Monday, July 28, 2008

Hot Idea In the Morning

A lot of folks think that "going green" means giving up the niceties of life. While occasional sacrifices are made in name of the environment, some changes actually result in a higher quality of life. And I'm not talking about "spending more time with family" or "appreciating the beauty of nature". None of that philosophical crap (Don't get me wrong - all that philosophical crap is true - I just don't write eloquently enough to express it without sounding like a moron). I'm talking about something very real. I'm talking about a better tasting cup of joe. This little gem of a change was one I made shortly after I purchased my Kill-A-Watt device.


I have been plugging EVERYTHING in my house into my fabulous, geek-o-rific Kill-A-Watt device and am learning all sorts of unexpected lessons. For instance, one of the biggest energy hogs in my house (besides the heat, a/c, and major appliances) is my Mr. Coffee! When it's just sitting there displaying the time, the thing barely draws any energy -- in fact it doesn't even register a watt. However, when it is brewing or just keeping the hot plate on (which it does for at least two hours each day), it cycles itself on and off at about 900 watts. YIKES!

This one is such an easy fix, though, and it doesn't even require me to break my compact. When the coffee is done brewing, I simply pour it into my already-got-one-so-I-don't-need-to-buy-one coffee carafe. How cool is that? So now I only run the coffee pot for 10 minutes to brew and then that sucker gets turned off! Bonus? The coffee stays nice and hot all morning long and the last cup doesn't have that nasty Burn-O-Matic taste.


The heating element cycles on and off at 1 minute intervals. When on, it's drawing approximately 900 watts, or .9 kWh. So, two hours per day, every single day equates to 27 kWh a month, 324 kWh per year (which, by the way, is about $32.40 in dollar-savings). HAHA! Paid for the Kill-A-Watt and then some!

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

Already owned the carafe, just blew the dust off it and set it on the counter. Life just doesn't get any easier than that, does it?


There you have it folks. A better cup of coffee, a cleaner environment and dramatic special effects. What more could you want out of life?

What's that? You want your own Kill-A-Watt? You got it. Temporarily, at least.

Sign up at the Yahoo! Group in the "Kill-A-Watt Borrowers" Database. I'll mail my Kill-A-Watt to the first person on the list. That person can mail it on to the next on the list and so and so on until someone manages to break it or the post office loses it. Whichever comes first.


Vera said...

That is a seriously cool tool! :-)

FrugalWannabe said...

What a great idea! Thanks!! I'll be sure to sign up.

heather t said...

OOH, thanks!! We rent out an apartment attached to our house (and our electricity), and my clueless renter just went out and bought a giant chest freezer that she *thinks* she is going to plug in on my electric dime. Plus it's used (meaning: old), so I'm sure it's about the least efficient thing on the planet. The Kill-O-Watt will come in handy for determining how much I should raise her rent. Ha.

Chile said...

I don't want a Kill-O-Watt but I'll bet you'd like this diamond.

Bobbi said...

Thanks for the info!

arduous said...

SUPER COOL idea Burbs! I won't put myself on the list, since, um, I'm selling almost all my electronics, but I really appreciate this anyway!!! :)

Joan said...

My coffee machine automatically cuts off after 2 hours but after reading your blog I played around and I can shorten the time.

Robj98168 said...

I dont think peoplw realize how much energy a Coffee maker uses. That's why I use a themal carafe. Just pour cofee into it and problem solved! ANy thermos works. Keeps coffee from being sludge too.You are not a geek- I love my kill-a-watt and I am not a geek! I just have geeklike tendancies

Cyndy said...

I just recently started doing the same thing but I had to buy a carafe first. I didn't do the kill-a-watt but had been walking by it and realized how much heat it put out. I'm trying to keep the house cool. So...the savings are actually even more because you aren't adding heat to a house you're trying to cool.

Jason C said...

Just as an FYI - most power companies actually have "Stores" on their websites where they sell products like the Kill-A-Watt at a discount. Some are better than others, but worth investigating before you buy.

I've wanted one for a while, but wonder if you'll use it much after the initial burst?