Learning how to estimate your electric consumption can help you manage your usage, which can add up your savings. When you understand how much energy major appliances use, it’s easier to make simple changes that will trim your bills.
According to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) data, these appliances in your home use the most energy, in descending order:
- Water heater
- Clothes dryer
- Desktop computers
Cooking equipment also uses a good deal of energy, but how much depends on the frequency of cooking at home. The DOE also estimates that half the amount households spend on energy goes toward cooling and heating. The energy consumption of central air conditioners is measured in amps, not watts.
Electricity providers calculate usage in terms of kilowatts (kWs), which are 1,000 watts. A desktop computer might use 200 watts for the computer and 300 watts for the monitor, which adds up to 500 watts per hour. Within three hours, the computer would have consumed nearly a kW. A central air conditioner might draw 20 amps of electricity, but instead of drawing it from a 110-volt outlet, they are wired to 220-volt circuits. The usage in kWs adds up to 4.4 kWs per hour (amps times volts).
Since the HVAC equipment is the largest energy consumer in your home, giving it the attention and maintenance it requires will help you add up your savings. Checking and changing the air filter, cleaning the outdoor condenser, and having the system professionally serviced each year lowers the energy it uses. This also improves dependability and performance, while extending the system’s useful life.
These additional tips will help you save with other major appliances:
- Turn the water heater temperature down to 120 degrees F and flush a few gallons from the tank every three months
- Don’t overdry your clothes
- Keep your refrigerator full
- Use the sleep settings on your computer
Maintaining your cooling system will add up your savings quickly. If you’d like professional assistance on this important task, please contact us at (503) 266-1249. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for the Portland area since 1976.