If you have purchased any electronic or electrical instrument, you will come across with the term amperage. This term is often used as well by electricians. But what exactly does this word mean and why is it important? Having an understanding with an amperage can help lower your monthly electric bill and help you be a wise shopper.
The amperage is the strength of an electrical current measured in amperes. The ampere is the SI unit of electrical current. It can also be the amount of electrical charge that flows through a conductor in a certain given time. Most electrical instruments are rated according to their amperage or the amount of current that they draw from the main supply when a normal operation has been handled.
When it comes to the electricity flowing in and out of a home, some electricians may be referring it to voltage, amperage or wattage depending on the circumstances. But if we are going to talk about the effect of electric shock, it is no other thing but the amperage. Generally, amperage is the word used to describe the number of electrons traveling past a fixed point in a conductor.
The Difference between Amps, Volts, and Watts
There are so many misunderstanding with the words amps, volts, and watts. There are even times that they have been mixed together and it leads to many different troubles in mind. Well, they might sound the same but they are greatly different – in functions and in the words itself. Understanding the difference between amps, volts and watts can help us know them better. Finding a good analogy what these terms truly mean is to think them like flowing water all the way through a hose.
Let us differentiate them on by one.
- Amps – An amp is a measure of how much electricity is running through an electrical line just like the amount of water flowing through a hose.
- Volts – When we talk about volts, it is the measure of how strong or how forceful the electricity flowing through an electrical line is. It is somewhat like the pressure of water running through a hose. This is the reason why large appliances with 220 V can suck more power per minute than those who only have 120 V.
- Watts – When it comes to watts, it is the result of multiplying amps and volts together. When we talk about the electricity, watts is the working capacity.
Why Does Amperage Matter
Watt is the thing used to calculate power consumption. A current of one amp at one volt consumes only one watt of power. To get how much power consumed, the power used by a device is simply multiplied by volts. So assuming that the appliance rated at 10 amps plugged into 110V supply, it will only use 1,110 watts of energy.
Watts are used by most power companies to measure the consumed electricity in order to charge consumers but amperage is important to calculate the cost of energy running in an electrical device. Generally, the power use of customers will be charged by kilowatt-hours. However, there is always a substitution between power and economy when it comes to homeowner’s electrical devices. It seems that the higher the current rating, the higher the cost of consumed power.
Therefore, if you are someone with goals of decreasing monthly utility bills then choose products with lower amperage.
Protect Yourself and Your Appliances
One of the most common issues regarding electricity usage is overheating and short-circuiting. Avoid this by protecting electrical wires and circuits by controlling the amperage. As you can see to electricians, they use fuses and breakers in order to do it. The breaker switches can also be used to control current to prevent breaking the circuit. Most large devices usually have their own circuits with higher fuses and breaker switches capacity to prevent irritating overloads.
When a person receiving an electric shock due to careless electrical handling or having electrical faults, it is the amount of current that flows in the body, not the voltage. If you are experiencing a shock of perhaps thousands of volts but there is only a small current on it, it is harmless. On the other hand, if you are hit by just a hundred volt of shock but there is extremely high current, the result could be fatal. Therefore, the lesser amps, the safer.
So, for safer home appliances and musical instruments, go for devices with lesser amperage.