Kill A Watt Meter
Kill a Watt Meter and an Old Freezer That Uses Too Much Energy.
You want to feel like a real Energy Spy. Pick yourself up a Kill a watt meter and start plugging everything, including the kitchen sink, into it and discover how much juice all those things are costing you. I have a P4400 which is one of the earlier, basic models.
There is a link to Amazon.com in my side bar that will take you right to Amazon and the monitor. I have a small chest freezer in the garage. Plugged the kill a watt meter into the electric outlet and then plugged the freezer into the kill a watt. Energy Spy at work.
Let the meter stay plugged in long enough to get a good reading. Couple days or more should do it. Open the freezer door once or twice a day to give it that normal use attitude. The kill a watt meter has five buttons – the only button I’m interested in is the red one – clear to the right. Just above the button is printed the letters KWH, stands for kilowatt hours. Just below the button is printed the word HOUR. The other four buttons mean more to an electrician than to me, for what we are doing, it is the button on the right that we use.
Push the button and you toggle between KWH (which is the number of kilowatt hours consumed) and, push the button again, and you have the amount of time the monitor has been connected. The time is initially displayed in just minutes and then switches to hours and minutes. For my test on the chest freezer, I left the monitor connected for 92:24 – which is 92 hours and 24 minutes. Push the far right red button and I see 2.12 KWH posted on the screen. I think some of the later models contain a program that allows you to enter the amount of money you pay per kilowatt hour, but this P4400 does not.
In any case, get out your electric bill – divide the amount of money you owe by the number of kWh used and, presto, you get the amount of money you pay for one (1) kWh. Let’s say you used 900 kWh for the billing period and you owe $110 dollars, divide 110 by 900 and you get 0.12222. This means you pay .122 dollars or, move the decimal back two places, 12.2 cents per kWh. Are you with me so far?
Back to the freezer. In 92 hours and 24 minutes the freezer used 2.12 kWh. I’ll do the math. In one day (24 hours) the freezer uses .55 kWh. In a 30 day month the freezer uses 16.50 kWh and in a year, my little freezer uses 198 kWh. Now, let’s say I pay 8 cents per kWh, in one year it costs me $15.84 to operate. At 15 cents per kWh, I’d pay $29.70 to keep the thing running. Hey, not bad for a little freezer.
Well, the Energy Spy has got to move on for now. I’m looking for a 1980′s model refrigerator to connect up to my kill a watt meter. If I find one, I’ll let you know…but, I won’t leave the light on for you!