Could someone please tell me how to figure out how much electricity an item uses? I am interested in buying a room heater, but do not know if it would be cost-effective to use. Thank you.
By Mike from NE PA / USA
If it is an oil heater they really don't use much.
I can't tell you money wise how much it will cost but my brother, the electrician, always has me thinking about it. Look at the wattage the appliance will be using. For example if it says 1000 watts, that is like having ten 100 watt light bulbs on when using the appliance.
Most rooms in a house in the U.S. are wired with a 15-amp fuse or breaker. This limits the wattage you can use on that circuit to about 1800 watts.
(Wattage = Amps times volts; 15 x 120)
My electric heater is rated at 1500 watts and is designed for use in these rooms. 1500 watts seems to be the top power rating for these type heaters.
Higher-capacity heaters would be powered by 220 volt circuits.
Call your local electric company. It depends on if you are just plugging it in, using it as if it were a lamp, etc OR if you are on an electric heat use, meaning lower rates. We had made the mistake of putting in an electric heating wall unit. By 2010 rates, it would have been $1000 for the month. Found out homes with electric heat pay a tiny portion of regular electric use. You have 2 different meters. So, ask the electric company. That is what their PR department is for.
Electrical heaters are very expensive to use. Call your utility Co. and give them the wattage for them to tell you usage costs based on hours of operation. Natural gas heaters are far more reasonable to us.
Thanks for all the feedback. I found out today that my electric company's web site has information on how to calculate the energy usage of different home appliances. It works great. Maybe someone who is looking for this information also can find it on their electric company's web site if they have one.
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