Electricity costs can be significant in Southwest Florida, and if you would like to minimize your utility bills, the best way to start is by calculating your energy usage. Every appliance, light and electronic device has its own electricity requirements, and the first step in calculating your energy usage is determining what that figure is for each device.
Using the EnergyGuide Label
Many appliances and electronics, including large appliances like air conditioning systems, have a yellow EnergyGuide label that makes determining energy usage simple. For electrical devices, the label will list estimated yearly energy usage in kilowatt-hours, which are the same units used on your electricity bill. To determine a device’s monthly usage, simply divide that number by 12, and to determine its daily usage, divide by 365.
If no EnergyGuide label is present, check the device for a label listing its electrical requirements, which is often found near the electrical cord. Many products will list the device’s wattage. To convert watts to kilowatts, simply divide by 1000. For example, a coffee maker that uses 800 watts would use 0.8 kilowatts of power. To find the kilowatt-hours used by a device, multiply the kilowatt rating by the number of hours the device is used daily. For example, the coffee maker that is rated for 0.8 kilowatts would require 2.4 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day when used for 3 hours.
Some devices do not list wattage, so it must be calculated by multiplying amperage and voltage. For most devices, the voltage will be 120, though larger appliances may use 220 or 240 volts. A device that uses 5 amps at 120 volts would require 600 watts of power, while one that uses 0.5 amps would require 60 watts. Smaller devices may be rated in milliamps, which must be divided by 1000 to find the amps. Once the wattage is found, the kilowatt hours can be calculated, then simply add all your devices to calculate your total energy usage.
For help with calculating your energy usage, or reducing it, contact our team at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida.