When microwaves revolutionized the way families heated their food in the late 1960s, every mother rushed to the store to buy one.
You could cook dinner in less time while using less energy than the stove!
How much energy do microwaves use?
microwavesare powered by electricity, but how much energy do they use and how much does it cost to run on average?
We answer all your questions about the electrical requirements and use of microwaves and what it means for you and your family when it comes to dining.
How many amps does a microwave use?
A standard 1000 watt microwave draws an estimated 10 amps.
Average microwaves range from 600 watts to 1200 watts and use between 5.4 and 10 amps.
The higher the wattage, the more amps the microwave uses.
The more amps, the faster the device will cook your food.
What is amperage?
current (amps)measures the number of electrons that are in a circuit.
Higher current generally means more power, but current works hand-in-hand with voltage to produce the final power.
voltagealso measures electric current, but it measures pressure as opposed to the number of electrons.
Multiply a device's current and voltage to calculate the all-encompassing power measurement, wattage.
Why do I need to know the amperage of my microwave?
Knowing the amperage rating of your microwave increases safety and protects your appliance from damage that can occur when you plug a high amperage appliance into a circuit that only supports a lower amperage.
You can easily connect lower amperage microwaves to higher amperage circuits.
For example, you can safely connect a 15 amp microwave to a 20 amp circuit, but you cannot connect a 20 amp microwave to a 15 amp circuit.
How to Calculate Microwave Booster Usage (Easy Two-Step Method)
Finding out the amperage of your microwave is easier than you might think.
Just follow these two easy steps to get your results.
Step One: Gather product information
The two most important things to know about your microwave are the wattage and the voltage of the unit.
Wattage varies widely, but most microwaves run at 120 volts with some minor variations (e.g. 110 volts).
If you still have the instruction manual, all the necessary details are immediately available.
If you don't have the manual, you can research your microwave online to learn more about it, but pay close attention to details so you don't get the stats for a similar but different model.
Step two: Calculate the current
To calculate amperage, simply divide the wattage by the voltage.
600 Watts / 120 Volts = 5 Amps
800 Watts / 120 Volts = 7 Amps
1000 Watts / 120 Volts = 9 Amps
1200 Watts / 120 Volts = 10 Amps
***For simplicity, we have rounded the results to the nearest whole number.
Why use decimals and fractions when rehashing leftovers?
High watts vs. low wattage microwaves
When you look at microwaves in the store, how do you know whether to choose the 1200 watt model or the 600 watt model?
Learn the key differences between high power and low power microwaves so you can make the best buying decision.
Pros and Cons of High Power Microwaves (800 watts or more)
Advantages:High power microwaves cook food faster, making them the preferred option for impatient, hungry people.
The fast cooking time also minimizes the possibility of getting sick from eating partially cooked food.
Food also cooks more evenly, so you don't have to turn your food to thoroughly heat everything.
Disadvantages:High wattage microwaves cost more and require more power from your outlets.
Pros and cons of low wattage microwaves (less than 800 watts)
Advantages:Low wattage microwaves run more efficiently, saving you money on your electricity bills.
They also cost less upfront and don't put too much strain on the lower amperage wiring you might find in an RV or boat.
Disadvantages:You have to wait significantly longer for your food, which reduces the savings from walking more efficiently.
People can also get uncooked food, which can lead to illness.
How much faster are high wattage microwaves than low wattage microwaves?
How much difference does the wattage make?
For an illustration of how long it takes for a microwave to boil water at different wattages, see:
- 600 Watt = 2:55
- 800 Watt = 2:11
- 1000 Watt = 1:45
- 1200 Watt = 1:27
How Microwave Power Affects You
What can you do with your new information about microwave amperage?
You can use it to make confident purchasing decisions and ensure proper electrical wiring of your microwave.
Buy the right microwave for your home
When you're shopping for your home kitchen, you want to go for a high-wattage (800 watts or more) microwave oven in a color that complements the other appliances in your kitchen.
Also, you need to consider the size of the microwave and its features.
Extra kitchen space is undeniably valuable.
However, a small microwave may not fit larger plates, and forcing a large plate into a small microwave can be dangerous.
Check out the following microwave sizes to determine the best one for you.
- Compact: up to 0.8 cubic feet
- Medium size: up to 1.3 cubic feet
- Family Size: up to 1.6 cubic feet
- Full size: up to 2 cubic feet
Pro Tip:To free up space, consider wall-mounting your microwave instead of standing it upSwitch, takes up unnecessary space.
After all, your microwave should have all the features you need (or want).
Most microwaves come with quick buttons, timers, and lights.
Enhanced features on the new models include removable grids, self-adjusting temperature settings to keep food juicy, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Before plugging in your new microwave, make sure the circuit you intend to plug it into can handle the amperage requirements.
While most experts recommend putting the microwave on its own circuit, if you have multiple appliances plugged into a circuit, you must ensure that the circuit can support the amperage of all the connected appliances when running simultaneously.
To avoid problems, electricians recommend overestimating the required current by about 20% to stay on the safe side.
For example, you probably want a 15 amp circuit for a microwave that draws almost 10 amps.
The most common amperage ratings of kitchen sockets are 15 amps and 20 amps, so they can support any standard microwave oven.
Circuit amperage becomes a bigger problem when you use your microwave in less structured places, such as in a bathroom. B. in a shed or an outlet at a campsite.
In these cases, you can benefit from choosing a low-wattage microwave.
Can I connect my microwave to an extension cord?
We do not recommend plugging a microwave into an extension cord, but it is possible.
If absolutely necessary, you can connect a microwave to an extension cord, as long as the cord uses the correct gauge wire.
A higher current requires a thicker wire.
See the following examples of the wire required for different amperages:
- 9 Amps: 20-Gauge Cable
- 12 Amps: 18-Gauge Cable
- 14 Amps: 16-Gauge Cable
- 18 Amps: 14-Gauge Cable
Cost of running a microwave
Electricity costs money.
While microwaves don't account for the majority of your home's electricity use, you may want to know the cost for financial planning reasons or out of curiosity.
Now let's do the math to calculate the cost of running a 1000 watt microwave for over a year!
Before the calculations, we need to clarify uncertain variables, in particular the electricity price and the average usage time per day.
These values can vary, but we'll use the following numbers for this example:
usage per day- 15 minutes
electricity costs– $.10/kW
To calculate the cost of running your microwave per year, you need to:
- Estimated average usage time per day: 15 minutes
- Calculate the watts used per day (multiply the watts by the hours used per day):1000 Watt x 0.25 Hour = 250 Watt
- Convert the result to kilowatts:250 Watt / 1000 = 0,25 kW
- Multiply the result by the price of electricity to get the daily cost:0,25 kW x 0,10 $ = 0,025 $ pro Tag
- Multiply by the number of days in a year (365):$0.025 x 365 = $9.125 per year
How does my microwave consume electricity compared to other kitchen appliances?
Your microwave doesn't use a lot of electricity, so it won't affect your monthly bill much.
For comparison, your microwave uses about the same amount of electricity as your coffee maker or waffle maker.
That means you don't have to look at your microwave if you want to cut your electricity bills.
TheKitchen items that use the most electricityinclude thedishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and oven.
Microwave vs. Conventional Oven
Microwaves are more efficient than ovens and stovetops because they cook food faster and only reach a certain level of heat.
A baked potato cooks in 15 minutes in the microwave and in an hour in oneconventional oven.
Also, stoves and ovens use more energy the higher you turn the heat up.
Traditional ovens offer far more control over the heat and the way you cook your food.
This control undeniably leads to better tasting meals.
In addition, the conventional oven offers more space and higher temperatures, which are required for certain dishes.
Microwave vs Toaster
Many people use the termsmicrowaveAndToasterinterchangeable, which is wrong.
Both products heat food with a smaller, more efficient device than the traditional oven.
However, the similarities end there.
Microwaves run more efficiently at $0.08 to $0.16 per hour, howevertoaster ovensuse only slightly more energy at $0.15 to $0.22 per hour.
While microwaves beat toasters for efficiency, toaster ovens offer features that microwaves don't.
For example, toaster ovens keep food warm for a few minutes after you turn it off.
However, when the microwave turns off, the food starts to get cold.
Tips on how to safely cook delicious food in the microwave
Want to cook the tastiest microwave meals in town?
Learn these simple tips and tricks to make your microwaved food as appetizing as possible.
Before putting food in the microwave, read the instructions carefully to learn the cooking time for a specific wattage microwave.
Many labels give cooking times for different wattages.
Current (amps) measures the number of electrons in a circuit.
Higher current generally means more power, but current works hand-in-hand with voltage to produce the final power.
Use your knowledge of microwave power to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
In some cases, you might even have a microwave that allows you to set the wattage, allowing you to perfectly follow the cooking instructions at each wattage.
1. Learn which foods not to cook in the microwave
Contrary to popular belief, you can't cook everything in the microwave.
While microwaves are safe and approved by the Food and Agriculture Organization, certain items do not cook well in microwaves.
Not only might the food explode, it might not taste right.
Groceriesdo not cook in the microwavecontain:
- Hot peppers
- Leafy vegetables
- breast milk
2. Cover food properly
For pain-free microwave cooking, cover food securely before heating in microwaveable containers.
Not only does this help retain moisture in your food, but it also prevents frustrating splatters in your microwave.
If you don't have a cover, you can use plastic wrap.
3. Create ventilation
Do not confuse the packaging with the cover.
If you plan to microwave something that comes pre-packaged, you will need to poke holes in the packaging to allow ventilation.
Failure to create ventilation could result in the package being over pressurized and exploding.
You should also avoid covering the vents when using the microwave.
4. Do not run the microwave when it is empty
Don't turn on the microwave without anything in it!
Without food to absorb the heat generated by the microwave, the energy has nowhere to go and combine until it potentially grows to levels that can damage the microwave.
5. Do not run the microwave oven with the door unlocked
If your microwave door doesn't close completely, radiation can enter your home.
After prolonged exposure tohigh electromagnetic radiationburns or blurred vision may occur.
Federal regulations limit leakage to 5 mW per square centimeter for the lifetime of the device.
If you notice an open door or a radiation leak, stop using the microwave until you fix the problem or replace it.
Final thoughts on how many amps a microwave uses
The amperage is directly related to the wattage of the microwave, but most microwaves draw around 10 amps.
More powerful microwaves will heat food faster, but may not work properly in areas with low amperage circuits, such as B. in a shed or boat.
However, most homes have the amperage to easily support a traditional household microwave.