How to Check Power Usage of Appliances

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How to Check Power Usage of Appliances

Cutting energy usage can save money and reduce overall carbon footprint. Buying energy efficient appliances is one way to lower overall energy usage. The best way to lower energy usage and costs is by monitoring the actual usage of appliances. This provides buyers with a better idea of unique energy usage, and how to lower it. Once homeowners know which appliances use the most energy, they can figure out ways to reduce the energy-use from the most power-sucking items.


The Three Ways to Check Power Usage

It just takes a few simple steps to have a better understanding of the power usage of various appliances. There are three main ways to check the power usage of appliances, each one with different steps.

Using the Manufacturer's Label

Each electronic appliance comes with a label that details the appliance's maximum wattage necessary for running. By using a simple equation, a user can determine how much energy usage and cost the appliance uses in a day or a year. However, this is purely an estimate, so it is the least accurate way to check the power usage, especially as most appliances do not draw the maximum amount of wattage needed.

Estimating Energy Use and Cost

The formula for estimating energy cost is the wattage times the hours used per day divided by 1,000. This provides the daily kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption (one kilowatt equals 1,000 watts). By knowing the per-day consumption, a person can multiply that by the number of days he or she uses the appliance in a year. An appliance might run every day, such as the refrigerator, or it might run seasonally, such as a heater or air conditioner. To estimate the annual cost of using an appliance, take the daily kilowatt per hour and multiply it by the cost the electric company charges per kilowatt-hour.

Measuring Energy Usage with the Electrical Meter

The electrical meter can provide a slightly more accurate idea of how much energy an appliance uses. The energy meter works in real time, so a person can look at it to see how much energy that appliance draws. However, to understand the usage, a person must isolate the one electrical appliance, and that can be a difficult task for an appliance like a refrigerator that is on all the time. The steps differ depending on if it is an analogue or a digital meter. For both, a person needs to make note of the kH number on the meter, the most common of which are 1.0 and 7.2, and a stopwatch.

Analogue Meters

When reading digital meters, a person needs to watch the metal disc. It has some sort of mark that indicates it is the starting point. Wait for that mark to come to the centre, and then start the stopwatch. Once it has made the whole rotation, stop the watch. Then, use this formula to figure out the watts consumed: 3,600 divided by the number of seconds multiplied by the kilowatt-hour notation on the box. That gives the real world consumption. To estimate the annual cost, plug the number into the formula used earlier to estimate the cost.

Digital Meters

Digital Meters have beats that flash on the screen, rather than a rotating disc. A person should start the stopwatch and count for as long as he or she wishes. Then, plug the numbers into this formula: 3600 multiplied by the number of beats divided by the number of seconds from the stopwatch multiplied by the kH number on the box. This provides the watts consumption, which likewise a person can plug into the formula above.




Watt-hour meter

The most well-known is the Kill-a-Watt meter

Plugs into the outlet between the appliance and the wall outlet

Measures the consumption and provides calculations

Clamp on ammeter

Also known as clamp meters

Works the best for devices with plugs that are hard to reach

Professionals tend to rely on these


The most accurate way to check the power usage of an appliance is with a specialised tool. The two main devices for checking the power usage of appliances are a clamp on ammeter or a Kill-a-Watt meter.


How to Buy Power Usage Devices on eBay

Buying a watt-hour meter or clamp on ammeter are the easiest ways to check the power usage of appliances. You can find many different types to purchase from sellers on eBay. You can easily just search for one by entering 'watt-hour meter' or 'clamp on ammeter' into the search bar on the homepage. With your device, you cans easily monitor your electrical usage and discover the best ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use. This can save you money, as well as reduce your carbon footprint.

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