Wattage of household appliances is used in measuring the amount of the energy that domestic appliances consume while running and during start-up. For instance, a bulb that is marked 60-watt uses 60 watts. Generators have two wattages. These are:
• Rated Watts: Run or rated watts refers to the watts that the appliance needs to continue running. For instance, to run, a refrigerator requires 500 watts.
• Surge watts: Start-up or surge watts refer to watts that an appliance needs to start the motor. For instance, about 2,000 watts are required just to start the compressor or motor of the same refrigerator.
Electric generators display the surge and rated wattages for the generators. However, it is advisable to compare the rated wattage when purchasing generators because it gives a more accurate figure.
Perhaps, you might be wondering about where to find the wattage of home appliances when you go shopping. Usually, wattage of majority of the home appliances is stamped at the back or bottom of appliances. It can also be found on the nameplate of the appliance.
The listed wattage indicates maximum power that the appliance draws. Many appliances have different settings including volume for a radio. As such, the actual power amount that the appliances consume is dependent on settings that are used at a particular time.
If an appliance does not have an indicated wattage, the user can also estimate the wattage by considering current draw in amperes and then multiplying it with the voltage that the appliance uses. In the United States, most appliances use 120 volts. The larger appliances including electric cook tops and clothes dryers use about 240 volts. Amperes of these appliances can be stamped on the place of unit wattage of these appliances. If it is not, you can find clamp-on ammeter. This is an electrician’s tool for clamping around a wire of the appliance and then measure the current that flows through the appliance when it is turned on.
Ammeter for measuring wattage of home appliances can be found in stores that stock electronics and electrical equipment. Using this device, you can easily take the wattage reading as the device runs. This will give you instant readings of the actual current amount that is used by the appliance. When measuring the amount of current that the motor draws, note that meter shows about thrice of the current in the first second of starting the motor than that of the same motor when running smoothly.
It is also important to note that most appliances draw reduced amount of current when in the stand-by mode or when they are switched off. This is common in most home appliances whose energy source is electricity such as televisions, VCRs, computers, stereos and the kitchen appliances. Energy consumption of most appliances is increased by phantom loads with few watt-hours. The loads are avoidable by simply unplugging appliances or by using the power strips and switches in cutting power supply to the home appliances.
Calculating house appliances wattage
There are various calculators for the wattage of home appliances. However, some of these calculators are inaccurate. As such, it is important that you use a calculator that you are confident is accurate and that it will give you correct results.
Nevertheless, the best ways of determining the wattage of your household appliances is using the data plate and the wattage meter. This will help you in determining the exact amount of energy or power that your household appliances use. Most data plates indicate the number of watts, volts and amps needed by the appliance. Knowing the wattage of household appliances will enable you to determine whether they are energy-efficient or not. This is why it is important to know how to determine it correctly.