Taking the time to calculate energy usage in your home can offer you many long-term savings options. Since about 13 percent of your home’s annual energy costs can be attributed to appliances, calculating energy use can help you determine the value in upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances.
How to calculate energy usage
The wattage of most appliances is stamped on the bottom, back or nameplate of the appliance. This is the maximum power drawn by the appliance. To calculate energy usage, use the following formula:
(Wattage × hours used per day) ÷ 1000 = daily kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 watts
Multiply this by the number of days per year the appliance is used and this will give you the annual consumption in kWh per year. Then take this number and multiply it by your local utility’s rate per kWh to calculate annual costs.
(50 watts x 4 hours/day x 260 days/year) ÷ 1000
= 52 kWh × 11 cents/kWh
Selecting new appliances
Remember the dollars you spend on your new appliances aren’t just the ones that you spend at your local appliance store. Each month, for the lifetime of the appliance, you will be paying the cost of running it. Look for the Energy Star label to locate your most efficient options.
Appliance savings tips
- Dishwashers: Use the lowest water temperature, avoid “rinse-hold” and auto dry cycles, and run them only when full.
- Refrigerators: Select the right size for your home, ensure seals are tight, and set temperatures to 37-40 degrees F in the refrigerator and zero to 5 degrees F in the freezer.
- Laundry: Launder full loads whenever possible. Use the least amount of water and lowest temperature needed; cold and warm settings typically work fine. Check lint screens and vents to improve airflow and efficiency.
To learn more about how to calculate energy usage and save in your home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. Our professionals have a reputation for honesty and integrity and have been serving northwest Arkansas for over 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about calculating energy usage and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock