What is the Power consumption of a microwave oven?

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Ever wondered how much power does your microwave oven consumes while reheating your meal then this article is for you. In this article we will see power consumption of a microwave oven and it’s impact on your electricity bill.

The rated power wattage of a microwave oven ranges from 800 watts to 3000 watts. Larger the size of the microwave oven larger if the rated power. A 1000 watts microwave oven running for 1 hour will consume 1 kWh (unit) of electricity. Hence, for the entire month power consumed by this microwave oven will be 30 kWh of electricity.

What is the wattage of a microwave oven?

The wattage of microwave oven depends on its volume. The bigger the volume, bigger is the wattage and higher is the power consumption.

To give you an average range most microwave oven has power wattage between 800 watts – 3000 watts.

However, an 800 watts microwave oven does not consume power at rate of 800 watts at all time. The power consumption depends on the temperature setting as well.

A microwave oven set at 50 C won’t consume as much power as the one set at 100 C.

How to find wattage of your microwave?

You can look up your microwave model in amazon and find the wattage in product description or go to your microwave’s manufacturer website, find your microwave and check the technical specification.

If you don’t want to do all of this then look in the table below an find the microwave which is similar to yours.

Microwave Oven CapacityWattage
20 liter800 watts
23 liter1150 watts
28 liter2900 watts

All of the above data is for Samsung microwave oven, but most of the brands will have around the power wattage in those capacity.

Calculate power consumption of a microwave oven in a month:

The power consumption of a microwave oven depends on the temperature settings, wattage and the operational hours.

To calculate the power consumption of your microwave oven you need to know three things.

  1. Wattage – Rated power wattage of your microwave oven.
  2. Operational Hours – Number of hours your microwave is going to be in operation.
  3. Electricity Tariff – Electricity tariff is the amount of money your electricity provider charges you for one unit of electricity.

For example, if your microwave oven is rated at 800 watts and you use it for one hour in a day then what will be the power consumption in a month and how much electricity bill can you expect.

Before we start with the calculations there are two simple equations you should know.

  • Power consumed by any appliance (kWh) = Rated Power (Watt) X Operational Hours (hrs),
  • Electricity bill for using any appliance = Power Consumption X Electricity Tariff

So lets start with the calculation by using the above equations

  1. Power consume by a 800 watts microwave in 1 hour = 800 X 1 = 800 watt hour = 0.8 kWh of electricity.
  2. Power consume by a 800 watts microwave in a month (1 hour/day) = 0.8 X 30 = 24 kWh of electricity.
  3. Electricity bill for using a 800 watts microwave for a month (1 hour/day) = 24 X 10 = Rs 240 (Assuming electricity tariff is Rs 10/kWh)

You can use the below calculator to calculate power consumption of your microwave oven. Just put the wattage of your microwave oven, operational hours and electricity tariff an you are good to go.

How to interpret the results:

One think to keep in mind is the larger the wattage of the microwave oven, less time it takes to cook the food inside it and less will be the power consumption.

Also the temperature setting governs the power consumption, if the oven is running at high temperature then the wattage will be high and it will take less time to cook vice versa if the oven is running at low temperature the wattage will be low but it will take more time to cook the same food.

Hence it is difficult to reach an exact figure of power consumption of a microwave oven but the above calculation gives you the maximum amount of power your microwave oven can consume.

However if you want to know the exact power consumption of your microwave oven then there is a way for that too but it will cost you some money.

Calculate power consumption of microwave oven using kill a watt meter:

Kill a watt meter is a simple device used to calculate exact power consumption of any device.

You can check it on amazon using this link. Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

To use a kill a watt meter to calculate the power consumption of your microwave oven first you have to connect the microwave oven plug into the kill a watt meter and then plug the kill a watt meter in your wall socket and you are done.

Then start using the microwave oven and you can see in real time how many kWh (units) of electricity your microwave oven is using.

To get exact power consumption value it is advisable to take the reading for 3 – 7 days.

Check out this tutorial video from altE to understand how to use a kill A Watt Meter to track your appliance energy consumption.

Courtesy – altE Youtube Channel

Examples of power consumption of microwave oven:

FoodCooking timeCost
Microwavable meal 7 minutes Rs 1.28
Potato 5 minutes Rs 0.92
Reheating leftover spaghetti 4 minutes Rs 0.73
Frozen meat pie 3 minutes Rs 0.55
Softening butter 5 seconds Rs 0.01

The above figures are for a 1100 watt microwave oven and your electricity tariff is Rs 10/kWh.

Lets look into the difference between conventional oven and microwave oven.

Difference between a microwave oven & conventional oven:

Conventional ovens – Conventional Ovens have enclosed space with metallic elements at the top and bottom. Electric current flows through the metallic elements to heat up the element and in turn the enclosed space and cook food.

Additionally some ovens (convection) also have fans that uniformly distribute the heat. These ovens with fans are much more efficient than conventional ovens as they uniformly distribute the heat and thus can help in reducing the thermostat temperature.

A conventional oven can be used for baking any general cooking.

Microwave oven- Microwaves ovens generate electromagnetic waves that heats up the food kept in the appliance. Unlike a conventional oven, they do not heat up the whole space inside the appliance and just use the waves to heat the food kept in it. Making them much more electricity efficient than traditional ovens.

Microwave ovens are also has low rated power around 800-3000 watts because, the waves in microwave are concentrated on food, they also cook much faster.

A microwave oven is generally used for cooking, reheating it is not good for baking.

Myths about using a microwave oven for cooking:

  1. Myth: Microwaved foods are dangerous : Microwaving your food doesn’t make it radioactive. Microwaves are not radioactive, they are electromagnetic, so there is no possible way they can make food radioactive. The microwaves penetrate food and cause the water molecules and other electrically asymmetrical molecules to oscillate, which warms the food.
  2. Myth: Microwaving destroys nutrients in food : This warning, spread by online healthy eating groups, is not exactly wrong, but it is misleading. Nutrients break down when exposed to heat, no matter the source. Cooking foods in water or other liquids can also make nutrients leach out of the food. Since microwaving is so quick and uses very little liquid, it preserves more nutrients than other cooking methods such as boiling or baking, again according to Harvard Medical School.
  3. Myth: Microwaved water alters DNA and kills plants : Does microwaving alter DNA? No. For one thing, water itself doesn’t have DNA, though it may be contaminated by DNA from living creatures. More to the point, as mentioned before, microwaving only makes the molecules in the food vibrate, it doesn’t change the structure of the molecules.

Conclusion on power consumption of a microwave oven:

Power consumption of a microwave oven depends on the size of the oven and operating temperature.

On an average the wattage of a microwave oven ranges from 800 watts to 3000 watts. The power consumed by a microwave oven of 1000 watts in 1 hours of operation is 1 kWh (unit) of electricity, which would constitute an electricity bill of Rs 10 (assuming electricity tariff is Rs 10/kWh)

References used for microwave oven power consumption:

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Sanjivani

    I am using panasonic microwave convection 27 ltr (NNCD671M) for bakery product like nankhatai, cookies …i am doing this in auto menu….can u please tell me what is the consumption of microwave? I think this microwave is 2400 watt for convection mode…..Please help me….i want to calculate my electricity bill….pls guide

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