Many home owners don’t know how much energy their appliances use each month. In order to save energy, you need to know their wattage. You can usually find the wattage of most appliances stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance, or on its nameplate. The wattage listed is the maximum power drawn by the appliance. Since many appliances have a range of settings (for example, the volume on a radio), the actual amount of power consumed depends on the setting used at any one time.
If the wattage is not listed on the appliance, you can still estimate it by finding the current draw (in amperes) and multiplying that by the voltage used by the appliance. Most appliances in the United States use 120 volts. Larger appliances, such as clothes dryers and electric cooktops, use 240 volts. The amperes might be stamped on the unit in place of the wattage. If not, find a clamp-on ammeter—an electrician’s tool that clamps around one of the two wires on the appliance—to measure the current flowing through it. You can obtain this type of ammeter in stores that sell electrical and electronic equipment. Take a reading while the device is running; this is the actual amount of current being used at that instant.
When measuring the current drawn by a motor, note that the meter will show about three times more current in the first second that the motor starts than when it is running smoothly.
Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched “off.” These “phantom loads” occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. Most phantom loads will increase the appliance’s energy consumption a few watt-hours. These loads can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.
Most home owners don’t realize that the small draft from the windows can waste your energy in winter and summer. Even the new windows that are insulated well still can let cold draft in during the coldest winter months. If you live in the Northeast, the temperature drops below freezing at night and it can add to the heating bill. So this winter you can try all measures to prevent heating loss. Buy those clear film window protectors and install them on each of your window. It’s easy to install them, all you need is a pair of scissors and a hair dryer.
They don’t block the Sunlight and prevent the cold draft from getting in. Replace your summer drapes or curtains to heavy ones will also help. Be sure to let Sunlight in when you leave for work in the morning. Open the blinds and curtains. Sometimes it’s hard if you both work since the time that you leave the house will usually still be dark outside. But if you know it’s going to be a Sunny day, open the blinds. That’s why the clear window insulation films work well since they’re clear. If you use the hairdryer which gets rid of the wrinkles, your guests won’t even notice there’s a plastic film on the window. Try that this winter and see how much you can save. When it comes to winterize, little things do add up.
Check out this energy saving device