commercial fridge power consumption

Looking to learn about Commercial Fridge Power Consumption and refrigerator power consumption watts? Then read this guide. Commercial refrigerators and freezers are designed and tested with commercial operations in mind which requires them to keep food at specific temperatures in hot kitchen environments as well as subject to frequent door openings. Commercial refrigerators and freezers that meet these new criteria will provide significant savings to commercial kitchen operations.

Commercial refrigerators and freezers are used to keep food cold. Your business may use them to store fresh produce, frozen foods for the kitchen or for sales floor displays. Whichever is your reason for shopping commercial fridges, they require more power usage than residential models due to their more powerful compressors, heavier insulation and constant use. In fact, the average commercial fridge uses about 24% more energy than a household model of similar capacity. Commercial refrigerators and freezers are designed for constant use, three shifts each day in fact.  Commercial fridges are also made with more insulation and heavier gauge steel to maintain temperatures over extended periods of time as well money saving features such as digital controls.

refrigerator power consumption watts

Commercial Fridge Power Consumption

How Much Power a Fridge Uses - in Watts, Cost & kWh



Commercial refrigerators and freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are on average 20 percent more energy efficient than standard models because they are designed with components such as ECM evaporator and condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which will significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

Savings figures:

  • ENERGY STAR certified commercial solid door refrigerators can save businesses 285 kWh and more than $30 annually, and $310 on utility bills over the product’s lifetime
  • ENERGY STAR certified commercial glass door refrigerators can save businesses 400 kWh and nearly $45 annually, and $440 on utility bills over the product’s lifetime
  • ENERGY STAR certified commercial solid door freezers can save businesses 500 kWh and more than $55 annually, and $560 on utility bills over the product’s lifetime
  • ENERGY STAR certified commercial glass door freezers can save businesses 900 kWh and more than $100 annually, and $980 on utility bills over the product’s lifetime

Eligible products:

  • Solid, transparent
  • Mixed solid/transparent door refrigerators and freezers

Ineligible products:

  • Chef base or griddle stands 
  • Prep tables
  • Service over counter units
  • Open air units
  • Convertible temperature units
  • Laboratory-grade equipment
  • Remote condensing equipment

A commercial fridge is a box powered by electricity used to freeze food similar to a refrigerator freezer, standalone freezers typically provide more space than fridge freezers. Older freezers will use over 100% more energy than newer Energy Star rated models. A modern freezer will use between 30 and 100 watts of power depending on size, indoor temperature & efficiency. For a typical modern 15 Cu. Ft. freezer about 300 kWh is used annually or an average of 35 watts, this power consumption is already factoring compressor cycles and yearly temperature changes in the northern hemisphere. You may experience significantly higher energy use depending on when, where and how energy measurement is done on a standalone freezer.

refrigerator power consumption watts

Click calculate to find the energy consumption of a standalone freezer using 35 Watts for 24 hours a day @ $0.10 per kWh.

Cost Per Hour: 

Cost Per Day: 

Cost Per Month: 

Cost Per Year: 

kWh Per Day: 

Hours Used Per Day: 

Power Use (Watts): 

Price (kWh): 

Hours Used Per Day: Enter how many hours the device is being used on average per day, if the power consumption is lower than 1 hour per day enter as a decimal. (For example: 30 minutes per day is 0.5)

Power Use (Watts): Enter the average power consumption of the device in watts.

Price (kWh): Enter the cost you are paying on average per kilowatt hour, our caculators use the default value of 0.10 or 10 cents. To find an exact price check your electricity bill or take a look at Global Electricity Prices.

If you are using an older freezer, we recommend you consider a modern more efficient model as older models can use significantly more power. Keeping a standalone freezer in the cooler part of the house such as the basement will help reduce energy, as a freezer will need to work less to sustain a cold temperature. Freezers can be very effective in helping you preserve food, cooking food in large batches and freezing or refrigerating can help you save energy and money.

Factors That Crank Up the Bill

Like most appliances, a refrigerator does not run 24 hours a day, so does not expend energy 24 hours per day.  Efficiency Vermont estimates that the refrigerator actually runs 730 hours per year, or a total of two hours per day. [Energy Vermont]  If it runs more than that, then it follows that it will cost more to run.  To make your compact refrigerator run more efficiently, allow it plenty of space to keep cool.  For example, under the counter models that are wedged in between cabinets will expend more energy than a unit that is free from surroundings.  Also, keep your refrigerator away from things that heat up such as the dishwasher, which will cause the unit to run more often.

To calculate an appliance’s energy usage:

Formula:

[(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000] x 365  = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

Example: 100 Watt Standard Light bulb

Multiply the watts drawn by the light bulb by the number of hours used per day.

100 watts x 6 hours per day=600 watts per day

Divide the number of watts per day by 1,000 to convert to kilowatts.

600 watts per day=.6 kWh per day

Multiply the kilowatts per day by 365 to calculate yearly usage.

.6 x 365= 219kWh per year

Multiply the kilowatt hours per year by the cost of electricity in your area.

219 kWh x .11 kWh = $24.09

Cost of energy based on the US Department of Energy’s estimate national average cost of energy.

Why Energy Star?

If you have a compact refrigerator that is not Energy Star certified, you can expect your electricity consumption to be 15-20% higher.  ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators are 15% more efficient than non-qualified models and are 20% more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency. [Energy Star]

Be Wary

Though Energy Star tests models then certifies them with a sticker that clearly denotes how much electricity the unit uses per year with an average cost base, Consumer Reports has tested some models and found that a few were significantly higher in cost to run.  In fact, some models tested cost $50-$80 per year in electricity.  That’s actually more than some energy efficient full size refrigerators. [Consumer Reports]

Things to keep in mind while buying a refrigerator

  1. Capacity
  2. Space
  3. Defrosting
  4. Types of refrigerators
  5. Energy rating
  6. Compressors
  7. Additional features

Capacity

The capacity of a refrigerator is measured in litres. The range from the lowest capacity to the highest has grown exponentially these days. But for you to be able to decide your requirement, one key factor needs to be considered – the size of your family. This determines the amount of food you will be keeping inside your fridge.

For a couple with one child, a 150 to 250-litre refrigerator should suffice. For a larger family of four to five people, you might want to go for a 250 to 500-litre one. But if it’s a family of four comprising of two adults and two children, a 250 to 350-litre fridge is good enough. Large families of six to seven people will of course require a big refrigerator with a capacity of anywhere between 550 to 850 litres.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have refrigerators with capacities of 40 to 100 litres. These are the best fit if you live alone. Sometimes, you might require a higher capacity despite not having many family members, so it’s always advisable to consider your requirements in detail before deciding the capacity.

Space

The amount of space available in your house is also a big consideration while choosing your fridge. You can always read the measurements of the refrigerator of your choice and see whether it fits in your available space. While doing this, don’t forget to consider that the fridge doors will also need some space in order to be opened freely, and you’ll need at least an inch of space at the top and back to allow heat to escape easily.

Sometimes, bringing the fridge inside your house can also be a hassle due to the shortage of space in a starcaise or elevator. This is a major aspect to consider before buying the model of your choice.

Defrosting: Direct cool vs Frost free

All fridges require cool air circulation inside their compartments. When it comes to direct cool options, this circulation is handled through natural convection, without any external help. A major disadvantage of this method is uneven distribution, which leads to the forming of ice in the refrigerator.

You hence need to manually defrost the fridge regularly. A few advantages of this technology are the fact they these refrigerators are economical and consume less electricity.

The name frost free itself tells us that there’s no frost or ice to deal with. These refrigerators circulate the cool air evenly with the help of electric fans.

This method does not allow ice to form inside the compartments, and hence does not subject your food to freezer burn. But they are more expensive than direct cool refrigerators, and consume more electricity due to their usage of fans.

Types of refrigerators

Depending upon their sizes and the way they are built, refrigerators can be classified into five main types:

Single door

As the name suggests, these refrigerators have just one door, and range from a capacity of 150 to 250 litres. These are the most economical options available out there, and apart from fridge space, even offer modest freezer space.

Single door refrigerators are mostly direct cool in nature, but even this is changing nowadays with many companies introducing a digital auto defrost option on their models.

Double door

These feature two doors, one on top of the other. While the upper compartment is reserved for the freezer, the lower one is meant for regular use. This way, you get more freezer space to use.

double door fridge usually has a capacity of 250 to 500 litres. Such refrigerators are also built to use less energy, and they are always frost free in nature. Double door models are energy efficient, and they ship with toughened glass shelves too.

Triple door

Triple door refrigerators are taller and slimmer than other models, and are great for homes with less floor space. They come in capacities of 250 to 350 litres.

The door at the top is for the freezer, the middle one is for regular use and the lower one is a crisper – aka vegetable drawer. Triple door models come with frost free technology and toughened glass shelves.

Side by side

Side by side refrigerators are the most expensive models out there, and hence are equipped with the latest technologies. With capacities ranging from 550 to 850 litres, these refrigerators offer huge storage space with several different sections.

Some even come with water and ice dispensers in the front. They are of course frost free in nature, and come with toughened glass shelves.

Mini

Mini refrigerators are tiny in size and just offer basic cooling for keeping your food fresh. They can be up to 100 litres in capacity. They might have a very small freezer integrated into them, but this is not always the case. They are always direct cool in nature.

Energy ratings

EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) or star ratings are given to appliances signify how energy efficient they are. The higher the star rating, the more energy-efficient they will be. If you wish to go deeper into this aspect, you should look for the total units of electricity (kWh) that your model will use in a year.

A 1-star rating for a refrigerator will offer around Rs 300 in savings per year, while a 2-star rating will save you around Rs 800 a year. A 3-star rating is even better, as it offers savings of up to Rs 1,200 a year, while a 4-star rating ensures that you save around Rs 1,500 a year. As for a 5-star rating, it will deliver savings of up to Rs 1,800 a year.

One should always look for a blue and green coloured Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) symbol to ensure the authenticity of the EER tag.

Compressors

Compressors are responsible for maintaining the temperatures inside the fridge. One should note that smaller fridges usually come with general compressors, while medium and large-sized refrigerators ship with inverter compressors.

General compressor

These compressors start off at very high speeds, and then continue running at a constant speed. This way, even if there is no cooling loss, they will keep running at the same speed and switch off only when optimum cooling is reached. This is why you hear a ‘tick’ sound from your refrigerator every now and then.

 Inverter compressor

Inverter compressors are adaptable in nature, in the sense that they can run at varying speeds depending on the amount of cooling that is required. They start at low speeds, and speed up only when there’s a loss in cooling. This allows them to be more energy efficient.

Additional features

There are plenty of additional features that modern refrigerators offer to make your lives easier. Let’s have a look at the main ones among them:

Water/ice dispensers

Water and ice dispensers are found mostly on side by side models. They allow you to grab cold water or ice cubes without opening the fridge. You can simply press your glass against an inbuilt lever to dispense cold water or ice.

Toughened glass shelves

If long-term use of your refrigerator is a priority, always look for models with toughened glass shelves. They are more durable than plastic shelves, and can take more weight.

Convertible fridges

Some refrigerators offer convertible technology, and are incredibly useful if you’re constantly running out of space in your fridge. That’s because they allow you to easily convert the freezer compartment into fridge space.

Adjustable shelving

Brought a large cake for a birthday party and have no space to keep it in the fridge? Adjustable shelves come to the rescue at such times, as you can remove a few to allow bigger items to be stored.

Cool pack

Cool pack is a feature that’s capable of keeping the freezer cool for up to 12 hours without any power supply. Such refrigerators are very handy in areas where there are constant power cuts.

Voltage stabiliser

If you live in areas where there are frequent voltage fluctuations, a refrigerator with a built-in voltage stabiliser is the best choice. These models can protect the compressor from high voltage fluctuations.

Deodoriser

Deodorisers remove odour from your fridge with the use of powerful filters. This ensures that there’s no foul smell coming from the fridge each time you open it.

Smart refrigerators

Modern refrigerators are being equipped with plenty of smart features to bring them in line with the IoT progression. Smartphone integration is one thing, but some models even come with huge displays of their own that showcase stuff like tasks, calendars, photos, videos and more. In India, there are a handful of smart refrigerators available from Samsung and LG, but these will set you back a couple of lakhs.

What type of fridge do I want?

Stylewise, you’ve got four options to choose from, and each comes with its own pros and cons. Figuring out which one is best for you is the first, most obvious step toward making a final buying decision.

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Top freezers like this Samsung model aren’t too flashy, but they offer a lot of value.Chris Monroe/CNET

Top freezer

When I say the word “fridge,” chances are good that this is the style that pops into your head. With the bottom two-thirds dedicated to fresh-food storage and the freezer unit sitting on top, most of us probably struggled to reach the Popsicles in a top freezer unit when we were kids, or maybe we used one in our first apartment.

Tastes have moved on since then, so if you’re looking for something modern, high-end and feature-rich, then a top-freezer model probably isn’t for you. If style isn’t as much of a concern, however, you’ll find that top freezers offer some of the best bargains on the market. Plus, there are still enough being made to offer a solid variety of choices.

Price: $479 to $2,199
Average dimensions: Width: 29 inches; depth: 31 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 58 inches; height: 66 inches
Best suited for: Bargain shoppers who aren’t looking for anything too flashy.

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Bottom freezers like this Whirlpool model offer easier access to fresh ingredients.Chris Monroe/CNET

Bottom freezer

If you’re looking for something on the simpler side, and would enjoy slightly easier access to your fresh foods, then a bottom-freezer unit might be right for you. Bottom-freezer units aren’t much different from top-freezer units except for the fact that the freezer is located — you guessed it — on the bottom. This means that you won’t have to hunch over while rooting around for commonly used ingredients.

Of course, this also means that frozen foods will be located down around your ankles — though a majority of models now come with drawer-style freezer doors, which can make getting the ice cream out a little easier. Bottom-freezer units tend to be just slightly bigger than top freezers, but there’s also less variety of models to choose from.

Price: $999 to $1,899
Average dimensions: Width: 29 inches; depth: 32 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 59 inches; height: 67 inches
Best suited for: Home cooks who don’t mind bending over to get into the freezer.

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Side-by-side models are good for narrow kitchens, and some will offer high-end features like the door-in-door compartment in this LG model.Chris Monroe/CNET

Side-by-side

Side-by-side units split your fridge right down the middle, offering you frozen foods on the left and fresh foods on the right. Some models offer equal real estate for both sections, but most allocate an extra couple of inches for the fridge. This can make for an especially narrow freezer section, so frozen-pizza aficionados might want to consider something a little less limiting.

Side-by-side units come in a wide variety of models and tend to showcase more features than their horizontally minded top and bottom freezer counterparts. Many of these features are aimed at saving space, especially when it comes to the shelving inside the doors. Side-by-side units also don’t need as much clearance to open the doors, making them ideal for narrow kitchens. Due to the vertical split, you’ll probably want to go with the widest model that will fit into your kitchen, and your budget.

Price: $1,149 to $3,099
Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; eepth: 30 inches; eepth with door open 90 degrees: 45 inches; height: 71 inches
Best suited for: Space-conscious consumers who still want a feature-rich fridge.

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French-door models like this GE Cafe Series fridge tend to offer features and storage space galore — but they don’t come cheap.Chris Monroe/CNET

French door

Highly popular, French-door models combine the drawer-style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low-clearance doors of a side-by-side unit. This means that you’ll have a full-width, double-door fridge with plenty of storage space. With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won’t be letting quite as much cold air out when you’re opening just one door to grab the milk.

With the high demand for French-door refrigerators, you’re sure to find a huge variety of options, including models with top-of-the-line smart features you won’t find with other styles. You can also upgrade the look of your fridge to match your kitchen or even get one that camouflages itself entirely among your cabinets, but be aware that you’ll likely be tacking a few thousand dollars onto the already steep price.

Price: $1,599 to $3,999 ($4,500 to $8,000 for a built-in cabinetry appearance)
Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; depth: 29 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 48 inches; height: 68 inches
Best suited for: Fashionable homeowners who want lots of space for groceries and the most advanced features available.

Selecting the style that’s right for your kitchen is half the battle, and should give you a much clearer idea of what you want from your new refrigerator. But don’t run off to the department store just yet, because you still have some very important questions to ask yourself, including:

How big do I really need my fridge to be?

The bigger, the better, right? Not necessarily!

REFRIGERATOR CAPACITY RANGES

It varies, but a general rule of thumb is that you’ll want 4 to 6 cubic feet (cu. ft.) of refrigerator space per adult in your household, along with a little bit of extra contingency room. With full-size refrigerators ranging from 10 to 32 cu. ft., this means that a family of four probably won’t want anything much less than 20 cubic feet, and might prefer something even roomier.

Of course, the biggest limiting factor is your kitchen, so be sure to measure to see how much width, height and depth you’ve got to work with before you start shopping around.

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If you don’t need a lot of space, you could consider a compact model.Chris Monroe/CNET

All of that said, a bigger fridge means a bigger energy bill, so be careful not to splurge on extra space that you aren’t actually going to need. You’ll be paying more both upfront and down the line as you continue paying the power company to refrigerate that wasted space alongside your food.

If you’re looking for something on the small side, you’ll probably want to stick with a top or bottom freezer, as none of the other types of refrigerators come in sizes much smaller than 20 cu. ft. If your kitchen is particularly cramped, or if you’re just looking for something small for a garage or a back room, you’ll find compact models in both styles, too.

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This counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator from LG is designed to run flush with your countertops. Only the doors stick out.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Do I need a counter-depth refrigerator?

You’re likely to hear this term quite a bit as you shop around. As the name suggests, “counter-depth” refrigerators are simply refrigerators that are designed to align perfectly with the edges of your countertops, leaving only the refrigerator door sticking out. This gives your fridge the appearance of an expensive, custom-designed unit that’s built directly into your kitchen’s cabinetry — without anything actually being custom-built.

Since they shave a few inches off the front of the fridge, counter-depth refrigerators are slightly less spacious than their normal-size counterparts. They also tend to cost a little bit more. Whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice that space and pay extra for a more fashionable fridge is totally up to you, but for my money, it’s a feature you should consider skipping.

And hey, while we’re on the subject of features…

Watch this: Five fridge features you won’t want to miss out on 2:21

What features should I look for?

Refrigerators have come a long way since the debut of the egg holder and the butter bin. These days, you’ll find a wide variety of features designed to bring a whole new level of functionality to your fridge. With the endless parade of trademarked names and bold claims, finding the features you actually want can quickly become overwhelming. So, which ones are worth it?

Take care of the foods you love

First, think about the things you like to cook and/or eat, then look for features that take really good care of those things. It’s a safe bet that those are the features you’ll enjoy using the most. Are you a devoted foodie who always wants a variety of fresh ingredients on hand? Many models offer sectional climate controls for the different compartments in your fridge or even dedicated, temperature-adjustable drawers. Do you live off of TV dinners and frozen leftovers? Look for advanced defrosting features designed to help eliminate freezer burn. Love a nice glass of pinot grigio? Look for a fridge with a built-in wine rack.Enlarge Image

This Frigidaire’s top shelf slides in and folds up to make room for large items.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Get sneaky with your storage space

If you’re constantly rearranging things in your fridge to make space for groceries, then look for storage-minded features designed to give you a hand. Shelves that slide in or fold up will make it a lot easier to make room for tall items, and the increasingly common door-in-a-door feature can transform your in-door shelves into a makeshift mini-fridge for kitchen staples like beverages and condiments.

One storage consideration you might not have thought of: the ice maker. Some fridges situate it up on the top shelf — the ice drops down through a chute in the door into your waiting glass. That’s all well and good, but the icemaker eats up some obvious space inside of the fridge, and the bulky overhang of that in-door chute will tend to block off the in-door shelves underneath it.

That’s why I tend to prefer fridges that squeeze the entire icemaker into the door. They tend to make less ice, but they’ll also give you more usable space inside of the fridge. That’s a fair trade-off in my book.

Now playing: Avoid these five overrated fridge features 2:14

Consider the water dispenser

One trend that we’ve seen over the past few years: creativity from the water dispenser. GE has been leading the pack here, with French-door models that can serve the exact amount of water you want, and even ones capable of shutting off automatically once they detect that your glass, pitcher or pot is full. You’ll even find nifty features in GE’s less-expensive top-freezer models — most notably, ones that come with an Autofill Pitcher that’ll fill itself back up whenever you place it back in the fridge. Samsung’s in the mix now, too, with an autofilling water pitcher of its own in its higher-end French door models.

This GE fridge comes with a special pitcher that fills back up with water whenever you dock it in place.Chris Monroe/CNET

The brand’s Cafe Series line of fridges can dispense hot water at a variety of temperature settings. The newest models even add in a mini K-Cup brewer that’ll let your fridge brew up a quick cup of coffee on demand. It’s a surprisingly sensible addition, given that refrigerators have dedicated water lines — that means you won’t ever have to worry about keeping a reservoir full.

Of course if you keep shopping around, you’ll also find refrigerators with touchscreens and built-in Wi-Fi, and plenty of bold manufacturer claims about smartening up your kitchen — which brings us to one last question:

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First introduced in 2016, the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is basically a concept car for the connected kitchen of tomorrow. But should you buy in today?Chris Monroe/CNET

Do I need a smart refrigerator?

You can certainly live without one, if that’s what you’re asking, particularly if affordability is your chief concern. Simply put, smart fridges don’t come cheap, and whether or not the extra cost is worth it is really up to you.

For some, smart technology gives refrigerators a whole new cool factor, and the fact that we use our refrigerators every day makes these features a sound investment. For others, “smart” just seems like another word for “gimmicky.” If this includes you, then spending an extra $1,000 or more in order to have a cutting-edge kitchen probably seems like a waste of money.

Watch this: LG’s see-through smart fridge takes the CES stage 1:02

That said, don’t be too quick to slam the door on so-called “smart” features, because there are plenty of them that live up to the name, and a growing variety of options to choose from, too. In 2017, LG even went so far as to say that it plans to start putting Wi-Fi radios into each and every refrigerator that it manufactures.

In other words, we might be quickly approaching a point where smart refrigerators are the norm, not the exception.

So what do smart fridges actually do?

Glad you asked. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s currently out there:

  • Energy monitoring: More and more, we’re seeing connected refrigerators that are capable of syncing up with the smart grid in cities where it’s available. Fridges like those can automatically schedule costly defrost cycles for the times when energy rates are at their lowest. One model from Whirlpool will even sync up with the Nest Learning Thermostat ($287 at Amazon) to take advantage of Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards feature, or send your phone an alert if the power ever goes out.
  • Smart multitasking: Some smart fridges aim to make your kitchen routine more efficient. That K-Cup-brewing Cafe Series fridge from GE includes Wi-Fi now, which lets you tell it to start heating the water up remotely, from your phone.
  • Voice control: Smart fridges are also trying to take advantage of the current surge in popularity of smart-home voice control platforms. GE’s smart fridges offer their own Alexa skill, which lets you ask Amazon’s voice-activated assistant to make a quick temperature adjustment, or let you know if the water filter needs replacing. Samsung and LG have each gone one step further, building voice control directly into their flagship smart fridges. You’ll find native Alexa controls in LG’s Smart InstaView refrigerator, while the Samsung Family Hub fridge offers voice controls through Samsung’s own Bixby voice assistant. It’s not hard to imagine HomeKit-compatible refrigerators that work with Siri in the near future, too.
  • Kitchen command centers: Speaking of Samsung and LG, both brands envision their smart fridges as the central command centers for the connected kitchen, if not the entire smart home. That’s why each one has a huge touchscreen on the door, complete with its own set of fridge apps. Whether you want to set a cooking timer, follow along with a recipe, update your family’s digital calendar or just stream some music while you cook, smart fridges like these want to handle all of it.
  • Fridge cameras: We’re also seeing more and more fridges that feature built-in cameras that’ll let you check what’s inside remotely, from your phone. You can also typically drag little countdown timers over the top of your food to help keep track of expiration dates, which is a surprisingly nice little feature. Moving forward, manufacturers like Samsung plan to make use of artificial intelligence to teach these smart fridges how to identify foods on their own without any input from you.

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