Everyone in a house has instant feedback of their current (get it) electrical draw from the power company. Go watch your meter turn. Its "free" entertainment. You could always buy an non contact ammeter. Just go around and put the clamp on the cord to an appliance it will tell you exactly what its taking.
You could always buy an non contact ammeter. Just go around and put the clamp on the cord to an appliance it will tell you exactly what its taking.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. The two sides of the AC line cancel each other out and you wind up with a zero or near-zero reading. To get a non-contact reading on a line cord you have to do one of:
Split the cord and measure only one side (trivial on zip (lamp) cord, messy on jacketed line).
Use a line splitter (available for under $15, or make your own from an extension cord).
Buy a multi-core non-contact ammeter (very pricey).
I know they are expensive, my brother had one on his wedding registry. I'm an electrician and I wasn't going to buy him the cheap one he had listed so I just got him some other stuff. Watching your meter outside is pretty cheap though, and as accurate as your bill.
Here's a thought. I bet pulse and glide on a refrigerator would show the same results we see on our cars. If it normally stays at 35F or so, but if it was allowed to range 35-40 than it would probably suck up less energy then keeping a constant 35. Right?