The “Vacation Mode” on your fridge is specifically designed to save electricity while you are gone, by maintaining a higher temperature.
Since your fridge is on all day, every day, it can end up using over 6000 watts of electricity in a day.
This is not as much as other appliances use but using the “Vacation Mode” on your fridge while you are away can help you avoid using this electricity unnecessarily, but it will not keep your food from spoiling.
How much power does a fridge use?
Refrigerators are some of the most used appliances in homes and there is no doubt that a fridge can prevent food waste and cut down on your grocery bills.
However, just like with any other electrical appliance, your fridge needs to use power to operate every day. On average, household fridges use about 805 watts per hour to operate.
If you take this electricity usage and multiply it by eight hours to compensate for the cycling of your fridge, this means that your fridge uses about 6440 watts per day to operate.
Does Vacation Mode on a fridge save electricity?
Although fridges do not use as much electricity as other appliances, like washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters, or dryers, this electricity usage can accumulate over a period of time.
This is especially true if you are going on a vacation and your fridge will not be in use for an extended period of time. This is why many fridge manufacturers have developed a “Vacation Mode” feature for their refrigerators.
The purpose of this Vacation Mode is to ensure that your fridge is not needlessly running at full power capacity when it is not in use, and in most cases, this means that the temperature controls will keep your fridge at a slightly higher-than-normal temperature and they will keep the freezer at the same temperature that you had it, which means that the compressor and the other components in the fridge do not need as much power to maintain the colder temperature.
This slightly higher temperature will not be cold enough to keep all of your food from spoiling, but with the insulation built into your fridge, it should be enough to keep some food items fresh while you are on vacation.
So, although this means that you cannot leave perishable food items in your fridge while you are on vacation, it does mean that your fridge will use less electricity while you are gone.
This vacation mode is not a perfect or foolproof solution, which is why you should be careful about when you use it if your fridge has this option.
If your fridge does not have this option, there are still other ways that you can save on electricity while you are away.
When you should use the “Vacation Mode” on your fridge
The Vacation Mode on most fridges is really only useful in cases where you will be away from your house for long periods of time, like around three weeks.
If you are only going to be away from your fridge for a few days, it may be best to just leave your fridge on in its regular operational mode, as this will keep any food that you have left behind in a good condition until you get back.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you leave your fridge on Vacation Mode, because you are going away for a long time, that this is not a safe way to store food and that you need to get rid of any perishable food items before you leave.
How to know if your fridge has a Vacation Mode and if it works
The easiest way to find out whether your fridge has a Vacation Mode is to look in your owner’s manual. If you do not have or cannot find your owner’s manual, you can look on the display panel of your fridge, if it has one, for a symbol that looks like an umbrella or plane or is labelled “Vacation Mode.”
If you want to test how much electricity this operational mode saves, you can use an electricity usage monitor to compare the electricity consumption during regular operation and during “Vacation Mode” operation.
How to save electricity if your fridge does not have a “Vacation Mode”
If you will be away for a long time and your fridge does not have a Vacation Mode, you need to remove all the food and ice and thoroughly clean the entire inside using regular all-purpose cleaner and a soft cloth to prevent any scratches. You can then unplug the fridge to avoid wasting unnecessary electricity.