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Watt's in the News? - Volume 29

BTU Crew Newsletter Volume #22: How Much Do those Home Appliances Cost in Kilowatts?

Last week we discussed what a kilowatt hour (kWh) is, how we use it as a measure of the electricity we use in our homes, and the average cost of a kWh nationwide. This week we are going to look at how many watts of electricity are consumed when we use some of the electrical appliances and smaller electrical devices in our home.

The link below allows you to choose which appliance or device you want to find the wattage for (Department of Energy).  From central air conditioning to water heaters, you can find the amount of electric wattage each type consumes. When you click the link, the Appliance Energy Calculator allows you to choose the type of appliance from a drop-down menu.  Then it displays the number of watts needed to power that appliance. Next you can choose the utility rate for your state from a drop-down menu, or simply use the average utility rate for the U.S. You can then plug in the number of hours per day you use the appliance, and even add the number of days per year to calculate the kWh energy use for that appliance and its cost to operate per year. Just for fun, you can choose ten of the most-used appliances and calculate what it costs each year to use them in your home.

Appliance Energy Calculator | Department of Energy

The chart below displays the approximate percentage of electricity consumed in our homes by various types of electrical devices. You will notice right away the two types of activity that consume the most electricity. Cooling and heating air are the most costly uses of electricity within our homes. And the bigger our home, the more it costs to heat and cool it.

While the appliance energy calculator above displays the electric wattage for specific devices, the chart to the right shows what percentage of our total electricity use is consumed by each of the appliances listed on the left side of the chart.

Even though it costs money to use electric appliances and devices in our homes every day, electricity is one of the most economical forms of energy available to us. The appliance energy calculator above can help you determine just how much each appliance costs to operate each year. You might be surprised just how little some of the devices cost in terms of kWh’s of electricity. 

Tate Honaker

Meet Dan WhislerTrane Educator in Residence

Tate Honaker

Meet Bill NelsonTrane Educator in Residence

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