In this day and age, it is hard to imagine life without electricity. We count on it for everything. Without it, we would never have had television, computers, or electric appliances. If you have ever purchased anything that runs on electricity, you have likely heard of watts and amps, but you may not understand their meaning. Understanding the difference between watts and amps could help you save a significant amount on your energy bills. That is why we want to explain to you exactly what each is and how it affects your home’s budget.
What Is an Amp?
Amperage measures how much electricity is running through a circuit at any given moment. This measurement refers to the number of electrons passing through a wire, and it is listed in units that are called amps. Amps are named after André-Marie Ampere. He was a French physicist who is known as the father of electromagnetism.
You will come across the term “amps” when you look inside your home’s breaker box. You will find that the different circuit breakers are listed in amps. More than likely, there are 15-amp, 20-amp, and 30-amp breakers in your home. The larger the amperage, the more electricity there is flowing through the circuit. Your bigger appliances, such as the washer and dryer, will be connected to the 30-amp breakers, while your outlets use 20- or 15-amp circuits.
What Is a Watt?
Wattage is one of the most familiar electrical terms you will hear. Most likely, this is due to the common lightbulb. Who has not had to reference the wattage when purchasing these essential items? Lamps and light fixtures require specific-wattage lightbulbs. The higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb.
Wattage refers to the amount of power consumed by an electrical device. In other words, it measures the power a device needs to do its job. Something as simple as a doorbell uses two to four watts. In contrast, the vacuum uses a whopping 400 to 900 watts.
To calculate the wattage, multiply the voltage by the amperage. The term “voltage” refers to the measurement of the pressure at which electricity is flowing through the system. This equation is shown as V X A = W. The faster an electron gets through a circuit and the more value the circuit holds, the higher the wattage.
The units used to measure wattage are called watts. They are named after James Watt. He was a Scottish engineer who popularized the steam engine.
How Understanding Watts and Amps Saves You Money
Watts and amps directly affect your monthly electric bill. Understanding what they are is a great way to enable yourself to save energy and lower those costs.
The electric company sends you a bill each month. This bill shows you how much electricity you have used. They show you that amount in kilowatts. One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. The more volts and amps your home’s electric appliances and electronics use, the higher your electric bill is.
Some electronics and appliances still use watts when they are turned off. They call this a “phantom load” or “vampire power.” Those extra watts also contribute to a high electric bill. You can use a watt meter to find out exactly which devices use phantom power. After identifying these devices, you can either unplug them when they are not being used or plug them into a smart strip that can easily be turned on or off. By lowering the phantom load, you are lowering the number of watts you use. This saves you money in the long run.
Canton’s Electrical Experts
Beck Electric, Generators & Plumbing provides commercial and residential electrical, generator, and plumbing services to Canton and the surrounding areas. We have been in business since 2007. We are family-owned with the goal of offering the best service available to all of our customers. In addition to plumbing repairs and maintenance, we can assist with all of your electrical needs. We handle repairs, replacements, and upgrades. This includes outlet repair and installation, panel inspections, and surge protection. We can even install landscape lighting. Whether you are looking to improve the electrical system in your older home or need wiring installed in a newly constructed house, we are here to help. Call Beck Electric, Generators & Plumbing today to learn more.