How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use?

By Nick Evans •  Last Updated: 08/15/23 •  3 min read

Microwave ovens are an indispensable appliance in most kitchens around the world. They offer a quick, easy, and convenient way to heat or cook food. However, many people are not aware of how much electricity these appliances consume. In this article, we will discuss how many watts a microwave uses, factors that affect its energy consumption, and tips on how to reduce its power usage.

Understanding Microwave Power Consumption

The wattage of a microwave determines its power consumption. The higher the wattage, the more energy it consumes. Most microwave ovens have a power rating between 600 and 1200 watts, with the average being around 1000 watts. To calculate the power consumption of your microwave, you can multiply its wattage by the amount of time it’s in use.

For example, a 1000-watt microwave used for 30 minutes will consume 0.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. If your electricity rate is $0.15 per kWh, then the cost of running your microwave for 30 minutes would be $0.075.

Factors Affecting Microwave Energy Consumption

The wattage of your microwave is not the only factor that affects its energy consumption. Here are some other factors that can impact how much power your microwave uses:

  1. Cooking Time – The longer your microwave runs, the more electricity it will consume.
  2. Food Type – Different types of food require different cooking times and power levels. Cooking food on high power for a long time will consume more energy than cooking on low power for a shorter time.
  3. Cookware – The type and size of the container used to heat or cook food can affect energy consumption. Microwave-safe dishes made of glass, ceramic, or plastic are the most efficient.
  4. Efficiency – Older microwaves tend to use more energy than newer models. Look for energy-efficient models with an Energy Star rating.

Tips to Reduce Microwave Energy Consumption

To reduce the energy consumption of your microwave, here are some tips you can follow:

  1. Use the appropriate power level and cooking time for your food.
  2. Use microwave-safe cookware made of glass, ceramic, or plastic.
  3. Clean your microwave regularly to ensure it’s operating efficiently.
  4. Purchase an energy-efficient model with an Energy Star rating.
  5. Avoid using your microwave for small tasks, such as heating water, when you can use a kettle or stove.


Microwave ovens are an essential appliance in most households, but they consume a significant amount of energy. Understanding how many watts a microwave uses and factors that affect its energy consumption can help you make informed decisions about how to use your appliance. By following the tips above, you can reduce your microwave’s energy consumption and save on your electricity bill.

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