Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Using Watts Up or Kill A Watt Meters for Home Appliances

Question about the Watts Up and Kill a Watt Electricity Usage Monitors.

Q: "Electric costs in Florida are to increase up to 30% this next year. What advice do you have about deciding which electrical appliances I should replace with more energy efficient ones? How can I measure current usage without going to a lot of expense?

Answer: I suggest you begin checking power usage on appliances with compressors, i.e. refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Most appliances over 8 to 10 years old are energy hogs. I replaced my old manual defrost freezer (circa 1971, much in need of a new gasket) several years ago. I checked the power usage by plugging it into a Watts Up. I learned a new unit would pay for itself in less than 2 years just in energy savings!

If you want to check the power usage of a system such as your TV, DVD, speakers, etc, the easiest choice is by using a Kill A Watt Power Strip with Surge Protection. For data logging, the best choices are the Watts Up units that connect with your computer.

Prices on these power monitors range from about $40 to about $250. Since these units can be used over and over again, your extended family, neighborhood, church, etc. can move the unit from place to place doing your own energy usage audits.

Thanks for your questions. Remember that there are some electric company rebates on Energy Star appliances.
Sincerely, Barbara

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