If you’ve been wondering about saving money by using electric linen to stay warm in the winter – or are already using one and are curious how much that increases your electric bill – you’re not alone. While many appliances come with ratings that tell you about how much energy they’ll consume or how much that energy will cost, this isn’t as clear with a wired blanket. In fact, if you’re looking at that tag, you’re likely worried about the amount of power it states the electric cover will consume. When you really break it down, though, the amount of energy varies greatly based on many factors, and you’ll want to better understand those details for the best estimate.
Using an Electric Blanket
One of the most important things to remember when trying to figure out how much electricity your wired blanket will actually use is that you have to adhere to some specific safety policies. If you treat the blanket properly – like the appliance it is rather than a simple throw – you’ll not only be safer; you’ll also use less energy in the process. Some tips to promote safety with electric linens include:
- Never leave your electric linen on overnight, as this becomes a fire hazard.
- Don’t fold, roll, or bundle your wired blanket, since this can damage the thermostat and the electric components inside, leading to malfunctions like fire, overheating, and electrocution.
- Be aware of the settings so you don’t cause overheating.
- Never use a wired blanket near a cold, open window; only use at room temperature, as the thermostat is made to work at room temperature. Cooler temperatures cause the electric cover to draw more power and overheat.
Measuring Energy Usage
Just like any electric linen, such as heated mattress pads and covers, a blanket has the same guidelines. When you look at the manufacturer’s rating tag to determine how much energy your wired blanket uses, keep in mind that most overstate usage, just to cover all the bases. That total is likely calculating for use all year round, more than 8 hours at a time, which is never recommended.
In actuality, because there are stringent UL ratings on appliances, including electric blankets, it’s rare to find an electric blanket that use more than 100 watts (per side, if this is a dual-thermostat blanket). Even that is the high setting, and since it’s normal to run an electric blanket at medium (around ‘5’ on the setting), you’re looking at a draw of closer to 40 or 50 watts. That amounts to about 0.35 kWh when you run the blanket for 8 hours straight. That’s very little energy, but what’s the cost?
Determining the Expense
Because electricity costs vary throughout the country, it’s hard to determine the exact amount it costs to run an electric linen. But you can find an average. First, consider that winter is 90 days, and there may be a few extra cold days, depending on where you live. Let’s figure you use your electric blanket consistently for 120 nights a year. if you’re using 0.35 kwh each of those nights, that totals about 45 kwh each year.
A good average estimate of cost per kwh that gives you an idea what that costs equals is about 12 cents (some areas of the United States cost less, and a few might cost slightly more, but this is a good average for estimates). That means the total cost of using your electric linen to the max of its ratings for an entire year would be less than 5 dollars.
Obviously, you don’t really need to worry much about your energy bill spiking due to the amount of electricity a blanket actually uses, especially since you likely won’t even use it full time. However, this cost efficiency doesn’t mean you should replace your central heating with an electric blanket since running it in temperatures too far below average room temperature can cause malfunctions.
Choosing the Right Electric Blanket
Check Our Soft Heat Luxury Electric Blanket Review here
If you’re considering purchasing electric linen to keep you warmer on those cold nights, knowing that it won’t really affect your energy consumption, you should take care in determining which electric blanket is best. One of the most important things to consider is how easy it is to use the blanket. After all, there are some very specific safety concerns that have to be addressed, and if the wired blanket is difficult to use, you might have trouble taking precautions.
Make sure you choose a wired blanket with a knob that is easy to turn, even if you have problems with dexterity. Also, assure that the numbers are large and have a bright backlight so there is no concern about vision, even in the dark. You don’t want the blanket to be too heavy, either. The material could weigh you down, and that would make it difficult to take the blanket off when you grow too warm.
Also, make sure you check the ease of care on the wired blanket you choose, making sure there is no-hassle washing and storage options.
How Long Will It Last?
You should value quality above price, since electric linens are appliances that need special care. If you buy a good, quality blanket that doesn’t have material that pills or loose controls, and you take good care of it, you can expect it to last a good 5 years or longer. Remember, you need this to stand up to multiple washes (and be sure to purchase one that is machine washable, adhering to all washing instructions precisely) and use.
If you are especially careful, an electric blanket can last even longer, though it’s recommended that you replace it every ten years, in case there is internal damage you can’t see.
Electric linens can add that cozy warmth you need on especially cold nights, and even without running them through the night, they can heat your mattress so that it holds heat while you sleep for greater comfort. They cost practically nothing to run when used appropriately, and they aren’t expensive, so you can get a high-quality electric blanket that will last you several years.