The P4400 Kill A Watt gathers data about your electricity usage so you can monitor consumption and gain insight to which of your appliances may be using too much energy. To use the Kill A Watt, all you need to do is plug it into your wall outlet and then plug the appliance into the Kill A Watt.
The KWh reading tells you what you need to know. The other readings (Volt, Amp, Watt, Hertz) all provide information about your power. This might shed light on a faulty electrical outlet. For the purposes of monitoring energy consumption, though, you just need the KWh so you can determine how much each device really affects your utility bill.
Here’s how to calculate your energy usage with a Kill A Watt:
- After the device has been connected to the Kill A Watt for some amount of time, hit the KWh button. This indicates how much power has been drawn since plugging in.
- Then hit the KWh button a second time to see how long the Kill A Watt has been gathering data.
- Example: if the meter reads 0.50 KW and has been plugged in for 30 minutes, the device is using 1 KWh. If the meter reads 0.50 KW after 2 hours, it’s using 0.25 KWh.
Monitor Electricity Usage Over Time
Leave your appliance plugged into the Kill A Watt meter long enough to gain accurate data — you need a reading that reflects your real-life usage.
Note that appliances may use different amounts of energy while doing different things. Toaster ovens are a good example — you can test the energy usage while toasting a bagel and while baking at 450º to check for different readings.
For many items, the Kill A Watt works best when you give it a few days to collect data. Try it with your computer and you might notice energy spikes while running several applications at once, and far less energy while simply browsing the internet.
Try it with your refrigerator (if it has a 110V plug) and you can get data that incorporates your actual habits. It may take a few days for accurate info regarding how often you open the refrigerator door and how the volume of food inside may affect its efficiency.
Wasting Energy in Standby Mode? Unplug It!
Many electronics draw such little energy in off mode that it isn’t worth unplugging them. However, you might pinpoint some secret energy hogs that should be unplugged when not in use. Test the Kill A Watt on your televisions, cable boxes, lamps, cell phone chargers, and other items that can easily be unplugged when out of use.
Learn to Use Energy More Efficiently
Change up some habits and appliance settings and retest with the Kill A Watt. The info can guide you on how to use less energy and lower your utility bills.
Some energy-saving efforts you can test with the Kill-A-Watt:
- Increase your refrigerator temperature by one or two degrees
- Charge your laptop while using it and while shut down
- Use space heaters and electric blankets at lower settings
- Watch TV with power saving mode on, or with brightness levels dimmed
Kill A Watt meters provide a wealth of information, and it’s up to you how to use that knowledge. By learning what to unplug, what needs an energy-efficient replacement, and how to change your energy consumption habits, the Kill A Watt can pay for itself in the long run.