How It Works
One of the most convenient appliances in our kitchens is
also one of the most complex. Microwave ovens
use microwave radiation to cook and heat foods from within. A typical microwave
has an energy efficiency of 64 percent,
consuming about two-thirds of its electricity to heat your food.
What Can Go Wrong
Microwaves sometimes lose
their ability to heat food for a number of reasons. They may continue to buzz
or hum without producing any real heat. A professional diagnosis and repair is
usually possible, but it may be more economical to replace the unit.
Small microwave ovens use between 500 and 1,000 watts (W). Medium capacity units, which are most common, use between 1,000 and 1,500 W. Large capacity units are designed for heavy use and for cooking large meals with a range over 2,000 W. A 1000 W microwave used 15 minutes a day will consume about 91 kilowatt-hours (kWh), producing 140 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2).