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AMPs, Watts, and Volts: A Guide to Measuring Power

Electricity plays a significant role in our everyday lives. We use it to charge electrical appliances, light up the indoors and outdoors of our home, heat water, cook food, and more. It’s common for residents of Cincinnati to check the current rating and wattage of appliances and light bulbs when shopping. But frankly speaking, only a few people understand what those terms mean.

Understanding the meaning of amps, volts, and watts is the first step in making the right electrical decisions. This will help you to select electrical appliances that are ideal for you and within your budget. You can save some bucks in your monthly energy bills by merely understanding what the terms mean. Besides that, it will help you to interpret your electricity bills better. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand how electricity is measured.

Amps

An amp is also referred to as “ampere.” The term refers to the amount of electrical current flowing through a cable in a given period. It is an indication of the number of electrons flowing into the system. These electrons form an electric current. As such, amperes measure the rate or intensity of the current.

Ampere Rating

There is a specific limit in which your home’s amperage is set. A circuit breaker controls this limit. Whenever the limit is exceeded, the circuit breaker goes off. This is to protect the devices and appliances around your home from being damaged by high electrical current.

Knowing your home’s amperage: You can check your home’s amperage on a circuit breaker’s handle. In most cases, the amperage is between 15 and 20 amps. However, newly constructed homes may consume more current as opposed to older ones. You will know the number of devices your system can support based on your circuit’s amp limit.

How to know the number of amps used by devices: The first step is to determine the watts and volts that the appliance uses. This information is provided in the user’s manual. To calculate the amperes, divide the watts by the number of volts. Keep a record of amperes used by each of the appliances. It will inform you when you are about to exceed the amp limit.

Watts

A watt is a measure of energy. It indicates the amount of energy generated or consumed. It is used to measure the amount of energy that an electric device utilizes during a specific time. In simpler terms, it shows the power being consumed in running an element or appliance. Consumption of energy is measured with respect to a particular period. When it comes to watts, the time used is one hour, which brings about the term “watt-hour” (Wh).

How to determine the number of watts: First and foremost, you should find out the number of volts and amperage. The two numbers are then multiplied by each other to know the maximum amount of watts supported by your electric system.

Volts

Voltage can be defined as the pressure in which electricity is flowing through an electrical cable. It measures how forceful or intense the electrical current is. It can be equated to the water pressure inside a hose pipe. If the pressure is high, the water will be pushed out of the tube forcefully. Similarly, if the voltage exerted on the circuit is increased, more current will flow from it. Most devices are set at 120 volts in the United States, but large ones may have a higher voltage of up to 230 volts.

Calculating the Number of Volts

It is essential to keep track of the volts emanating from your circuit. The first step is to find out your circuit’s amperage and the amount of watts your appliance is using. Next, divide the watts by the amps to determine the number of volts exiting from your system to support the running appliance.

If you have any issues with your electric system, you should not hesitate to contact us. At Wingate Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer a range of services, including electrical maintenance and repairs, annual inspections, and HVAC repairs and installations.

Call us today to learn more about our services in Cincinnati. We have a reputable and well-trained team that will take care of your electrical appliances, including heating and cooling systems. We offer quality services to our clients.

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