Last updated: January 18, 2023.
From chest freezer amps to upright freezer amps, and freezer amps in general. See how many amps freezers use, here (incl. freezer startup amps). Plus, see standout low amp freezer models & recommended breaker sizes.
- Freezer amp draw varies substantially, generally from 0.5A to 20A while running (approx. 0.5A to 6A for modern freezers)
- Power surges on start-up can be 2 – 3 times the running power (higher for older freezers).
- Modern chest freezers typically use 2 amps while running, however 3.5 amps is very common.
- A typical modern upright freezer uses 2.3 amps when running.
- A stand out low amp chest freezer is the Insignia NS-CZ70WH0 (see details on Best Buy, here).
- In terms of low amp upright freezers, the Midea MRU03M2ABB / Midea WHS-109FW1 (3.0 ft3 model) stands out – get details on Amazon, here.
Continue reading to see how many amps, both running and surge amps, some of the most popular and energy efficient freezers draw. And see which freezer types pull the least amount of amps.
Note: the details contained in this post are for informational purposes only. Great effort was went to in order to identify reliable data sources, however, estimates had to be used in many cases – these cases are highlighted. If you’re considering running a freezer from batteries or a generator, do check with both manufacturers to ensure compatibility. If you’re using this article to assess fuse / breaker sizes do consult the specific appliance in question, local standards and, ideally, a qualified local electrician to ensure safety.
Freezer amps range from 0.5A to 20A, generally.
Modern freezers typically have a running amp draw that ranges from 0.5A to 6A.
During start-up of the cooling cycle, freezer amp draw surges to 2-3 times its running amps, in many cases. Older freezer surges can be considerably higher than this.
Modern freezer surges typically range from 1A to 12A when active cooling cycles initiate.
Freezer power surges are expected and are not of a concern for most people (specifically, those using the mains supply).
However, users that plan to run their freezer from a battery supply or off of a generator need to be concerned about freezer amp surges.
Those using the mains supply to power their freezer may be interested in freezer amperage as this is an indicator of energy efficiency.
Related: 10 tips to reduce the cost of running a freezer.
Below, you’ll find the freezer amperage (running amps and expected surge current) for some of the most energy efficient freezers on the market, along with some of the most popular models.
You’ll also see how freezer amps compare across different freezer types.
How many amps do the most energy efficient & popular freezers draw
The table below shows how many amps freezers use.
These examples include some of the most energy efficient freezers on the market and some of the most sold. Also included are the recommended breaker sizes along with the freezer type.
|Freezer type||Freezer model||Freezer amps||Freezer start-up amps||Power supply requirement||Product details||Efficiency/popularity note||Sources|
|Chest freezer||GE FCM22DLWW||2 amps||4 – 6 amps||115 Volt AC, 60 Hz, 15- or 20-amp fused, grounded electrical supply is required.||See details on Best Buy, here, Home Depot, here, or Lowe’s, here.||Overall this is the most energy efficient freezer – it consumes the least amount of power per cubic foot of capacity.||Running and start-up amps source: GE customer support here. Power supply requirement source: User Manual on Best Buy here.|
|Chest freezer||Whirlpool WZC3209LW||3.5 amps||7 – 10.5 amps (estimate)||115 V, 60 Hz, AC-only, 15 A or 20 A fused, grounded electrical supply is required.||Check it out on Best Buy, here.||Energy efficient upright freezer that consumes the least amount of electricity.||Running amps source: Best Buy here. Start-up amps source: estimated (2-3x amps). Power supply requirement source: User Manual on Best Buy here.|
|Compact chest freezer||Avanti CF24Q0W||0.5 amps (estimate – see Source info)||1 – 4 amps (estimate – see Source info)||115 V AC, 60 Hz, properly grounded in accordance with NEC, local & ordinances is required. The fuse (or circuit breaker) size should be 15 amperes.||Get details on Amazon, here, or Walmart, here.||Achieved the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.||Running and start-up amps were estimated from power consumption and voltage. However, a forum user estimates 1.5A running and 3-4A on start-up. Power supply requirement source: User Manual on plessers.com here.|
|Deep freezer||RCA RFRF-450-AMZ||1 amp (estimate – see Source info)||2 – 6.5 amps (estimate – see Source info)||115 Volts [AC, 60 Hz], 15 amp outlet with “proper grounding”.||Check it out on Amazon, here, or eBay, here.||Also holds the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.||Running and start-up amps were estimated from a reviewer’s power consumption test on Amazon here. Power supply requirement source: User Manual on Amazon here.|
|Upright freezer||Danby DUFM085A4WDD||1.2 amps||6 amps||Likely 115 Volt AC, 60 Hz, 15/20 amp, but not listed in the manufacturer’s manual (need to refer to the rating plate).||See details on Home Depot, here, or Amazon, here.||This is the energy efficient upright freezer that consumes the least amount of electricity.||Running and start-up amps source: Danby Authorized Rep here. Power supply requirement source: N/A (Owner’s Manual is accessible on danby.com here).|
|Upright freezer||Midea MRU03M2ABB / Midea WHS-109FW1 (3.0 ft3 model)||1.1 amps||2.2 – 4 amps (estimate)||115 Volt, 60Hz, AC only, 10A fused and properly grounded supply. A separate dedicated circuit is recommended.||Get details on Amazon, here.||This is the best selling upright freezer on Amazon.||Running amps source: Manufacturer’s Customer Support on Amazon here. Start-up amps source: estimated (2x – 3x amps rounded up). Power supply requirement source: User Manual on Amazon here.|
|Chest freezer||Insignia NS-CZ70WH0||1.45 amps||2.5 amps||115 V, 60 Hz power supply.||Check it out on Best Buy, here.||This is the best selling chest freezer on Best Buy.||Running and start-up amps source: Insignia Customer Support here and here. Power supply requirement source: User Manual on Best Buy here.|
Note: some of the figures above are estimated where data sources were not available. In all cases, however, you should contact the manufacturer to ensure you have the correct and most up-to-date information.
For information on the recommended generator size for the freezer with the best power consumption to capacity ratio, check out: the “Most energy efficient freezer” section, here.
Chest freezer amps
Chest freezers commonly use 2 amps when running.
Surges during start-up are expected to be approx. 6 amps.
The recommended fuse / breaker size for chest freezers is commonly 15 amps.
Older, non-ENERGY STAR certified, chest freezers will likely have a higher current draw.
An example of typical modern chest freezer amperage is GE FCM22DLWW. This is the most energy efficient freezer due to its capacity to power consumption ratio.
Despite its significant size (21.7 ft3), its amperage is still within the common range for chest freezers.
Chest freezers are commonly listed at 3.5 amps.
For example, the Whirlpool WZC3209LW (9 ft3 convertible freezer to refrigerator with baskets) uses 3.5A, check it out on Best Buy here, and the Whirlpool WZC5216LW (16 ft3 chest freezer with basket) draws 3.5A, see power consumption details on Best Buy here.
An example of a chest freezer with low amperage is the Insignia NS-CZ70WH0, which draws 1.45 amps while running and 2.5 amps on start-up.
Get more product details, including the price, on Best Buy, here.
Compact chest freezers, due to their smaller size, are expected to draw less current than their larger size counterparts. See the table above for an example of the amperage for a standout energy efficient compact chest freezer.
Also above is an example of the amperage for an energy efficient deep freezer.
To remove subjectivity from the term, deep freezers are considered (at least in this article) to be chest freezers and large compact chest freezers. See the definitions of the different freezer types, here.
How many amps does an upright freezer use
A typical modern upright freezer uses 2.3 amps when running.
Initial power surges during start-up for a typical upright freezer is expected to be approx. 7 amps.
A 15 amp fuse / breaker is commonly recommended for upright freezers.
However, many more power hungry upright freezers have a 20 amp recommendation.
To demonstrate these typical amperage figures, a freezer that uses close to the average power consumption of modern upright freezers is the Miele FNS 37492 iE.
The manufacturer lists the freezer current consumption as 2,300 mA (i.e. 2.3 amps) and recommends a 15A rated fuse. See plessers.com, here, for this model’s specs.
Power surges for modern freezers are commonly 2 – 3 times its running power. As a result, a typical upright freezer will consume approx. 7 amps during start-up of the active cooling cycle.
Compact upright freezers, in general, draw less current than upright freezers. This is due to their smaller size.
So which freezer type draws the least amount of amps overall?
Which freezer type draws the lowest amps
Compact chest freezers use the least amount of amps, followed by deep freezers.
As mentioned, deep freezers are considered to be larger compact chest freezers and their even larger counterparts, chest freezers.
In third place are chest freezers, which are larger than compact chest freezers and fall within the deep freezer category.
Compact upright freezers take fourth spot. These are expected to use more amps than chest freezers, in general.
Upright freezers use the most amps out of all freezer types, on average.
Freezer breaker size
Freezers require a 15 or 20 amp breaker.
This is the typical requirement for household freezers.
Local electrical codes may have slightly different requirements. Be sure to consult an electrician and your local electrical codes to ensure local standards are met.
It’s generally recommended that freezers be plugged into a dedicated outlet, and in many cases (depending on the local electrical standards), have its own circuit.
Home freezers require a 110V to 120V supply.
Many manufacturers list their voltage requirements as 115 Volts.
It’s uncommon to find freezers that require a higher voltage than this if they’re intended for domestic use.
It may be more common for commercial freezers to have a 240V supply requirement.
International (i.e. non-US) voltage requirements are different. For example, freezers built for UK residents require a 230V supply.
Freezers require a 115V, AC, 60 Hz, 15 or 20 amp fused, grounded electrical supply.
Freezers should be on their own dedicated circuit in order to meet certain electrical standards.
For example, the image below shows the power supply requirements for the GE FCM22DLWW (i.e. the freezer that consumes the least amount of electricity per cubic foot of capacity).
The circuit requirements, noted in this section, are typical in the US.
However, you should consult your local electrical codes to ensure you meet your local standards.
How many amps a freezer draws depends on many factors, including freezer type, size and efficiency.
I hope that, by listing the amperage of typical and standout energy efficient freezers, you have a better sense of freezer amp draw.
As mentioned at the top of this article, it’s important, for those considering running their freezer from batteries or a generator, to contact the relevant manufacturers to ensure compatibility.
Keep reading for more freezer power consumption insights:
- Get results from a comprehensive study on freezer energy efficiency: Freezer Wattage Results [Most Efficient Revealed].
- See how much it costs to run a freezer (based on 354 models) – includes 10 tips to reduce the cost of running your freezer.
Interested in seeing how you can stop wasting electricity? Check out this 6 quick wins cheat sheet:
See how much it costs to run a refrigerator in the US and the UK. And get 9 simple tips to reduce your running costs along with your carbon footprint.
How many watts does a freezer use? Find out here, by type & brand, based on 354 models. Get a shortlist of energy efficient freezers & see which freezer is the most efficient on the market.
How much does it cost to run a freezer? Find out here, by freezer type, based on 354 models. And get 10 tips to keep your freezer running costs and carbon footprint low.
James F (not to be confused with ECS co-founder James) is our lead author, content & website manager. He has a BSc. in Digital Marketing, and a Diploma in IT. He became a qualified electrician while studying electrical engineering part-time.
From wind and solar photovoltaic installers, James F worked with many certified energy practitioners and energy consultants before joining the core ECS team. He also helped build the most downloaded energy saving app while working with a leading utility company.