Knowing how much energy your home’s appliances and electronics use will help you calculate savings by using them wisely and maintaining them. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that cooling and heating homes tops the list of home energy users, taking approximately 50 percent of household energy consumption, followed by water heating, cooking and drying clothes, in that order.
Electrical appliances and devices almost always have a tag or packaging that indicates how much energy they use per hour of operation. For example, a light bulb that uses 100 watts will use a kilowatt (kW) after 10 hours of operation. If you switch that bulb with a CFL or LED bulb that uses 20 watts, it can burn for 50 hours before it uses a kW.
Larger appliances note usage a little differently, in amps, not kWs. Calculating watts from amps is easy by multiplying the volts they use and their amps. Central air conditioners typically use 220 volt-power and one that uses 20 amps would use 4.4 kW per hour of operation (not including the indoor blower).
Although it’s hard to calculate savings exactly with larger appliances, since it’s hard to track how long they run, keeping them maintained will lower their consumption, regardless of the cost of a kW of power, which varies all over the country.
The two appliances in your home that most benefit from routine maintenance are your HVAC equipment and the water heater.
- HVAC equipment. The air filter for your indoor blower needs to be clean in order for your system to run most efficiently. The outdoor condenser should be clean to speed cooling of the hot refrigerant from your home. The whole system should be maintained annually by a professional who will thoroughly clean it, make adjustments and lubricate the parts.
- Water heater. Drain a quart every three months from the bottom of the tank to remove dissolved solids that retard the heating process and have it professionally serviced.
If you’d like to learn more about calculating energy savings at home, please contact us at Detmer and Sons. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for Dayton since 1978.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about calculating savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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