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How Much Energy Do Household Appliances Use?

the amount of power in watts consumed by household appliances

Why You Should Know How Many Watts Appliances Use?


The first step in getting your electricity use under control is to understand how many watts each home appliance or electronic device uses. Before you buy any appliance and plug it in to your home's electrical system you should know how much energy it uses and choose the model that uses the least energy. By carefully choosing energy efficient appliances you can keep your energy bills lower. Most electronics and appliances will feature a tag or decal showing what that appliance's energy use is in watts. If it is not displayed in watts it may be shown like this: Input: 120 volts. 2.5 A. This means that the device requires 120 volts of wall current and draws two and a half amps. Since we pay our utility bills based on units of 1000 watts or kilowatts, it's useful to know how much the appliance is contributing to the overall energy bill.

To find out how many watts this appliance uses simply multiply the two numbers. The result is 300 watts. This may be the maximum power consumed, not what it uses at the low and medium settings it applicable. The amount of power drawn by appliances varies according to what loads are placed on them.

For example, a treadmill exercise machine might draw 300 watts on the 2 mph setting with no incline, and  over 600 watts at 5 mph with a two degree incline. Products featuring the Energy Star label are often more efficient that those without it, but it is not a guarantee that you are buying the most efficient appliance or device.

Since it is hard to get an idea of how many watts household appliances really use based on the label, the only real way to find a true picture of appliance power consumption is to use a handheld power meter. When doing an appliance energy consumption survey of your home, be sure to check those things which are plugged in yet in the "off" position. While it's not generally a problem with things such as box fans, electronic devices often continue to draw standby power or generate "phantom loads" as discussed here: What Are Phantom Loads?

Savegreenly recently took the Kill A Watt power meter in hand and tested some of the most common household appliances. Click on any of the items below to find out how much energy the appliance used.

How Much Energy Do Fans Use?

How Much Energy Do Air Purifiers and Humidifiers Use?

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