With a lot of people aghast by the sudden spike of their electric bill, I think it’s time for us to be mindful of the power consumption of our home appliances. Well we can complain to Meralco but in the meantime, let’s try to save a little bit of power.
Here are the common home appliances and their power consumption when used and some tips on how to save electricity. In a tropical country such as the Philippines, we don’t have heaters so you won’t find that here.
Let’s start with the appliance that consumes the most power and work our way down.
The power consumption listed here may be different with your appliance but the value would be close.
Electric Oven: 2000W – 3000W
Sure. That baked pasta or baked chicken looks yummy and healthy but the oven is the mother of all electricity hogs in a house. The more heat you require, the more power it consumes.
How to save? Stop baking. Stick to fried. Just kidding. There’s not much you can do to maximize savings with the oven. Maybe don’t use it during peak hours when other appliances are being used. Or see if you can use the microwave instead.
Aircon: 900W – 1200W
Ahhh nobody can seem to live without aircon during these sweltering hot summer days. The window-type AC on our bedroom has 1.5 horsepower and this consumes 1200W so smaller ones obviously consume less.
How to save? Try to set the temperature as high as you can tolerate. To do this, either clean the filter and properly seal the room so the AC will work less. Or replace your pre-2005 ACs with those with high energy ratings (EER 13 at least) which consumes 30% less electricity. Wrote a guide on choosing the right AC a few posts back.
Microwave Oven: 700W – 1000W
Don’t be afraid to use the microwave oven. Even if it consumes a lot of power, you only need to use it for a few minutes at a time. If you can use the microwave instead of the electric oven to bake then go for it. It’s way cheaper.
Flat Iron: 600W
See a pattern here? Appliances that gives heat requires a lot of power. Older models of flat iron will consume up to 1000W of electricity.
How to save? Try to iron when no energy-hogging household appliance is in use (e.g. aircon, oven). Also, avoid ironing in small batches because you want to reduce the instances an iron needs to heat up. Try to to do your ironing once a week instead of as needed. Oh, and DON’T forget to turn the iron off or better yet, unplug it.
Washing Machine: 300W – 500W
That is the wattage of the typical washing machine, 6kg and 10kg. If you have the automatic type, the wattage doubles. If you’re buying a new one, look for the front-loader type which consumes less water and electricity.
How to save? For manual washing machines, there’s not much you can do other than maximize the clothes per load. For automatic, try not to go the hot water route anymore.
Refrigerator: 140W – 200W
This wattage is from a typical 7 cubic feet refrigerator. Not those two-door types which consumes more.
How to save? Replace your old pre-2001 with new ones ASAP especially if you always keep on repairing it. It will pay for itself quickly. Fridge work less when the temperature’s already cold inside so the more stuff (except hot) you put inside, the easier it will stay cold.
Desktop Computer: 170W
A typical desktop computer with a 17” LCD monitor has a 170 wattage on average. If using CRT, it will require 50W more. If it’s a gaming rig, then it can shoot up to 400W to 600W easily. If you can live with a laptop instead of a desktop, do it since it consumes around 45W. Lower if it’s a netbook.
How to save? See if you can upgrade to a newer processor which has a more energy-efficient architecture. You don’t need a graphics card if you’re not going to do games. Integrated graphics is sufficient most of the time. You can easily add a graphics card anyway. I always advise my relatives to turn off the monitor when going idle for a while. Running screensavers doesn’t save energy, go on sleep or standby instead.
They say CRT consumes more power than LCD TV. It’s true but if you’re going to replace that 27” CRT with a 40” LCD TV then it’s not going to save you money on electricity. So be mindful of the size of your TV.
Electric Fan: 80W
This is for standard stand fans or desk fans. They say that ceiling fans are better because they can make the room cooler without requiring too much power. I guess I’ll hang up our desk fan onto the ceiling then. Hehehe.
Fluorescent Light: 20W – 40W
When computing for the energy consumption of a fluorescent lamp, also consider the wattage of the ballast. Incandescent lights consumes a whole lot more electricity while LED lights are the most energy efficient.
How to save? Go CFL which consumes as low as 18W for a 60W lighting equivalent.
Hope this post made you aware which of your appliances are consuming the most electricity and thus, make the necessary usage adjustment so you can save a few bucks on your electric bill.
Do note however that the wattage of the appliances found here are the ones a low-to-mid level income household owns. If you want to be more accurate, get a power monitor like the Kill-A-Watt which you can use to check the consumption of each of your appliances.
If you want some more tips to save energy, my friend Noee has some more ideas.