Is a Propane Fridge Worth It? (YES! And Here’s why)

When living off-grid and working without any available electric supply, a propane fridge comes in handy to save you. Generally, people prefer electronic appliances, which they consider more reliable, but high rates of electric bills, unavailability of power supply (load shedding), and several other problems like high or low voltage issues are some of the drawbacks of relying completely on these appliances. But is a propane fridge worth it?

A propane fridge requires less maintenance, greater convenience, and higher efficiency than an electric fridge. There are no moving parts used to cool a propane fridge, meaning that there are no parts to maintain. However, Electric and 12V refrigerators require maintenance. In addition, depending on the quality, propane fridges are cheaper and more efficient than electric fridges. 

In the case of an off-grid living situation, it can be rightly said that a propane fridge could be a better option and worth purchasing. You might also enjoy reading: Top 3 Best Propane Fridge: Which One Should You Choose?

Is a Propane Fridge Worth It
Is a Propane Fridge Worth It? (YES! And Here’s why) –

Is a Propane Fridge Better Than an Electric One?

A propane fridge can be a better option, but it depends upon your living conditions and residential location. Propane refrigerators are capable of cooling without a power supply which is its main advantage over electric refrigerators. Another edge over an electronic fridge is that you don’t need to carry moving objects or parts alongside the fridge.

In general, propane-fueled appliances offer greater convenience, require less maintenance, and have higher efficiency than electrically-operated appliances.

For people who can’t afford high prices of electricity, a propane fridge would be the best choice for them. A propane fridge can also be ideal to use when you plan to go on traveling, and you are camping for several days where you have no availability of electricity. Still, the choice depends on the preferences and convenience of the final user based on its pros and cons.

Benefits Of Using Propane Fridge

  • Cost-Effective – A propane fridge might be more expensive than an electric fridge, but the cost of propane will be cheaper in the long run. Propane is much cheaper than electricity, and a propane fridge will help you lower your utility bill.
  • Propane fridges are not affected by power outages – Unlike electric fridges, propane fridges will not stop working during a power outage. It will continue to operate during and after storms or any natural disaster that caused the outage, allowing you comfortably live off the grid. Compared to an electric dryer, a propane off the grid clothes dryer will also dry your clothes faster, which will help you save time and money.
  • Propane fridge Is safer – Propane fridges have no moving parts making them safe and reliable. In addition, propane fridges can play a significant role in fighting climate change by being a safe, reliable, and affordable alternative to electric power. 
  • Propane fridges are environmentally friendly because propane is clean and has a lower carbon content, and is highly efficient. 

See also: Off The Grid Dryers: Top 10 Best Options!

Do Propane Refrigerators Use a Lot of Propane?

How much propane your off-the-grid refrigerator use vary depending on the size and age of your off-the-grid refrigerator. Generally, a newer propane refrigerator with around 10 to 12 cubic feet of internal volume will consume about 1.5 pounds of propane per day, which translates into approximately 1,400 British thermal units (BTU) per hour (about 1477078 Joule). But other factors could also impact your propane refrigerator’s performance.

If we look at the past thirty years, these propane fridges were introduced to convert electric appliances into fuel-based products with lower emissions. The refrigerator built in the 1970s consumed half of the whole propane. Their main focus was to eliminate the pollution or combustion of gases that result in a polluted environment.

How Much Does It Cost To Run a Propane Refrigerator?

A typical 12 cubic foot propane refrigerator generally consumes an average of 1.5 lbs. of propane per day (0.236 gallons = 1 pound of propane). And, with the propane price at $3.859 a gallon in the United States, a fridge will cost approximately $1.367 a day to operate in warmer climates. In cooler temperatures, a propane refrigerator will cost less to operate. 

The cost will depend on whether you live in warmer climates or cooler temperatures. Typicality, the yearly cost of a new refrigerator is in the range of 60$ to 80$, using electricity, according to National Grid.

How Long Do Propane Refrigerators Last?

In general, a standard 20-lb propane tank lasts approximately 11 days (non-stop) before replacing or refilling it.

It also depends on the brand and quality of propane refrigerators. Some of them, based on their efficiency level, strength, design, and speed, can last longer than eleven days without any pause.

See also: Solar Vs. Propane: Which One Should You Choose For Living Off-Grid?

Factors That Affect The Efficiency Of Propane Fridge:

Many times and in many cases, we compare propane fridges with electronic fridges based on their efficiency, speed, and other factors. Here are some factors which affect the efficiency of propane fridges:

  • Higher and warmer temperatures.
  • Airflow of the refrigerator.
  • Things kept in a refrigerator (including both cold and warm items)
  • Presence of any kind of heaters and burners.

Factors That Increase The Efficiency Of Propane Fridge:

As we have discussed factors that affect its efficiency, now have a look at those factors which are to be considered in improving its efficiency:

  • If you want to make use of this fridge during the daytime, turn it on at least a night before, it will help in better cooling.
  • If you cannot turn it on before a night (due to any reason) for a better performance the next day, put some cubes of ice before use, it will also give you better results.
  • One thing you must need to consider is that it must be fully leveled. Because the whole structure is dependent on the gravitational force so, in case of any misplacement, its cooling speed will suffer.
  • Suppose you want to eliminate the electronic factor. In that case, you can use mini air fans available in every house to maintain and sustain the flow of air in the refrigerator to enhance its cooling.
  • Much like an electric refrigerator, try not to place so many things in the propane fridge at the same time for better cooling, especially when you’re using it for the very first time, because compact conditions will affect airflow. So this is one of the most important factors to make sure to increase its efficiency.
  • If you are going on a tour or vacation, you need to put your fridge on power supply mode for a short time, and just before you arrive, convert it again to propane mode. It will also boost its efficiency.

See also: Must Know Off-Grid Living Tips for Beginners!

Final Thoughts

Whether you use a propane fridge or not depends on your personal choice, but a propane fridge has some plus points which can also make it a better decision to purchase.

Moreover, it’s environment-friendly as compared to an electronic fridge because electronic gases are released. A propane fridge is not energy-consuming, but if you convert it to electricity, you’ll get rid of the refilling procedure involved within propane refrigerators which are quite time-consuming. 


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the person behind Off The Grid Planet. Off The Grid Planet is about off-grid living, homesteading, and self-sufficiency: learning self-reliance, sustainable homes, gardening, survival, preparedness, and renewable energy and inspire you to live a simple life. I do my best to bring you the most correct, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on these topics.

Recent Posts