Good way to figure out power consumption?

Hi. The power bill at my apartment is larger than I would like, and
myself and my roomates are trying to figure out what uses the most power
then we can figure out where to go from there. I got the idea to get a
clamp-on ampmeter and an AC line splitter, and then measure the current
flow for things, and figure out how many watts things using, using v*a=w.
Is this a good way of figuring this out?
-Anthony-
Reply to
Anthony Guzzi
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Anthony: You could figure out the wattage with your current measurements and the formula for watts.... But ,
I can tell you from experience that your problem is easier than you think to resolve:
I was getting 50-75$ every billing cycle and i thought that was much since I hardly use my big appliances, so I changed all my Incandecent Bulbs to Compact Fluorescents, believe it or not my electric bills have dropped dramaticly to an average of 28$.
You would be shocked if you saw what a single 100Watt bulb does to your meter.... I had 2 fixtures using 3/60W = 180W each & 3 fixtures using 2/60W bulbs =120W each, I Changed Them All, now all individually don't add up to 100W., anyhow you understand. (about 45 & 30watts each now & good lighting without the costly monthly expense.
That., plus curb & disconnect wallwart transformers & trickle or standby current applainces with power strips when not needed and you'll see a dramatic change in your bills to.
got some 13w's at the 99cent store some 15w's at home depot., no cons, other than the drawer full of 60w bulbs which i will replace when I move out };-)
Reply to
Roy Q.T.
search for kill-a-watt meter
its low cost direct plug in to wall outlet. easy to use and understand. measures everything you want to know.
Reply to
TimPerry
If your apartment has its own electric hotwater tank....there is your culprit. Hot water heaters are normally the single largest consumer of electricity in a house. Make sure it is well insulated (buy one a hot water heater blanket) and turn down the thermostat. These two things will save quite a lot of energy.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
Before spending any money, look at the wattage ratings for the electrical devices you use. The ratings are usually printed on a label on the device.
Ed
Reply to
ehsjr
Motors and anything 240 Volts will be your biggest culprits.
Anything that is 240V can usually be controlled - wait for full laundry loads; do cooking with toaster ovens and microwaves; etc. Minimize the number of times that you open your refrigerator and stare into it while trying to understand the basic principles of quantum physics.
A 100 watt light bulb if left on for 24 hours will consume 2.4 kWHr of electricity - which probably costs you about 10 cents per kWHr, or about 24 cents per day per light bulb. It takes a long time to pay for a flourescent fixture at that rate. Also the constant irritant of having to wait for the damned thing to make light.... So if you do like your mother used to nag at you and shut it off when you are not using it, you will save the money and keep the convenience.
Or what?
HR.
Reply to
Rowbotth
One thing to do is to switch everything off and see if the meter is still registering some consumption.. There is a remote possibility that a common area, or neighbour's circuit has been incorrectly connected to your metered supply. It has been known.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
The way i see it, if you could afford your own Watt Hour Meter you wouldn't bother over a few extra $10's or $20's on your electric bill.
With that in mind: The compact fluorescent come on instantly (shopping around I found some really good 15watters @ a 99=A2 store) and curbing usage where easy to (do it) [i even shut off my entrance sensor switch when I'm home] has done a great difference for me., [Discipline Fellows] but, I would consider looking into Sue's analysis that there might be a tap and you're also paying for the hallway or other tenants electricity.
Reply to
Roy Q.T.
have a meter with a moving disk you can see?
Then unplug most everything, then plug in one thing at a time with it on. The faster it spins the more power it uses. You can measure it directly with the meter, keep the item on for 5 min and notice the difference on the power meter then times 20 to get hourly power use.
Reply to
Schweinkolben
You would have to turn off large loads for this to work (water heater, HVAC, etc).
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
Ah, yes. I thought of that too, except out hotwater heater is powered by gas.
Reply to
Anthony Guzzi
I think I have come to the concusion that our clothes dryer is the culprit, as I know it is very inefficient, but alas we rent, and the landlord doesn't do anything about to fix it.
I have already replaced all the lights with compact flourescents, all 25. I don't really notice the half second they take to turn on. Perhaps if yours take longer than that, the ballast in it is bad. Good thing they're so cheap.
Reply to
Anthony Guzzi
You can go a long ways to "fixing" a dryer by making sure it's clean. Take a vacuum and suck up an lint that's escaped past the screen into the dryer and vent hose.
Lighting is in insignificant part of the typical electric bill. Personally I *hate* CFs and only use them in the basement where they might be forgotten on. Fluorescents take quite a while to come up to full brightness too, longer the colder it is.
Reply to
krw
Glad you took my advice :) maybe with the savings the dryer won't hurt much.
I have a washer/convection dryer, if i use it more than twice a month it raises my bill more than I am comfortable paying., so i use it wisely, it could be a problem with room mates and different wash needs., they do haul a lot of energy you will have to compromise or figure out how much exactly is at cost and stay within your colective budget., every now I just accumulate em in a bag & then i go to the laundromat.
Reply to
Roy Q.T.
You are joking right? The electricity to run your own dryer should be MUCH less than what the laundromat costs to dry the same amount of clothing.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
yeah, but it doesn't come out on my bill. let's see 2 Large Machine loads 4$ plus about 4$ to dry about 8$ now if i did four loads on my washer dryer., My bill would hit the roof., or through me off budget., onc a month at home is okay.
ALright ! I just don't like paying anything over 50$ ... why take chances
Reply to
Roy Q.T.
With MY motor installed, that puppy would hum like a soing machine.. savings galore. Northwest tm.
Reply to
Northstar
No reason to try to reason with Roy. He will spend $8 to avoid having his bill go up by $2; all because he doesn't want his bill over $50. Now that is some interesting economic theory.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
Charles; according to your calcs., it would be 2$ x 4, I would have to do 4 loads instead of just two., probably the $ame, but out of pocket not to my accounts budget.
Reply to
Roy Q.T.
Actually, $2 was for 4 loads. Do a google search and you will find a calculator (several actually) that allow you to estimate how much it costs to rund certain appliances.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry

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