How Much Energy Does My White Noise Machine Use?

By Vernon Trollinger, July 13, 2016, Energy Efficiency

Saving energy (and money) is always easier when you know how much you’re using. But because many of the convenient smaller appliances we use seem to draw little amounts of power, we all too often discount how their use really does impact our electricity bills. With our How Much Energy Does This Appliance Use?, we’ll examine what’s watt in small appliances to see approximately how much they use. To help you understand very basic electrical consumption calculations, you’ll need to keep a simple equation in mind: Volts (V) x Amperes (I) = Watts (W). What you’ll discover is how just how small appliances can contribute to your home’s energy usage and how these little conveniences can make big differences on your bill.

How Much Energy Does My White Noise Machine Use?

Oddly enough, not everyone is lulled to sleep by the sounds of an active neighborhood. Sirens, road noise, muffled music or a TV from the apartment down the hall can introduce just enough intrusive sounds that can wake a person from their sleep. Many people use white noise machines to mask or wash-out troubling background noise so that they can get a good night’s sleep. White noise is sound that combines all frequencies together at a more or less uniform amplitude. White noise masks intelligible sounds by filling in all the frequencies around a recognizable sound. A sharp recognizable wailing siren in the background, for example, gets blurred by all the other frequencies that make up white noise.

How Much Energy Does My White Noise Machine Use?

If loud noises are keeping you up at night, consider investing in a white noise machine to help you sleep.

Most white noise machines employ a recording of a naturally soothing environment, such as a rain storm, running stream, the ocean, campfire, or white noise. Some come with night lights or even soothing projections, as well as timers. Many of these are portable and battery operated, using 2 to 4 AA batteries (roughly 3 to 6 volts DC). These also come with “wall wart” power adapters (some manufacturers do not supply power ratings of their third party adapters in their user manuals). As with those used on baby monitors and other gadgets, AC adapters can leak from .7 to 1.6 watts without being connected to anything. So be sure to unplug it if it’s not powering anything. A few, such as Sound Therapy Systems’ BST-100 Bluetooth System, also give your the option of powering it via the USB port of your computer with a USB cable. USB power spec is 5 volts DC running at about 500mA (0.5A).

How Much Energy Does My White Noise Machine Use?

When it comes to your electricity bill, your white noise machine isn’t going to break the bank.

A ball park estimate of wattage used runs from 3 to 18 watts, depending on the loudness of the machine, timer options, and lighting options. Using a 9 watt white noise machine every 8 hour night for a year eats up 26.28 kWh. At 10¢/kWh, that’s merely $2.63 a year to run it — not counting batteries, of course.

Marpac’s Dohm differs in that it uses an adjustable fan and vents to produce white noise at varying volumes. While mechanical devices might deliver the whitest of noise, the loudness depends on the motor speed. The Dohm Original Sound Conditioner can use up to 40 watts. At 320 watts/ 8 hour night, it’s using a whole lot more electricity during one year — 116.8 KWh or around $11.68 per year.

How Much Energy Does My White Noise Machine Use?

You can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep, but luckily the price isn’t too high!

While white noise generators may be expensive to buy, you’re not going to loose too much sleep over how much they cost to power. So, if you’re worried about how much your white noise generator is costing you — just stop. As anyone will tell you, a good night’s sleep is beyond price.

High electric bills have you treading water? We’ll help keep your head above water when we dive deep into aquarium energy costs!

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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