Having a treadmill in your house is a fantastic way to stay fit. When it’s so convenient to walk or run for an hour or so, you’re more likely to incorporate more exercise into your routine.
However, how much is the treadmill costing you in utility bills?
Although most of us focus on the initial price of a treadmill (or other workout equipment) when we buy it, the fact is that we should also take maintenance expenses into account as well.
So, with that in mind, today we’re going to break down how much electricity a treadmill uses.
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Figuring out your energy usage for any powered device is going to be a challenge, no matter what it is. Whether you’re talking about your coffee maker, a space heater, or your treadmill, there are a variety of factors involved in this equation.
Usually, appliances that stay on all the time (like a refrigerator) are much easier to calculate because you don’t have as much impact on the power usage. However, for a treadmill, there are a couple of critical considerations.
First and foremost, how long are you using the treadmill on a daily basis? As you can imagine, the more you’re on it, the more energy you’ll use in the process. For example, two hours a day, six days a week is going to drain a lot more power than if you ran for 30 minutes every other day.
Because we’re dealing with averages, you don’t have to worry about exact times. Also, because your utility bill is calculated monthly, you shouldn’t try to keep track of your minutes (or hours) each day. Overall, you will want to estimate your usage as close as possible.
The next thing to pay attention to is how fast you’re going on the treadmill. If you walk at a leisurely pace, you will use much less energy than if you were sprinting at full speed for 40 minutes.
This measurement can be a little trickier because most people will vary their speeds during their workout. For example, you may start off by going 1.5 miles per hour to warm up, then hit five or six mph when you’re at full tempo, and then finish off with a relaxing .5 mph cool down.
Because of this, what’s going to matter overall is the speed setting you use the most during your workout. Using our above example, if you only take five minutes on either side of your workout for a warmup and cool down, those settings are not going to impact your energy needs as much.
To a lesser extent, putting your treadmill at an incline can also affect your electricity consumption. However, unless you are putting yourself at a steep rate while you’re on the machine, it shouldn’t make much of a difference in your overall usage.
Finally, your size will be another mitigating factor when calculating your energy costs. As you can imagine, the heavier you are, the more electricity you’ll need to power the treadmill. Since it will take more effort to move the belt when you’re standing on it, a lot of excess weight can have a significant impact.
Calculating Your Energy Usage
When trying to determine how much electricity your treadmill is using, you will have to convert watts into kilowatts. This is necessary because your home utility bill is listed that way.
The most important thing to do is look at the wattage rating for your treadmill. This number should be listed in the manual, but if you don’t have that, you can look it up online. On average, treadmills can use between 300-900 watts.
If you want to get as accurate as possible, then you can buy a power meter and connect it to the machine directly. This will allow you to estimate how the different variables affect your output so that you can get precise numbers.
For a quick and easy calculation, you will want to take the max wattage of your treadmill (let’s say 600) and then multiply it by the number of hours you use it per month. So, if you run for one hour a day for six days a week, that will be around 24 hours every four weeks.
Thus, the equation will look like this – 600 x 24 = 14,400 watts. Since a kilowatt is 1000 watts, that means that you’re using 14.4 kilowatts per month. In the US, the average price per kilowatt hour is 12 cents, so that will equal roughly $1.78.
Again, you can use a power meter to get more precise numbers, but since we’re talking pennies on the dollar, it’s up to you if it’s worth the investment.
As you can see, owning a treadmill is not a significant drain on your home energy bill. To make it even more energy efficient, you can opt for a manual model that doesn’t plug into an outlet.
Regardless of the kind of treadmill you have, what matters most is that you’re using it as often as possible. Exercise is the key to a healthy life, so start walking!
Be sure to check out our article on the best treadmills under $600.