So I got a Kill A Watt Electricity 4460 Usage Monitor for Christmas. I’ve wanted one for quite a while, and this year I got it. I’m going to be posting several of these blogs over time as I learn more about electricity usage around the house.

For this post, I’m going to investigate my waterbed. It’s not a very big waterbed. It’s a “full” sized bed. I’ve had it since my grad school days, and I’m sure that they might have more efficient models now. But, I care about the one I’ve got. It has wooden side walls, and I always keep several layers of covers on the bed. I want to conserve as much heat as I can, basically.

For this particular test, I let the Kill A Watt measure electricity usage for 298 hours. This is a little over 12 days. These 12 days were chilly. I’d say there were a few days with lows down around 0-5 above, and highs outside were around freezing or lower. I keep the inside of the house warmer than that, of course. I do, however, have a programmable thermostat that lets things get cool during the day. My heat kicks on of a morning, off around the time I go to work, and doesn’t warm up again until evening when I would be getting home from work. During the day, I’d estimate that the temp in the house gets down to 55-60 in weather such as we had for the test.

OK. Enough background. Here’s the data. I looked at my most recent powerbill and came up with an estimated cost of 11.1 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity used. I was able to input this value into the Kill A Watt, and it automatically calculated my costs for me.

Over the course of the 12+ days, the waterbed used 28.02 kilowatt hours. This translates into $7.43 per month and $90.42 per year. The Kill A Watt lets you determine cost by day, week, month, year, and total used while being measured.

So.. $7.43 a month. Am I happy with that? Well, when I tell people, they respond, “That isn’t bad.” I don’t know. I’m still thinking about it. My total electricity costs during the winter are probably $70-$80 (I have natural gas for heating) so the waterbed is using a reasonable percentage of the total electric bill. On the other hand, it probably lets me keep the nighttime temps in the house lower than I would otherwise be comfortable with. What do you think? Is that a reasonable price to pay for a warm bed?

Note: I had thought about getting a lower end model of the Kill A Watt, the P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor but I ended up getting the 4460 because it automatically calculated costs.

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