Are You Wasting Energy in Your Home?

August 1, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Are you wasting energy in your home without being aware of the usage of various appliances?

Check your appliances such as the refrigerator or microwave oven for the maximum power in watts, the measuring unit for power usage. It is usually listed on the nameplate. Then check your electrical utility bill for your power usage in kilowatt  (kW) hours. One kW equals 1,000 watts and the cost per one kW hour varies with your location.

You can also estimate your energy use by using the formula of wattage multiplied by hours used per day divided by 1,000 to equal your daily kilowatt hour consumption. Then multiply the daily consumption by the cost per kW from your utility company.

Check appliances
The average 40-gallon home water heater uses about 2,000 kilowatts of power a year , making it one of your most energy-consuming appliances. A refrigerator freezer uses about 700 kW a year. A ceiling fan uses less than 100 kW and a television uses about 200 kW.

You can control the use of energy with a few simple measures when using major appliances:

  • Make sure the doors are sealed on your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Set your hot water heater to the lowest tolerable temperature.
  • If you have a single lever faucet, keep the lever in the cold position.
  • Run your dishwasher when it is full and allow the dishes to air dry.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and set the water level for the size of the load.
  • Dry clothes on the most efficient setting since the dryer uses about 1,000 kW a year.

Phantom loads
Your  desktop computer, television, and sound system use standby power or “phantom loads” to turn on instantly. You also have to charge laptops, cell phones and other mobile devices. You can use on/off power strips for some of these products.

Home comfort
Your heating and cooling system is another major source of power consumption. Ross and Witmer, serving the Charlotte area since 1945, can help you lower your home’s energy consumption with easy ways to reduce cooling and heating costs throughout the year. Contact us today, we’ll be happy to help.

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