Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Watts Used and Wasted at My Home

December 2014

I find that I've become overloaded with modern convenience appliances and devices throughout the home, probably the same as you. I do have a small Solar PV System (200 watts of panels) that powers my garage lights, garage radio and the kitchen 18 inch flat panel TV. The PV System always made me aware and wonder about used and wasted watts throughout the rest of my home.

So this month I went on a hunt of all my devices and appliances just to see how much power I consume or waste and where I could eliminate the waste. Maybe you can learn something here from my experience which I feel is pretty normal for today's homes and apartments.

The testing instrument used, a Kill-A-Watt, P3 model. This is a handy little meter relatively inexpensive ($19.00 at Amazon), easy to use and necessary if you use Solar power or just curious where your wasted power is. It took a little effort but some of the findings were surprising!

Note; the 1 watt readings are the minimum this meter will display, it could actually be 1/2 watt


Here's the power usage/waste discovered at my home:

Refrigerator 23.1 cu. ft, on: 122 watts
Refrigerator 23.1 cu. ft, 24 hours on/off cycle: 990 watts
Refrigerator 23.1 cu. ft, standby: 2 watts

Freezer chest, 5.0 cu. ft., 60f environment temp, on: 72 watts
Freezer chest, 5.0 cu. ft., 60f environment temp, 24 hours on/off cycle: 540 watts
Freezer chest, 5.0 cu. ft., 60f environment temp, standby: 1 watt

B&D coffee maker, 12 cup brew cycle: 400 watts
B&D coffee maker, 12 cup, standby: 1 watt

Keurig coffee maker, Single cup: 20 watts
Keurig coffee maker, Single cup, standby/off: 0 watts

Lap Top computer Gateway, on: 11 watts
Lap Top computer Gateway, sleep: 7 watts
Lap Top computer Gateway, standby: 1 watt
Laptop extension speakers, standby: 1 watt

Lap Top computer Dell, on: 14 watts
Lap Top computer Dell, sleep: 1 watt
Lap Top computer Dell, standby: 1 watt

12 volt power supply, HAM, listening on: 25 watts
12 volt power supply, CB, listening on: 15 watts
12 volt power supply, on, idle: 10 watts

Microwave oven, on: 1,633 watts
Microwave oven, standby: 3 watts

Phone kitchen (1) wall bug: 1 watt

Phone extension (1) wall bug: 1 watt
Phone extension (1) wall bug: 1 watt

Cell phone (mine) wall bug charging: 5 watts
Cell phone (mine) wall bug idle: 1 watt

Cell phone (hers) wall bug charging: 5 watts
Cell phone (hers) wall bug idle: 1 watt

I-Pad wall bug charging: 5 watts
I-Pad wall bug idle: 1 watt

Printer, printing: 14 watts
Printer, standby: 4 watts

Computer Router, wall bug: 7 watts

Satellite TV receiver kitchen, on: 34 watts
Satellite TV receiver kitchen, standby: 34 watts

Satellite TV receiver bedroom, on: 34 watts
Satellite TV receiver bedroom, standby: 34 watts

TV main 48 inch flat panel, on: 120 watts
TV main 48 inch flat panel, standby: 1 watt

TV kitchen 18 inch flat panel, on: 22 watts
TV kitchen 18 inch flat panel, standby: 1 watt

TV master bedroom 18 inch flat panel, on: 25 watts
TV master bedroom 18 inch flat panel, standby: 1 watt

TV computer room 18 inch flat panel, on: 24 watts
TV computer room 18 inch flat panel, standby: 1 watts

TV room lamp, on: 11 watts
TV room lamp, 24 hour timer on/off cycle: 44 watts

Water softener, one softening cycle: 40
Water softener wall bug, standby: 1 watt

Garage door opener, open & close cycle: 400 watts
Garage door opener, standby: 4 watts

Hummel display cabinet light, on: 18 watts
Hummel display cabinet light, 24 hour timer on/off cycle: 126 watts

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Summary:
I find it interesting that both the satellite receivers never go into a sleep mode, they're 'on' all the time with a combined 68 watts constant draw 24/7 = 40.8kw a month!

With the exception of the two bathrooms all lights are CFL's.
I have been looking for CFL replacement fixtures for those two rooms because there are 24 decorator type incandescent bulbs between the two rooms. Each bulb is 40 watts = 960 watts total. Glad they're not rooms where a lot of time is spent!

The other concern are the amount of wall bugs in use. I personally feel these are all potential fire hazards because when you manufacture for the lowest cost something has to be compromised in the design.

As for the satellite receivers we are planning to dump satellite TV all together. I have the basic HBO/Showtime and forced to have another bundle package of 200 channels of pure garbage for $139 a month. Most of the time the TV is on for background noise because we I spend a lot of time on the computers and she has been downloading movies and books to her I-Pad and watching or reading those. Satellite is just too expensive for what we watch, plus every time a rain storm comes the signal goes dead, just when we need the local weather reports the most. Then there's a land line that's needed, $25 a month, and the only reason we have it is for the satellite receivers to check on us or in case we ever wanted to download a pay per view which we don't. The major news programs are pure junk today and not worth watching/listening to there opinions. Then there's the cost of the 68 watts of power every hour I have to pay for.

I'm investigating TV options. I do have a regular antenna so I can receive broadcast signals, so now just need to figure out things like ROKU, HULU, CHROME Cast and several others to see what the charges will actually be and how useful they are. If anyone has experience with these please feel free to let me know what you use and the costs.


For now I needed to review these findings and try to come up with solutions to rid myself of the wasted watts. Obviously if I were to go 100% solar I would have to use power strips so I control what's on and on only when needed.

4 comments:

  1. We used Dish Network for a number of years; we dropped them in April of 2012. They were charging us $123.54/month when we pulled the plug. We've replaced their service with these three:

    Netflicks for $7.99/month
    Hulu Plus fro 7.99/month
    Amazon Prime for $100/year

    We run these services through a Roku 2 box. We are very satisfied with this arrangement; we have a large selection programs to choose from and the video quality is -- in my opinion -- very adequate considering the fact the we have DSL internet. Huku Plus seems to be our "most used" service. I/we will never go back to Dish or cable.

    -Moe

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  2. Thanks Moe, that was very helpful.

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  3. Great informative post. We won't go back to satellite either, same reasons. We use Netflix, You Tube and plug our TV into our lap tops with a cable and skip any of the other systems. works for us.

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    1. Thanks Gwen,
      Next week I'm going to contact a cable company here to get a quote just on their super fast internet feed, not any movies channels etc. If it is the price they say I'll go for it and dump my pathetically slow and over crowded AT&T DSL. I can't even use Skype with AT&T because it's so choppy. I want simple and it looks like Netflix, Roku and a couple others is the way to go. have a great New Year and stay warm up there! :-)

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