Josh sent me a nifty device for measuring the power consumption of various devices. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for some time: to see what drains power, and how much, and to see in particular what even drains power when it’s idle.
So I spent a couple of hours plugging it into various things and measuring how many watts they were pulling while running, and while not.
Although you often hear about appliances using energy while on standby, I found that for most, this was not the case. In most cases, they pulled zero watts while not running. But there were some exceptions, which I’ll note.
Pedestal fan: On setting one 33 W, setting two 38 W, setting three 45 W.
Kettle: 2289 W — whoa! So it’s important not to put more water in the kettle than you actually need, not just for the sake of speed, but also energy used.
Microwave oven: when running on high 1416 W.
Christmas tree lights: 28 W. It’s only a small tree, not one of those Christmas light extravaganzas you see some places. I don’t generally leave them turned on all the time anyway actually.
TV: Standby 19 W. On (including while muted) 80-120 W. It’s a 68cm CRT screen, and I’ve got it setup so that if left on standby for more than 30 minutes, turns itself completely off, which is good, as it’s apparent that leaving it on standby permanently would be a big waste of energy.
CD Player: 9 W, whether it was playing anything or not.
Amplifier: 16-17 W while on, whether it was silent, or playing radio or from a CD. Nothing measurable while on standby, despite the presence of a standby light.
XBox: Turned off 7 W. On but with no game running 55 W. Playing a game 55-64 W. Pah, 7 W when it’s switched off and doing nothing… bloody Microsoft, typically wasting resources.
MediaGate: On but stopped 11 W, playing 14 W.
DVD player: 9 W while on, whether it was playing or not.
Clothes dryer: Warm 1815 W, Hot 1900 W, During the cooling part of the cycle 75 W. I always knew these things used a lot of power, and this proves it… thankfully I don’t use it very much; the clothes lines (the main one, and another under-cover one for “high priority” items) works for most things.
Vaccuum cleaner: Min power 170 W, max power 1400 W.
Computer CPU: off 12 W, running Windows 75-90 W. Ridiculous… 12 W just to keep the clock going.
Computer screen: off 7 W, on 32 W.
Some things seemed to pull so little power as to be undetectable: the bedroom clock/radio, mobile phone charger, iPod dock and computer speakers all reported 0 W whether they were off, or on and blasting away/charging. I think the only electrical thing I can think of that I missed measuring is the washing machine.
There are some lessons here. Things like kettles and dryers should be used sparingly: don’t put more water in the kettle than is needed, and don’t use the dryer unless necessary. Most other appliances pale into insignificance compared to these.
And my plan is to re-arrange the powerboards to isolate those appliances that draw power while “off”… the computers and XBox (which after all is just a computer in a game machine’s body) in particular, so they can easily be switched off at the wall without affecting anything else.