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Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?

Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?
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Thinking of investing in one of the best air fryers but unsure of how much these machines cost to run? We’ve found out whether air fryers use a lot of energy and we’ll be including advice on what to look out for. 

Air fryers are a great solution if you want to cook all your fried food favorites but without the oil so they’re healthier. These appliances also cook food really quickly so you won’t be waiting around for ages until dinner is ready. 

These machines come in a range of capacities, and each of them has a certain number of functions so that you can air fry as well as bake, broil, grill, and more. Air fryers are everywhere and a whole host of small appliance brands have invented their own take on an air fryer. 

It’s not just the features and the overall design of an air fryer you might be considering, energy costs are still high on many people’s agendas. Plus, if you’re hoping to use an air fryer as your main mode of cooking, you’ll want to know whether air fryers use a lot of energy compared to ovens. Here we find out. 

The amount of energy each air fryer uses completely depends on the model itself but there are ways of working out how much energy each model uses. To calculate the energy use of an appliance, you can take the wattage and multiply it by the number of hours you use it in a day. Once you’ve done that, divide the total by 1,000 and you’ll be left with the daily kilowatt-hour (kWh).

If we take the NuWave Brio 6-Quart Air Fryer as an example, this machine has a wattage of 1,500. If we multiply this wattage by 30 minutes of usage and divide it by 1,000, we have a total of 0.75 kWh. An oven that has a wattage of 3000 will use 1.5 kWh during the same 30 minute period. Exactly how much this will cost you to power will depend on the energy rates where you live, but as with most small appliances, air fryers don’t tend to use enormous amounts of energy. 

The way air fryers work is worth considering here though. These machines work by using convection and they heat food by circulating hot air around an air frying basket. In order to cook your food quickly, air fryers keep this heat circulation going continuously until your food is ready to eat, and holes in the frying basket make it easier for the hot air to reach all sides of your food. Ovens don’t work in the same way and once they’ve reached optimal temperature, they merely maintain the heat using a thermostat, rather than always having to push hot air around. 

Air Fryer

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

What does this all actually mean? Air fryers require constant energy use, whereas ovens don’t and therefore, air fryers aren’t actually more efficient if you’re going to use them over long stretches of time. 

In comparison, deep fat fryers cook food in even quicker times and the hot oil maintains its temperature well to speed this process up. Air fryers solely rely on the hot air from the machine so they need to be constantly powered. It’s not all bad news though, as air fryers are still designed to cook quicker than a traditional oven and it’s unlikely you’ll be using your air fryer for huge amounts of time in one go. The wattage for air fryers is still low so it’s unlikely you’ll be creating a huge electricity bill in the process. The air fryer example we used above had a wattage of 1,500. Ovens, in contrast, can be anywhere from 3,000 watts up to 6,000 depending on the model.

Air fryers are also smaller in size compared to traditional ovens so there isn’t as big an area to keep warm and heat up in the first place. Maintaining your air fryer properly and making sure that all the air holes are clean and free of build-up will mean your machine can work efficiently and not waste energy on working harder than it has to. 

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Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.