How to Check the Electric Power Usage for Appliances

Knowing the electric power usage of your home appliances is helpful in a few different ways.

If your electrical bills are growing and growing each month, finding the offending appliance can help you narrow down the problem. Likewise, if your appliance is using too much or too little electricity, it could be operating improperly. Using a power analyzer or meter is one way to determine the electric power usage for appliances. Power analyzers are devices that read the amount of electricity an appliance is using.

Turn on your power analyzer. Some power analyzers are battery powered, while some plug into a wall outlet using an included AC adapter. Hook up your power analyzer based on the specifications of your unit and turn on the device.

Connect your home appliance's power cable to the appropriate-shaped power input on your power analyzer. This allows the electricity in your home to pass through the power meter before moving on to the connected appliance. The electricity is analyzed as it goes through the meter, allowing both the meter and the appliance to work as normal.

Turn on your appliance. Your power analyzer analyzes how much electric power that appliance is using and displays the results on its screen. Most power analyzers tell you the amount of electricity something is using measured in "kilowatt hours." This is ideal, as your electric company charges you per kilowatt hour of usage each month. Using the kilowatt hour reading of the appliance coupled with the price-per-kilowatt hour information on your monthly electric bill, you can find out how much money an appliance is costing you in dollars and cents.

Things You Will Need

  • Power analyzer

Tip

  • Check the settings on your power meter to make sure you know exactly what type of information it is displaying. For example, some power meters will monitor the electricity a device uses for the duration you have the appliance plugged into the meter, while others will only monitor the electricity an appliance is using at a given moment. Others allow you to change your display settings from "kilowatt" to "kilowatt hour" and vice versa.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.