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Important Energy Information on Home Appliances

solar panels for home appliances

Energy Efficiency Solutions: Appliances and Your Home

Baker Electric Solar is committed to providing the best tips and tools for our customers to better understand solar powered electricity and to help them make the best energy-saving decisions possible. With the energy-hungry holidays quickly approaching, we will be delving into home appliances and how you can better understand your home’s energy use. You’ll find some basic formulas and instructions below that can help you calculate the monetary difference between keeping your old appliance and the potential savings of investing in solar powered electricity. Continue reading to learn more about saving money with your appliances!

Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you’d like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption.

Formula for Estimating Energy Consumption

You can use this formula to estimate an appliance’s energy use:

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

(1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts)

Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption. You can then calculate the annual cost to run an appliance by multiplying the kWh per year by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed.

Note: To estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators, although turned “on” all the time, actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.


Window fan:

(200 Watts × 4 hours/day × 120 days/year) ÷ 1000

= 96 kWh × 8.5 cents/kWh

= $8.16/year

Personal Computer and Monitor:

(120 + 150 Watts × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year) ÷ 1000

= 394 kWh × 8.5 cents/kWh

= $33.51/year


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 cook-tops, use 240 volts. The amperes might be stamped on the unit in place of the wattage.

Typical Wattages of Various Appliances

Here are some examples of the range of nameplate wattages for various household appliances:

• Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts

• Coffee maker = 900–1200

• Clothes washer = 350–500

• Clothes dryer = 1800–5000

• Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)

• Fans

• Ceiling = 65–175

• Window = 55–250

• Furnace = 750

• Whole house = 240–750

• Hair dryer = 1200–1875

• Heater (portable) = 750–1500

• Clothes iron = 1000–1800

• Microwave oven = 750–1100

• Personal computer

• CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less

• Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less

• Laptop = 50

• Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725

• Televisions (color)

• 19″ = 65–110

• 27″ = 113

• 36″ = 133

• 53″-61″ Projection = 170

• Flat screen = 120

• Toaster = 800–1400

• Toaster oven = 1225

• VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25

• Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440

• Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500

• Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100

Saving Money with San Diego Solar Power

We hope you enjoyed our tips for determining your home’s energy consumption. If you decide that the cost of energy-heavy appliances is costing you, make your home more energy efficient by installing solar power panels that will pay off almost instantly. You’ll be doing yourself, and the environment, a huge favor by not using unnecessary energy, and creating unnecessary expense. When you decide to take the ultimate home improvement step and install a renewable solar energy system, you will be able to offset energy that you truly need to use and not wasteful energy. This will enable you to select a smaller solar system size that will actually cost you less and be an even better investment in the long run.

If you would like more information about home energy efficiency and powering your home with renewable energy by going solar, contact us today!

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