How much electricity does your treadmill use?
Posted by Matthew Pearson on 16th Nov 2018
There’s no question about it. Buying a treadmill to use at home is one of the best investments you can make in your health and fitness.
After all, you’re stuck in the same body your whole life. It makes sense to take care of it. And a treadmill lets you do that without having to leave the house. In fact, over time, a treadmill could actually save you money when compared to the cost of a gym membership.
Treadmills these days can be surprisingly affordable, especially if you manage to find them on sale. But there’s more to the cost of a treadmill than the purchase price. You need to think about the cost of maintenance, repairs and also about how much electricity they consume too. So let’s take a look.
Wattage Power Rating
What's a watt? Put simply, it's a measure of electrical energy. All appliances, including treadmills, have a wattage rating that tells you how much power the machine uses. Since this varies according to the size of your treadmill and the power of the motor inside, it's important to know the rating of your specific treadmill. Usually, you'll find this information on a small plate on the machine itself, and it will also be in the instruction manual.
Some treadmills are rated in units other than the watt. If your treadmill is rated in any other unit instead of a watt, you can convert that numbers to watts with the help of formulas listed below:
- V (Volt) and A (Ampere): V x A = W (Watts).
- hp (Horsepower): 1 hp = 745.6998 W (Watts).
Calculating Your Usage
This is the part that may require some math. Think of it as a treadmill for your mind.
To keep things simple, you could take the maximum wattage of your treadmill (let's assume 700) and multiply it by the number of hours that you use the treadmill each month.
So, if you run for one hour a day for seven days a week, that will be around 28 hours every four weeks.
The equation should look like:
- 700 (W) x 28 (h)= 19600 Wh.
Household power consumption is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh. So divide the numbers by 1000 to get the total kilowatt hours per month. Now multiply the kilowatt hours by the price per kilowatt hour to figure your monthly cost.
- 19600 (Wh) / 1000 = 19.60 (KWh).
- 60 (KWh) x 0.12 (Electricity cost 0.12c per kWh) = $2.35 (roughly).
That’s the hard part over. Your electricity supplier can tell you how much you pay for 1 kWh. Most providers list it on the bill, so you can find it there. The cost varies by location, but 12 cents per kWh is fairly average in North America. Countries in the EU vary widely, but around 18 cents is a decent average. Elsewhere in the world, prices can be much lower or much higher depending on where you live.
The actual numbers will vary, but this will give you a maximum figure that's easy to work with. For a more accurate reading, you could connect a watt meter to the machine and measure the wattage over time. For a rough idea of cost, though, this isn’t necessary.
Factors Affecting the Electricity Usage In Treadmills
Unless you're some kind of perpetual motion machine, you're not going to be using your treadmill 24 hours a day. To figure out what your treadmill will cost to run, you need to know how often you're going to use it. And be honest with yourself!
We'd all like to pretend we're going to run for three hours a day, but if you overestimate your treadmill usage, you're going to end up with an inaccurate impression of how much electricity you're going to use.
Think also about how you will use your treadmill. Just because you have a three horsepower motor with 700 wattage rating doesn't mean you're going to use it at full power all the time.
For example, If you walk rather than run, your treadmill might only use about half the energy during that time.
Just as the speed of the treadmill belt affects its energy consumption, so too does the incline you use it at. A steeper incline will force the treadmill’s motor to work harder and use more electricity. It’s not going to be a huge difference, but it all adds up.
Your own body weight is also going to be a factor. The heavier you are, the more energy it’s going to require to move the belt with you standing on it.
Of course, as you use your treadmill more, some of that excess weight should disappear. One more reason to get in shape - to save money on your power bills.
Go Green with Human-Powered Treadmills
Most people who can afford a treadmill can afford the electricity to run it, too. But the cost of power in some places in the world is far higher than in others, and it can start to seem like another added cost you don’t need.
Plus, not everyone is blessed with a reliable power supply. If you live in an area with electricity rationing or occasional blackouts, anything that makes you less dependent on electricity is good. And some people like to live off the grid and still get their exercise.
For all these reasons, self-propelled treadmills might be worth considering. Powered solely by your own muscles, the only electricity these machines require is a small amount to power the console if they have one. And this can be done using batteries. Or not done at all.
Even if you have a cheap and reliable source of power, self-powered treadmills can be a good option. As well as being free to run, they're usually less expensive to buy in the first place. And because they don't need to be plugged in, you can put them anywhere you want, such as a garage without an electricity supply or an unfinished basement.
These treadmills offer a versatility that you won't find with an electrical model. And with less complicated parts, there's less to go wrong, making them more reliable. Plus, even if they do break down, they're more straightforward to repair.
To some lucky people, the cost of electricity isn’t going to matter. If you have a stable supply of electricity, a dollar a month in added running costs may not concern you. And if you want all the extra features that modern treadmills offer, such as speakers for your music and iFit compatibility, you’ll want a treadmill that plugs in. In that case, an electric treadmill is a way to go.
On the other hand, if you want to save some money on the running costs, or you have an unreliable power supply, a manual treadmill is a great way to stay in shape without having to worry about an increased energy bill. The only energy y you should be thinking about is the energy - and the calories - you’ll be burning off on your new treadmill.
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