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How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use? Costs and Savings

How Many Watts Does a Microwave

Key Takeaways

  • Microwaves typically use 600-1,000 watts, affecting cooking speed and energy consumption.

  • A 700W microwave used daily costs around 63.9 kWh/year, while a 1000W reaches 91.3 kWh.

  • Standby mode can cost $6/year per appliance, potentially saving $50-100 if managed well.

  • Electricity rates vary significantly, e.g., 15.47 cents/kWh nationally, but 43.18 cents in Hawaii.

  • Solar energy offers stability against fluctuating rates, with considerable savings post-setup.


How many watts does a microwave use?

Wattage in microwaves is essentially its power. It dictates how fast your food cooks and the energy it consumes. On average, microwaves use between 600 and 1,000 watts of electricity depending on the model. So, if you're heating up leftovers for 10 minutes daily, you're looking at about 4.1 kWh per month and 49 kWh per year. So you can see that every minute counts!

As you may already know, microwaves come in various wattages, typically ranging from 600W to a robust 1200W. Compact ones (600-800 Wh) are ideal for small households or students, standard models (800-1,000 Wh) suit larger families, while commercial units (>1,000 Wh) offer quick heating but consume more power.

But here's the catch: this wattage doesn't just affect cooking time. It also impacts your energy consumption. For instance, using a 700W microwave for 15 minutes daily translates to roughly 63.9 kWh annually. On the other end of the spectrum, a 1000W microwave used the same amount of time would consume about 91.3 kWh in a year.

Microwave Wattage

Hours Per Year Run

Yearly kWh Of Electricity

600 W


54.8 kWh

700 W


63.9 kWh

800 W


73.0 kWh



82.2 kWh



91.3 kWh

Knowing this number isn't just for show — it's crucial for understanding your microwave's energy consumption and ensuring you're cooking your meals efficiently. Thinking about the energy your microwave uses? Why not balance it out with solar power?

How much electricity do microwaves use?

A hand opening a microwave

Knowing your microwave's wattage is one thing, but grasping its actual energy consumption? That's where the plot thickens.

Picture this: a family of four, each zapping their lunch for 10 minutes, plus another 25 minutes of collective nuking in the evening. That's 65 minutes a day. But what does that mean in the grand scheme of things?

Here's the math: 65 minutes translates roughly to 1.083 hours. With a 1,000-watt microwave, you're looking at 1.083 kWh daily. It might not sound like much, but these numbers add up, impacting your electricity bill more than you might realize.

Microwave On Stand-by

And as if that is not enough, your microwave's standby mode is the silent budget-killer. Drawing an average of 5 watts per hour, it seems negligible, right? Wrong. Over a year, this sneaky consumption totals up to a whopping 43.8 kWh. With the average cost per kWh sitting at $0.1372, that's about $6 annually just for keeping your microwave plugged in. Now, think about all your other appliances. We're talking a potential $50-100 in savings per year if you play your cards right.

It's not just about your wallet, though. There's an environmental cost to this energy consumption. Every watt counts, and with millions of households running microwaves daily, it's a global concern. The silver lining? There's a sustainable way forward...

Cost Analysis: How much does it cost to power a microwave?

If you have stared at your electricity bill and wondered, "How much of this is because of my microwave?" then you're not alone.

Here's a little secret: your microwave might be a culinary lifesaver, but it's also a bit of a power hog. Sure, it's not running all day, but those minutes of convenience add up on your bill. And with the average electricity price for US homeowners hitting 15.47 cents/kWh in 2023, every second counts. But how much does it really cost to power a microwave?

As we all know, electricity costs can be as unpredictable as a thriller movie plot. For instance, while folks in Idaho enjoy some of the lowest rates, Hawaiians face a whopping 43.18 cents per kWh.

And assuming you use a 1,000-watt microwave for about an hour daily, that's 1 kWh per day or about 30 kWh per month. In Hawaii, that's nearly $13 a month just for microwaving! Meanwhile, in Idaho, you'd spend a fraction of that. Makes you think about all those microwave meals, doesn't it?

Solar Power: A Path to Consistent Savings

There's a silver lining, though... Have you ever considered solar energy? It's like your personal financial cushion against the rollercoaster of energy prices. Plus, you're doing Planet a solid. Households across the country are already basking in the consistent savings from their solar panels, even with the initial setup costs. And with the unpredictable energy prices, who doesn't want a bit of stability? So, if you are tired of playing guessing games with your electricity bill, then see how much you can save with solar.

How To Find The Wattage Of A Microwave

First up, let's talk about output wattage—that's the power your microwave uses to heat your food. Here are your clues:

  1. The Backstage Info Plate: Swing your microwave around and check the plate at the back. It's like a backstage pass to your appliance's vital stats.

  2. Doorway Secrets: Peek inside the microwave door. Sometimes, the wattage info is hiding there, playing a game of 'now you see me!'

  3. The Manual - An Oldie but a Goodie: Dust off that owner’s manual. It's a treasure trove of information, often neglected.

  4. Online Sleuthing: Got a model number? You've got a key to a world of online data. Just pop it into a search engine and watch the secrets unfold.

  5. The Time-to-Boil Test: Feeling experimental? Use this method to estimate the wattage based on how long it takes to boil a cup of ice-cold water. Less than 2 minutes? You're likely working with 1000W or more. More than 3 minutes? Probably between 300W and 500W.

Now, the input wattage—that's a different kettle of fish. It's the total power your microwave guzzles, and it's usually higher than the output. So, how do you find this figure?

  1. Back to the Info Plate: Yes, it's worth a second look. This time, you're after the input power, which will be listed in watts, just like the output.

  2. Manual and Online Recon: Same as before, but keep your eyes peeled for the input wattage, not the output.

  3. The Estimation Game: Here's a fun fact: on average, microwaves convert about 71.29% of their input power into cooking power. So, if you've got the output wattage, a bit of math can give you an estimated input figure.

  4. Tech to the Rescue: Want precision? Use a multimeter or an energy monitor (like the KASA smart plug) to see the real-time wattage draw.

So, there you have it! You're now equipped to uncover the wattage secrets your microwave has been keeping from you. And with this knowledge, you're one step closer to energy efficiency and savings. Remember, every watt counts!


How many watts is a normal microwave?

A standard microwave typically operates on 600 to 1,200 watts, with mid-sized models commonly using around 1,000 watts for efficient heating and cooking.

How much power does a 1000 watt microwave use?

Is 700 watts good for microwave?

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