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Power Ratings for Common Appliances

Quickly find the the typical power rating (in Watts) of many common household appliances. Use this information to help estimate how large your alternative energy system needs to be.

The list below includes many appliances and their typical power ratings (in Watts). You can use this information to help you estimate the total amount of Watt-hours that your alternative energy system needs to supply on an average day. Power ratings of most appliances are usually listed on the appliance itself or the manual. For a final calculation of your watt-hour usage, we recommend that you look at each appliance to be powered to find its rated power.

Visit the altE Kill A Watt Database to find the power usage of appliances being used in the real world as recorded by members of the altE Community. You can also buy a power meter specifically designed to measure how much power an appliance consumes.

When determining how many Watt-hours your appliances will use, keep in mind that many of the appliances you use will only be run for an average of a few minutes per day. For instance a 500W weed eater may be used for 1 hour every week. That translates to an average of 71 Watt-hours per day (500W / 7 Days).

Additionally, there are appliances like refrigerators which although appear to be “on” all day, actually are running between 12 to 15 hours a day (turning on and off as needed). Air conditioning units also run on and off all day depending on the cooling needs of the home and the outdoor temperature.

Finally, be aware of “ghost loads”. These are devices that people commonly forget to include in their calculations. These devices typically consume a small amount of energy (less than 1W) but are running 24 hours a day. Examples of typical ghost loads would be AC adapters, clocks, VCRs, TVs, microwaves, and printers. Many of these devices require power to maintain their clocks running (e.g. VCR, TV, and microwave). Although the amount of energy consumed on an hourly basis is small, the fact that they run all day can easily add as much as 100Wh per day.

Appliance Watts
Air Conditioner
  Room* 1000
  Central* 2000 – 5000
Air Conditioners rated in tons
  Per Ton 3517
  e.g., 5 Ton AC Unit 17585
Blender 300
Blow Dryer 1000 – 1500
CB Radio 5
CD Player 15 – 30
Ceiling Fan 10 – 50
  Laptop 20 – 75
  Desktop PC 80 – 200
  Printer 100
Coffee Maker 800
Clock Radio 1
Dishwasher 1200 – 1500
Dryer (Clothes)
  Electric* 4000
  Gas Heated 300 – 400
Electric Blanket 200
Electric Clock 1
Electric Frying Pan 1200
  Conventional 14cf
(15 hrs/day runtime)
  Sun Frost 19cf Freezer 112
Furnace Blower 300 – 1000
Garage Door Opener 350
  Engine Block* 150 – 1000
  Portable* 1500
  Waterbed* 400
  Stock Tank* 100
Hot Plate 1200
Iron 1000
  Incandescent Bulbs CFL Bulbs
    100 23
    75 20
    60 15
    40 11
Microwave 600 – 1500
Popcorn Popper 250
Refrigerator/Freezer (runtime in hours/day)
  Conventional 20cf (15) 540
  Conventional 16cf (15) 475
  Sun Frost 16cf DC (7) 112
  Sun Frost 12cf DC (7) 70
  Conserv 10.5cf (8) 60
  Conserv 7.5cf (8) 50
Satellite Dish 30
Sewing Machine 100
Shaver 15
Sink Waste Disposal 450
Stereo 10 – 30
Table Fan 10 – 25
Toaster 800 – 1500
  Weed Eater 500
  1/4″ drill 250
  1/2″ drill 750
  1″ drill 1000
  9″ disc sander 1200
  3″ belt sander 1000
  12″ chain saw 1100
  14″ band saw 1100
  7 1/4″ circular saw 900
  8 1/4″ circular saw 1400
Vacuum Cleaner
  Upright 200 – 700
  Hand 150
VCR 40
Waffle Iron 1200
Washing Machine 500

*Ideally, these items should not be powered by a PV system, because they are considered inefficient appliances to be powered by solar or wind electric sources.