Skip to comments.Kill A Watt! Then kill some more!
Posted on 08/25/2013 10:46:41 AM PDT by djf
I am not endorsing a particular product, but there is a kool device out there.
I know my fridge is near the end of it's life cycle, so I was wondering if there was any way to know how much I might save by getting a newer model.
Kill-a-Watt is this neat little device that actually real-time measures how much power a particular device is using. Mine got hear last week, so I have had it hooked up to my fridge most of the time.
Shows my fridge is using about 1.76 KWH per day. When fridge is engaged and the compressor and fans are running, it draws about 1.26 amps.
I disconnected the Kill A Watt for a little while and plugged my laptop into it.
Amazing! My laptop drew .76 amps!
Considering I will often simply leave it plugged in almost all day, and the power draw doesn't vary much while it's on, it's easy to see that my laptop is actually using more juice than my fridge!
I just thought Kill A Watt is an interesting item that might reveal some things to other FReepers that would surprise them.
Cost is about 17 bucks, so we're not talking anything big-ticket. I think Home Depot and Wally World have them, I ordered mine from Amazon.
I like mine.but blew a fuse while testing the microwave. Had to installl a fuse holder and new fuse.
Power settings: learn them, live them, use them.
I haven’t checked my microwave yet. In total, I might on average run my microwave for 2 minutes a day, heating up coffee.
But that gives me an idea, I should check my electric drip coffee maker!
800 watts turn off when brewing is done.
Problem with power settings on my pc’s/laptop is if it goes into sleep mode, it disconnects from the wireless, and I end up having to re-boot anyways...
I had one of those a few years ago; got it from Newegg! It lasted for a couple of years. I’ve been told the devices are handy for general purpose, but not particularly accurate ...
I’m not a computer nerd, but can’t you set-up to connect automatically?
Well, I’m not gonna get into a big row with the power company over what it says.
Just get a general ball-park figure. And it seems pretty good at that.
I go look at my meter.
I used 24 kw yesterday
It does connect automatically, but I think it has something to do with the TCP/IP leasing facility. The router thinks another device is trying to come in disguised as me with the same credentials, so the only way to re-new it is to go through a shutdown/reboot process, so that the MAC’s re-negotiate.
The scary power is from plug in hybrid cars. Apparently widespread use of such government sponsored toys will require redesign of the entire grid, paid for by everyone, not just the people who have such toys.
Summertime I use 20-25 KWH per day. My electric company has these pretty neat breakdowns about how much used this month, avg usage per day, how much used last year for the same month, yada yada
I have cut down significantly from about 28-30 KWH per day last year. So it does work to actually try to be conservative.
I should redo my kitchen fluorescents. I have the old style of four-footers (6X40 watts) and my friend who specializes in lighting says the new ones are way, way more efficient.
I've had one for years, and it's not all that little. It's a fairly large wall wart.
But it is a nifty device for the curious.
The one I have lets you enter in the $/kWh you pay and it will show what your daily/weekly/mothly $$ usage is for anything plugged in.
It cautions you for things like refrigerators and such with periodic power draw cycles to leave it plugged in a few days to get an average going.
Some surprising things, like the Bunn coffee maker that keeps the water tank warm. Got rid of that. Some wall warts draw power all the time, some do not.
I own 2 of these units and a powerstrip model as well. I don’t use them anymore, but I used one to monitor an ancient chest freezer at the farm I once lived on, what a beast! Over the course of a year the thing was drawing, on average 260W. I explained to my roommate the validity of periodic defrosting, or possibly replacement.
One very interesting product I had installed to monitor the farm house power consumption was a unit call a “TED” (The Energy Detective). The house had a mother-in-law apartment over in the carriage house, and when I wasw trying to isolate phantom loads, I found that the power from the meter came into the farmhouse basement and split like 4 times, a panel was feeding the old pumphouse and dairy barn, another was feeding outbuildings and the 4 bay garage and shop... and here this mystery load was feeding the one apartment for the carriage house, which had it’s own service.
The chick living there had been splitting the power bill with the guy that lived above her... but I found that she was actually running electric baseboard heat, non stop AC in the summer, hair-dryers, her oven, her microwave... all on the main house’s power.
I installed a second TED... and so then I could take the power reading at the meter, the farmhouse TED readings, the carriage house TED reading, and deduce the remainder was for the outbuildings. Her power consumption was significant... about 40% of the main house.
The software for tracking the power instantaneously was very cumbersome and a RAM hog and I have to leave my computer on 24-7... but it was a very interesting unit... sends a signal through the electrical wires in the house to give the instantaneous current draw and voltage to the display unit. Requires minor technical ability to install the current sensors and the voltage pickup... I made sure it was to code to with current protection for the unit itself because it was located in a monstrous fused disconnect box (because the power split 4 ways feeding 6 panels all over the property.
look into it... “The Energy Detective”
260W continuously can add up, no doubt.
I have a stand up freezer that I simply don’t open much. I should check it. One thing I know about fridges/freezers is it’s very important to have good airflow around the items, the cooling coils are more efficient that way.
Almost wish there was a way to hook up a misting device on my fridge coils.
I’ll just wait and see how efficient the new one is.
Not trying to be nitpicky, but..
The usage is usually described in power per hour so in your case it is 24 kwh. That means about a thousand watts per hour for a full 24 hours.
I also have a kill-a-watt and find it useful in determining the priority in which electrical appliances will be cost effective to replace or completely power off when not needed (by using switch equipped power strips). It only measures 120 volt loads though not 240v. Its very handy for large intermittent loads like a window air conditioner that isn't running all the time.
My house uses 8 to 10 kwh per day, year ‘round. Things like this do not excite me.
And I used to work for an electric cooperative.
Yeah the chest freezer was in a lean-to structure off the basement that had a HUGE solar load on it... power was reduced significantly by ventilating the space.
I explained to my roommate, who’s great aunt had owned the farm before she passed away, that what should be don’t is to bring the chest freezer into the basement... and that way the power disapation from the freezer could help warm the air and spread the temperature further from the dewpoint in the stone celler... it was a mold factory in the basement... and he ran a dehumifier nonstop... adding to the enormous load.
He was actually a bit of a nitwit... the sort of person that would go and install those ridiculous siezure inducing CFLs life they are going to save the planet... but then he would passout on the couch on Saturday nights with every light and television set on in the house... with the tube amp drawing 160 watts... and there he was at 3am snoring away. There were times he would open up all the doors from the house to the sunporch and turn on the house’s central AC... the solar load... the jalosie(sp?) windows... it was like “why don’t you just fire up the AC and open all the windows”.
I am glad I don’t live there anymore.
So this is how you get all amp’d up?
Lol! Good one.
Actually, just doing a general assessment before winter, I usually lose power a couple times. Have a generator, so this is more part of planning than anything else.
Contemplating solar. But that’s it, so far. Just contemplating.
I used mine to choose which fans I was keeping, and which ones to give away.