Laundry Challenge 1 – How Much Energy Are We Using?

kill a watt

This is what the kill a watt looks like

I was interested in learning how much energy our washer and dryer actually used so I plugged them into the Kill a Watt.

I’m going to date myself here but girls weren’t allowed to take electrical or shop class when I was in junior high so I’m not exactly sure what all the numbers mean on the Kill a Watt measuring instrument, but it seems that the washer used .10 killowats/hr for one load of laundry, cold water delicate, and .16 hot water heavy load. And it appears that the dryer used .26 killowats regardless of whether it was on air, tumble dry or high heat.

(If someone out there wants to explain watts and hz to me, please do. If I’m going to become energy smart, I guess I need to know this.)

So if I’m understanding this right, the dryer is 2x to 2.5x worse in terms of energy use. I’m going to say that’s pretty convenient because it seems like it would be a heck of a lot easier to find alternatives for drying. In fact, I’ll post some soon.

About thinkofitasanadventure

We are a 50-something couple living in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. We attended a sustainability conference at our local high school in November 2010, with keynote speaker Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. What we heard shocked us deeply. We finally understood the need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We immediately began to change the way we live. We joined together with other folks in our neighborhood to learn more, to do more and to have fun doing it! We're part of Transition Longfellow. We're choosing to change now and to "think of it as an adventure." If you are on this journey too, we'd love to hear from you.
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2 Responses to Laundry Challenge 1 – How Much Energy Are We Using?

  1. Anyone know where you could rent one? My search yielded no results. When we’re done testing our various appliances, we’d be willing to loan out our unit locally. Anyone else willing to share?


  2. Mathew says:

    I have been interested in getting one of those kill a watts. I have everything in my room aside from my clock and phone plugged into a strip that I turn off when not in use. I would love to see the difference between just turning them off and turning the strip off, and how that translate into dollars.


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