Does a Propane Fridge Need Electricity? What Expert’s Say?

Propane-driven devices are quickly becoming a popular alternative for daily use. Meanwhile, choosing propane generally comes with a slew of worries, including the influence it may have on a family owing to the heating and gas and what type of safety issues may occur as a result of using gas.


Any form of propane equipment should always be investigated before usage to ensure that it is utilized correctly in the safest manner possible. A propane refrigerator is no exception, and we’ll explain whether or not it requires electricity to operate.

Does a Propane Fridge Need Electricity?

No, propane or any gas based fridge doesn’t require electricity at all. But, RV propane fridge utilizes a small amount of DC power to start initially. Most propane-based fridges can operate with electrical power, but electricity won’t require if you run on propane.

Also Interesting: Can A Freezer be Overloaded? Top 6 Reasons Explain!

How Does a Propane Refrigerator Work?

Micheal Faraday invented the propane refrigeration technique in 1824. The basic logic hasn’t changed much over the years, which is why a propane refrigerator is frequently referred to as an absorption refrigerator.

Enclosed tubes and cylinders carrying liquids and gases undergo a chemical process under heat and pressure, resulting in a severe cooling process aided by condensers and pumps.

Water, liquid ammonia, and hydrogen gas are all stored in a propane-powered fridge’s closed-loop system.

In what is known as the generator, a propane spark warms water and ammonia to their boiling temperature. The now-gaseous substance rises into a condensation chamber, where it cools and becomes liquid again. This fluid is then pumped into an evaporator, which meets with hydrogen.

A chemical process takes place here, which removes heat from the refrigerator. The ammonia turns back into a gaseous form soon after the solution has absorbed appropriate heat, resuming the process. Because there are no mechanical or physical parts in this self-contained setup, these devices can last for years.

The first propane-powered freezers, known as SERVEL, were introduced to the marketplace in the 1930s. Refrigeration was still relatively new to the general consumer market. These refrigerators gained popularity when many households were without power.

You Need to Know: Can a Generator Damage a Refrigerator — Proper Guide!

Does The RV Fridge Need a Battery to Run on Propane?

While propane refrigeration does not require electrical power to operate, it will need at least a 10.5 V battery to start. The fridge will not function until this energetic boost releases the gas base and ignites the ignitor.

There is no need for power thus it is well worth it. Without power outages, food and medication may be safely kept. You can go to far-flung locations without having to worry about finding a grocery shop. In your propane refrigerator, your goods are protected.

A propane refrigerator has no mechanical components, which means there are no parts to wear out. With the cost of propane, a fridge like this is far less costly to run than a regular ice room.

How Much Power Does a Propane Refrigerator use?

Propane refrigerators are incredibly energy efficient. While the effectiveness of each refrigerator varies, most can run uninterrupted for further than two weeks on a standard 20-pound propane cylinder.

Certain efficiency approaches will help you increase this. Still, wherever possible, utilize electricity because it is less expensive and does not require recharging.

It is ideal for running it with electricity initially for a bit. The lower beginning temperature will speed up the freezing process and ensure that it is ready for usage the next day.

If you can’t turn it on the night before, you can still accelerate cooling by turning it on with a pouch or tray of ice. Check to see if it’s fully level. Because the entire system is based on gravity, any misalignments will impact cooling efficiency.

There is nothing in these refrigerators to facilitate ventilation. Investing in a few small fans can assist in circulating cold air and swiftly chill the fridge. Make sure it’s not too filled! Ensure there’s adequate room for optimum ventilation significantly when it’s first being cooled down.

How long will a 20 lb propane tank run a refrigerator?

How long will a propane-powered RV refrigerator last? Most motorhomes will survive a month on a given 20-pound propane tank. It will be fuelling simple equipment like your hot water system, kitchen equipment, and refrigerator during this month.

Generally, a battery will not be able to run your RV refrigerator for this long. However, the length is not exact because it is influenced by the dimension of your RV, refrigerator, and a few other key considerations. As a result, after you know your RV’s specs, you’ll need to compensate for those items.

Read: What happens if you plug in a fridge after moving it?

FAQs: Related Question

Q1. Do propane fridges need to be vented?

Incorporating vents for your propane fridge will not only reduce emissions but will also bring cold airflow to your burner box, thereby generating a gas cooler. However, when a propane fridge is used regularly without enough ventilation, the room might get much warmer. This might be worrying if you already live in a hot climate with high temperatures.

When contemplating the residents’ oxygen levels, ventilation becomes even more vital. Burning propane gas signifies that the natural oxygen in your home is progressively depleted, which may be a worry depending on the size of the space where the propane refrigerator is installed.

Installing a vent would alleviate this problem while also ensuring that the quantity of oxygen in your home remains constant.

Q2. Are propane fridges safe?

A gas leak might be caused by damage to the propane holding cylinder, a broken connection, or damage to the propane fuel supply to the device.

Like natural gas, propane gas has no odor and is hard to identify if it leaks. When propane replaces oxygen in the atmosphere, life-threatening complications such as unconsciousness and asphyxiation can occur.

A propane gas equipment technical fault could lead to incomplete fuel combustion. Carbon monoxide, a dangerous toxin, can be released due to incomplete chemical combustion. Proper flame color in equipment such as a burner or hot water tank and soot in heating systems are indications of incomplete gas combustion.


Propane refrigerators are a fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of civilization while being completely off the grid.

They have several drawbacks (such as a high initial cost and a long cooldown period). Still, they are completely silent and may be used anywhere. These are priceless benefits. Plus, saving a little power is always a good thing. You are saving money on your electricity bill, and you are simultaneously aiding nature!

I believe this article has provided you with the knowledge you require to get the best from your propane fridge. And if you don’t have one yet, this is a good time to buy one.