We understand why many campers, outdoor enthusiasts, and homeowners ask, “How many amps does an electric blanket use?” After all, they want to sleep comfortably without worrying about unnecessary energy expenditures.
The amp draw of an electric blanket varies, depending on multiple factors. Some might only require four to five amps, while others need 45 amps to heat a sleeping surface for several hours.
Join us in learning about electric blankets and how much electrical power (in amps) they require.
How Many Amps Do Electric Blankets Use
Most companies use watts to categorize their electric blankets. For example, Sunbeam offers 115-watt electric blankets without telling prospective buyers the product’s amperage rating.
Hence, you will want to do some math to determine the electric blanket’s amperage requirements.
Watt’s Law dictates that an appliance’s wattage rating is the product of its voltage and amperage values:
watts = volts x amperes
We can perform a simple calculation to determine the amperes of a heating blanket using this formula.
Since most electric blankets work with 12-volt electrical systems, we only need to consider their wattage ratings.
Most DC (12-volt) electric blankets run on 45 to 100 watts, although it’s possible some brands might be higher or lower than these limits. So, how many amps do these products use per hour? Let’s apply what we learned.
Using the aforementioned formula, the average 45-watt electric blanket draws 3.75 amps, while a larger-sized 100-watt unit requires 8.3 amps.
So, on average, a 12-volt electric blanket only consumes 4.5 amperes per hour, meaning eight hours will only draw 36 amps (4.5 ah x 8 hours = 36 ah), all else equal.
Factors Affecting Power Consumption
Although electric blankets have the same function, they vary in electrical requirements. Some draw electricity faster than others. . The following factors can influence an electric blanket’s power consumption.
1. Size of Electric Blanket
The bigger the electric blanket, the higher its power requirements. Electric blankets feature thin cables within the fabric, transferring heat to the human body in contact with it.
Hence, the number of heat-transmitting electrical wires buried underneath the electric blanket’s fabric layers increases with blanket size. The more cables, the more electricity the blanket uses to generate heat.
For example, a Sealy full, king, or queen size electric blanket features a 200-watt power requirement. Under Watt’s Law, these blankets draw about 16.67 amps (200 watts / 12 volts = 16.67 amps).
Meanwhile, the brand’s throw and twin models only run on 100 watts for a modest 8.33-amp draw.
Other brands might feature a similar pattern. Hence, homeowners and RVers who want an energy-efficient electric blanket should consider smaller-sized electric blankets.
2. Temperature Setting
The electric blanket’s thermostat settings can also impact energy consumption.
Like any appliance, cranking the electric blanket’s temperature to the highest level demands more electrical power than whittling it down to low or medium.
For example, the average electric blanket only consumes 17 watts when set to the lowest possible temperature. That’s about 1.42 amps.
Dialing the thermostat to moderate heat will draw 35 watts or about 2.9 amps while setting it at the highest temperature will consume 70 watts or about 5.8 amps.
Thankfully, most electric blankets feature a 10-level temperature setting. Most of the time, you might want to set the electric blanket’s thermostat to not exceed 5.0 or 6.0 to save energy.
3. Length of Operation
How long you heat your electric blanket can also influence energy consumption. Hence, using an 8.33-amp electric blanket for two hours only consumes 16.7 amps, while extending it to six hours will draw 49.98 amps.
It’s worth noting that your electric bill only reflects consumption in wattage, not amperes.
Let’s say you pay 23 cents for every kWh. In that case, you’ll spend $6.90 monthly using a 100-watt electric blanket for ten hours daily (0.1W * 10 hours/day * 30 days * 0.23 dollasr).
Here’s a summary table of what we discussed
|Small-sized electric blankets||About 8.33 amps / 100 watts|
|Large-sized electric blankets||About 16.7 amps / 200 watts|
|Low temperature setting||About 1.42 amps / 17 watts|
|Mid-temperature setting||About 2.9 amps / 35 watts|
|High temperature setting||About 5.8 amps / 70 watts|
|4-hour runtime at 4.5 ah||18 amps|
|8-hour runtime at 4.5 ah||36 amps|
|10-hour runtime at 4.5 ah||45 amps|
How to Calculate the Amperage of an Electric Blanket
As you can see, calculating an electric blanket is as easy as dividing its wattage rating by the voltage value.
For example, suppose you have a 300-watt electric blanket for an oversized king mattress. In that case, you can expect its amperage to be 25 amps per hour (300 watts ÷ 12 volts = 25 amps).
Tips for Efficient Electric Blanket Use
Although a heated blanket power draw is low (about 3.75 to 8.3 amps per hour), assume you still want to conserve as much energy as possible. So, what can you do?
- Use the electric blanket to warm the bed cover a few hours before you sleep, turning it off once you’re in bed. A product with an auto-off feature works best.
- Set the electric blanket to its lowest possible temperature level or up to medium intensity, but never crank it to the max.
- Consider other heating options (i.e., hot water pads, extra clothing, and additional blankets).
The answer to the question, “How many amps does an electric blanket use?” varies because of multiple factors. 4.5 amps is the most common, though some products might have a lower or higher electrical draw.
An electric blanket is more energy-efficient in ensuring a more comfortable sleep than a space heater, which typically uses 1.5 kilowatts or 15 amps, assuming 12V.
Of course, an electric blanket can only warm up to two persons at once. And it’s only for sleeping or therapeutic purposes. For other heating requirements, a space heater might be a better option.
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