Saving energy (and money) is always easier when you know how much you’re using. But because many of the convenient smaller appliances we use seem to draw small amounts of power, we all too often discount how their use really does impact our electricity bills. With our How Much Energy Does This Appliance Use? series, we’ll examine what’s watt in small appliances to see approximately how much they use. To help you understand very basic electrical consumption calculations, you’ll need to keep a simple equation in mind: Volts (V) x Amperes (I) = Watts (W). What you’ll discover is how just how small appliances can contribute to your home’s energy usage and how these little conveniences can make big differences on your bill.
Toasters and toaster ovens don’t rank among the biggest energy hogs in your kitchen, but they do draw a non-negligible amount of electricity, so it’s worth your while to analyze the consumption of these appliances to help make decisions on how to save energy when you cook. Read on for an exploration of how much power you use to toast a slice of bread – or to warm up a small meal in a toaster oven.
How Much Power Does a Toaster Use?
The federal Energy Star program does not currently provide a label for toasters or toaster ovens, although the agency did produce a scouting report in 2011 which offers an in-depth look at various factors which affect the efficiency of the devices, including insulation, temperature control, door seals and cooking sensors. For guidance on specific models, you have to conduct a bit more research to determine how much power a toaster uses, and which options provide the most efficiency. The key to your calculation is to look on the label of your toaster to see how many watts it consumes – the lower the number, the less electricity it will use.
What is the Wattage of a Toaster?
Bread toasters come in a range of wattages, generally between 800 and 1,500 with most running around 1,200 watts. These devices are great at what they do, but their limited range of use means that you might be pleasantly surprised at the answer to the question of how much electricity does a toaster use. If a couple of people make toast every morning, running a 1,200 watt toaster for 12 minutes a day, that means you’re using .24 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day:
1,200 watts X 0.2 hours = 240 watt-hours / 1,000 = 2.4 kWh
Multiply that number by the price you pay for electricity to find the true cost of your morning toast – if your rate is $.10 per kWh, that means you spend just over $.02 per day, $.73 per month and $8.76 per year running the toaster. Unless you have a hankering for toasted bread all throughout the day, you probably aren’t breaking the bank to run a standard bread toaster.
How Much Power Does a Toaster Oven Use?
Toaster ovens also fall in the neighborhood of 1,200 watts, although you can find some models out there that use up to 1,700 watts. The formula for calculating the electricity consumption is exactly the same as for a bread toaster: watts times hours divided by 1,000. You are likely to use the toaster oven for a wider range of meals, however, so let’s put it into use for 30 minutes, or .5 hours, every day:
1,200 watts X .5 hours = 600 watt-hours / 1,000 = .6 kWh daily
At 10 cents per kWh, you’re spending $.06 per day, $1.83 per month and $21.90 annually for the convenience of your toaster oven.
Toaster Oven vs Ovens and Microwaves: Which is More Efficient?
Toaster ovens are a handy appliance to have around, but do they save you much power compared to using a regular oven, or a microwave? In fact, the toaster oven can save electricity for small meals when used instead of a full-sized oven, consuming about a third to a half of the amount of energy to heat up a comparable amount of food.
Microwave ovens, on the other hand, generally beat out both toasters and conventional ovens in efficiency, since they use lower wattage and cook food faster than their other kitchen counterparts. However, microwaves aren’t appropriate for all types of food, bread in particular. That means for many quick meals, you can fire up your toaster oven and rest assured the food you prepare will be both warm and efficient.