I’m always thinking about ways to save energy—but how do you know what you’re spending or saving when you can’t see it? I know the price a gallon of milk, but it’s hard to put a number on something that’s invisible. Heck, just one device could be screwing up all of the other energy saving steps that I take.
So I was feeling pretty clueless until one of my teammates here mentioned the ‘Kill-A-Watt’ energy monitoring tool. And this thing is SO cool. It costs around $20 online, and it’s super easy to use. The Kill-A-Watt gets plugged directly into any outlet, and then you plug your appliance or device into it. This tool even measures electrical flow like 8 different ways if you feel you need to get that specific.
Armed with my new toy, I looked around the house to see what would be fun to measure first. My friend suggested that I try a hair styling tool showdown, which was brilliant. How many of you have blown a fuse when you turn on your clothes iron and your hairdryer at the same time? Exactly. These suckers must take a lot of juice.
For my first-ever energy match, I picked two seemingly similar tools: my curling iron and my flat iron. Since both of these heats up to about the same temperature, my guess was that they’d draw about the same amount of power.
Wrong. The flat iron drew .08 amps while the curling iron drew .88 amps: exactly eleven times more power. I’m probably not going to change my hairstyle anytime soon, because the difference isn’t likely to break the bank. But it makes me think twice about unplugging all of my styling tools before I leave in the morning. Ever come home to a semi-fried countertop? Sigh. That’s probably another blog post.
Which appliances or gadgets should go head to head next week? Leave your vote in on our Facebook page!