power consumption of the refrigerator

It is indisputable that the energy efficiency class has a great influence on the power consumption of the device. However, consumers have several options for reducing the energy consumption of their refrigerator. The following measures are available, among others:

  • Choice of location: The refrigerator should not be next to the stove or next to the heater. Heat ensures that the device has to cool more. This also applies to direct sunlight, which is why the refrigerator should not be in direct sunlight if possible.
  • Leave ventilation slots free: If the ventilation slots are covered, the warm exhaust air accumulates, which increases power consumption. In the long term, the device can even become defective.
  • Set a sensible temperature: In general, a refrigerator temperature of six to seven degrees Celsius is considered optimal. For freezers it is -15 degrees Celsius. Every degree below these recommended values ​​increases the energy requirement by around ten percent.
  • Always open the refrigerator door briefly: If the refrigerator door is left open for a long time, the cool air escapes and the warmer ambient air flows into the refrigerator. This then has to be cooled down, which costs additional energy.
  • Defrost the freezer compartment regularly: Even a layer of ice of five millimeters leads to a 30 percent increase in consumption, which causes around 25 kilograms of CO2 per year.
  • Utilize the available volume: A well-stocked refrigerator has the highest energy efficiency. However, the air should still be able to circulate.
  • Do not put warm food in the refrigerator: It is advisable to wait until food has cooled down before putting it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, consumption will increase twice: on the one hand, due to the warm food and, on the other hand, due to the increased formation of condensation.