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Appliances and Energy: How Much Are Your Appliances Using?

Appliances and Energy: How Much Are Your Appliances Using?The average Canadian family spends a considerable amount each year on utility bills, of which appliances and electrical devices account for 13 percent.

When it comes to appliances and energy, how do you know exactly what everything costs? With the help of a calculator, you can find out.

First you need to know the wattage, or the maximum power that the appliance requires to run. This number can usually be found on the bottom or the back of the appliance and perhaps even stamped on the nameplate.

Now follow a formula: (wattage × the number of hours the appliance is used per day) ÷ 1,000. The result equals your daily kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption, known as kWh. Now multiply this number by how much your utility company charges per kWh. This number will tell you, approximately, how much it costs to run the appliance each year.

To translate this formula to an electrical device in many homes—a personal computer and monitor—the computation would look like this, with the cost of electricity estimated at averaging 11 cents a kilowatt hour:  [(170 Watts) × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year] ÷ 1,000 = 248.20 kWh × 11 cents/kWh = $27.30 per year.

Obviously, some appliances cost more to run than others. A 40-gallon water heater can top the list with a “nameplate wattage” of between 4,500 and 5,500. Clothes dryers can range widely—usually between 1,800 and 5,000 watts. (A TV with a wattage of 200, charged at a rate of 7.8 cents per kWh at 183 hours of use, costs about $3 a month to run.)

The best way to keep your utility rates in check? Turn off your appliances (except the refrigerator) when they’re not in use. Save money, help the environment and of course call Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. answers to your questions about heating and cooling appliances and energy along the way.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy consumption and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock