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Last Updated on June 30, 2021
Excess energy consumption harms the environment and your wallet. To save money on your monthly power bill, it’s important to know about the average energy breakdown of your home appliances and how to cut down on that power further.
What Appliances Use the Most Electricity?
Heating appliances consume the most energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In total, these household appliances consume about 46% of a home’s electricity. Specifically, the central air conditioner uses about 17% of your home’s energy, space heater an additional 15%, and water heating uses 14% and the sewing machine uses about 100 watts.
Next up on the list is your home’s lighting, which takes 10% of your yearly energy usage. Refrigerators and TVs consume 7% on average, followed by clothes dryers at 5%.
Twelve percent of your home’s energy uses goes into miscellaneous items, like ceiling fan, dehumidifiers, microwaves, and hot tub heaters.
So if you’re looking to save on your energy bill or reduce your carbon footprint, tackle your home’s heating and cooling first. It accounts for nearly 50% of your energy consumption, and it makes more sense to prioritize heating and cooling before investing in energy-efficient appliances.
What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?
According to Silicon Valley Power, the following appliances use the most electricity in a home:
- Running a 75-gallon or greater water pump. On average, a large water heat pump uses about 111.8 kWh per month and costs $14.53 per hour to use.
- Older-unit refrigerators use 150 kWh per month. That costs about $19.50 a month. Newer models use a fraction of that power, averaging around 30 kWh (about $5) a month. Remember that some items, such as garage door opener,is used only for a fraction of an hour or minute per day.
- Cable boxes use a surprising amount of electricity. They average around 139 kWh per year or $18.07 annually.
- An electric kettle uses about 1200 watts per day.
- Space heaters can use a lot of energy. A portable 1,500-watt space heater uses 1.5 kWh, or $0.20, per hour. If you use a space heater to stay warm at night, that much power translates to about $1.60 a night, or about $48 a month if you use a space heater when you sleep.
Which Appliance Use More Energy?
Below are common appliances that might surprise you with their energy consumption, according to Silicon Valley Power.
1. A Clothing Iron Uses More Electricity Than a Vacuum
Though vacuums are larger than clothing irons, they consume less energy than the latter. Vacuums consume 0.75 kWh per hour while clothing irons use 1.08 kWh per hour. Also, the electricity consumption of an electric blanket is 200 watts.
The energy consumption means that vacuums cost $0.10 per hour to operate while the iron requires $0.14 per hour.
If you have the choice, though, go for the most energy-efficient vacuum — a robot vacuum. They use 0.007 kWh per hour, which works out to less than one cent an hour.
2. A Curling Iron Needs Less Electricity Than a Blow Dryer
You might wonder if the same logic applies to your or your partner’s hair styling tools. Curling irons heat up to 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, so they should consume more energy than a hair dryer, right?
Actually, it’s the other way around. Blow dryers require ten times the energy than a curling iron does. A blow dryer consumes 1.5 kWh, or $0.20, per hour, whereas a curling iron uses 0.15 kWh, or $0.02 per hour, an hour. An electric shaver uses about 15 watts.
3. Xbox Ones Are the Most Energy-Consuming Gaming Consoles
A lot of home appliance energy breakdown guides overlook gaming consoles. Game console can be a costly addition to your energy bills.
The Xbox One consumes 233 kWh per year. That breaks down to $30.29 annually. The Playstation 4 comes second with consuming 181 kWh per year — $23.53 per year.
The Nintendo Switch is third with its 157.7 kWh annual energy consumption ($20.50 per year). Finally, the Nintendo Wii U consumes the least amount of energy out of all four gaming consoles, using only 37 kWh per year, or less than $5 to power annually.
Which Major Appliance Uses The Most Energy?
Electric furnaces use the most energy at home, according to Silicon Valley Power. Clothing Iron Consumes More Electricity than Vacuum Cleaner. Office appliances like a paper shredder and desktop computer use a significant amount of energy.
Next up on the list is an electric water heater, then your refrigerator (especially older models), toaster oven/microwave oven, and boilers.
How to Calculate Your Annual Energy Consumption and Cost
The United States Department of Energy describes the following way to estimate your yearly energy consumption.
1. Assess How Many Hours a Day an Appliance Runs
Do this with a rough estimate using your current knowledge of how an appliance operates. For instance, if you use your dishwasher once a week and it tends to run for about one hour and a half.
Other appliances won’t be as easy to assess. Appliances like refrigerators that seem to be on constantly actually throttle energy needs to maintain internal temperatures. Also, a coffee maker/coffee machine uses about 1000 watts.
Alternatively, you could keep a log to take the guesswork out of how often you run your appliances. A simple notebook or app on your phone makes it easy to jot down how often you’ve run the washing machine, clothes dryer, dishwasher, and other home appliances.
2. Find Out The Wattage of Each Appliance
Some appliances have their wattages stamped on the back or bottom. Manufacturers list the wattage as the maximum power your device draws from the electrical grid, but the actual power it uses depends on the setting at which you use the machine.
For example, washing clothes with hot water uses more electricity than with cold water. Fans set to higher, faster settings require more electricity than slower-moving fans.
You could also multiply the appliance’s amperes usage by voltage usage if you don’t see the wattage somewhere. If manufacturers don’t list wattage, they’ll probably list amperes instead.
Many appliances in the United States use 120 volts, though larger appliances like washers and dryers use 240 volts. Check the owner’s manual for these numbers if you can’t find them on the machine.
Online resources can also help you find the numbers you need, such as Home Energy Saver by the Berkeley National Lab. This site lists a wide range of appliances along with their estimated wattages and annual energy use in addition to other pertinent traits, such as when people tend to use certain appliances more (e.g., the electric oven during the holiday season).
You could also check Energy Star’s website. Energy Star is the U.S. government-backed badge for energy-efficiency, and you’ll probably find your appliances listed on this website.
3. Use the Following Formulas
According to the Department of Energy, here’s how to find your daily power consumption:
(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily kilowatt-hour consumption.
Energy companies bill energy expenditure in kilowatt-hours, so that’s the unit we’re using for our calculations.
Now that you have your daily energy consumption, here’s how to find your annual energy usage.
Daily kWh consumption × number of days used per year = Annual energy consumption
And if you want to calculate the cost of using this much energy a year:
Annual energy consumption × utility rate per kilo Watt-hour = Annual cost to run the appliance
Calculating the cost of your energy consumption provides a clearer sense of how much energy you’re using, as kilowatt-hours feel like an abstract unit.
How to Reduce Power Consumption With Your Home Appliances
The following tips will help you reduce your monthly energy bills.
1. Invest in Insulation
Proper insulation prevents cold air from escaping. It also stops outside air from entering your home. Since heating and cooling use the most amount of energy, improving your home’s insulation will help you save money.
2. Use a Smart Thermostat
If redoing your insulation would cost too much, consider getting a smart thermostat instead. These thermostats allow you to program when and for how long you keep your A/C on, thus reducing your home’s energy consumption.
3. Unplug Electronic Devices When You’re Not Using Them
Phantom loads refer to the power that an appliance continues to draw in standby mode.bYour television or desk lamp, even when turned off, still uses up electricity.
The easiest way to reduce phantom loads is to simply unplug your electronics when not in use.
4. Turn Down Your Water Heater’s Temperature
When taking a shower, you often have to mix the hot water with cold water to make the temperature tolerable. Why do you need to do this? You’re wasting energy to heat water to a temperature you won’t use.
Lower the temperature on your water heater to a comfortable shower temperature, about 90 to 111 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything greater than 112 degrees can cause scalding hot burns within five minutes.
5. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
When it’s time to upgrade your refrigerator, dishwasher, or other home appliance, consider purchasing an energy-efficient model. Just replacing your light bulbs with energy-efficient models can save you $75 a year, according to the Department of Energy.
Also Read: What Can a 7000W Generator Run?
6. Replace Your Air Filters
When dust, pet hair, and other debris obstruct your air filter, your furnace and AC unit have to work harder to warm or cool the same amount of air. It’s cost-efficient in the long run to change your filters frequently.
Your heating and cooling systems account for a significant portion of your energy bills. Upgrading these appliances and focusing on maintenance like cleaning air ducts and replacing filters can help you save money.
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The largest electricity consumer in the average household is your heating and cooling appliance. By a long shot. Central air conditioners and heaters use tons of energy in order to keep your home set to the right temperature.What are the top 5 appliances that use the most electricity? ›
- Cooling and heating: 47% of energy use.
- Water heater: 14% of energy use.
- Washer and dryer: 13% of energy use.
- Lighting: 12% of energy use.
- Refrigerator: 4% of energy use.
- Electric oven: 3-4% of energy use.
- TV, DVD, cable box: 3% of energy use.
- Heating and Cooling.
- Water Heater.
- Washer and Dryer.
- TV and Media Devices.
- Electric Oven.
Washing Machines & Dryers
Dryers use more electricity of the two appliances, so you may also consider air drying clothes when possible to minimize your electricity consumption on laundry day.
|End use||Billion kWh||Share of total|
Electric ovens are larger than air fryers and take longer to heat up, meaning they'll be switched on for longer and therefore will use more electricity. Air fryers can typically save around 30 minutes in cooking time, which makes them a lot cheaper to run.How do I know which appliance is using too much electricity? ›
To check how much electricity appliances are actually using in your home, you can use a plug-in power meter. Power meter are available for purchase online or in selected stores. Some brands retail for as little as $20.What appliances use electricity even when turned off? ›
Home office equipment such as power strips, desktop computers, monitors, printers, lamps, and anything with a digital display can use electricity even when they're turned off.Does a hair dryer use a lot of electricity? ›
On average, hair dryers use about 1,500 to 2,000 watts of electricity. Using a hair dryer for 10 minutes per day will use about 9.13 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month and 109.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. A hair dryer costs an average of $1.30 to use for a month and $15.54 to use for a year.What are 3 appliances that run on electricity? ›
Refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, computers... If you want to save electricity and be more efficient, electrical appliances should be your first target.
Major appliances, also known as white goods, comprise major household appliances and may include: air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, drying cabinets, freezers, refrigerators, kitchen stoves, water heaters, washing machines, trash compactors, microwave ovens, and induction cookers.Does a TV use a lot of electricity? ›
Yes. TVs can use a lot of electricity and quickly add up to your electricity cost. Old technology TVs like CRT and Plasma eat up more watts; however, the latest LCD and LED TVs are way more efficient and have less power hungry which is a relief. A modern TV uses around 50 to 100 Watts, depending on the screen size.Is it cheaper to do laundry at night or during the day? ›
Try washing before 4 p.m. or after 7 p.m. – Many energy companies charge extra for electricity during their “peak hours,” which see increased energy usage. During the summer, run your washer early in the morning – energy use peaks on hot afternoons.What is the best time to do laundry to save electricity? ›
Run your washer and dryer early in the morning or at night to avoid the surge. During the winter, electricity demand is highest in the morning hours between 7 and 9 am when people are waking up and turning up their heat. Doing laundry in the evening is your safest bet.How much does it cost to run a dryer for 1 hour? ›
'Taking a national average of 15 cents per kilowatt (kWh), you are looking at 30 to 90 cents per hour of running a tumble dryer, depending on energy consumption.What uses more electricity lights or air conditioning? ›
Air conditioning and heating: 46 percent. Water heating: 14 percent. Appliances: 13 percent. Lighting: 9 percent.What uses more electricity TV or lights? ›
So, the clear winner here is the lightbulb…at least until you multiply that by how many lights you have in your house. Plus, if you still use incandescent bulbs (switch to LEDs ASAP if you do), 2 – 3 will use more electricity than most TVs over the course of the year.What uses the most hot water? ›
|Activity||Gallons per Use|
|Kitchen faucet flow||2 per minute|
Use a slow cooker for some meals instead of the oven as slow cookers are more energy efficient despite being used for longer periods of time. Batch cook meals and freeze or chill the leftovers so that they can later be reheated in the microwave.What uses more electricity microwave or air fryer? ›
The microwave is cheaper to run – so if you are only looking to use an appliance solely based on costs, then a microwave will help keep those energy bills as low as possible for cooking. Some people have both because of the different uses that they have – so you may decide to opt for the air-fryer for some uses.
You'll use about 20 percent less energy each month using a convection oven, which has a fan that continuously circulates hot air through the oven space. When food has hot air blowing onto it—instead of just surrounding it—it cooks more quickly and at lower temperatures.What could be draining my electricity? ›
Today's electrical products are draining energy more than ever. And the culprit is standby power. Unless they're unplugged, many of your appliances are continuously using electricity. Top examples include TVs, DVR boxes, satellite TV boxes, computers, and video game consoles.Do appliances use more electricity as they get older? ›
It is common knowledge that the older your appliances get the more energy they consume. This is why according to experts, it is best to replace your old appliances with new ones to save money.Does leaving phone charger plugged in use electricity? ›
According to the Energy Saving Trust, any switched on charger that is plugged in will still use electricity, regardless of whether the device is attached or not.Does unplugging chargers save electricity? ›
Unplugging devices when they're done charging will not only save energy, but will also extend their lifespan. Devices like modems, routers, and cable boxes should be left plugged in, as they often take a while to reboot when you turn them back on.Is it OK to leave phone charger plugged in without phone? ›
Most devices we own consume electricity even when not in use. This is also true of energy-efficient, Energy-Star-rated devices such as your laundry machine or even your fridge. In reality, a phone charger uses energy whenever it is plugged in, regardless of whether it charges your phone or not.How much does it cost to run a TV? ›
|Screen Size||Power Consumption (Watts)||Avg Monthly Cost*|
|24 inches||50 W||$1.56|
|32 inches||70 W||$2.184|
|37 inches||80 W||$2.5|
|42 inches||120 W||$3.74|
Use lower heat settings in the dryer.
Even if the drying cycle is longer, you'll use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.
Electric dryers span a wide range of wattages, from about 2,000 to 6,000 watts. That translates to about 2 to 6 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Based on the national average rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, each hour of electric drying will cost somewhere between 24 and 72 cents, depending on the model.What costs the most on your electric bill? ›
What costs the most on your electric bill? Heating and cooling are by far the greatest energy users in the home, making up around 40% of your electric bill. Other big users are washers, dryers, ovens, and stoves. Electronic devices like laptops and TVs are usually pretty cheap to run, but of course, it can all add up.
Tips to Reduce Energy Use
Keep your lights off to the extent safely possible, including exterior lights that may be on a timer. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, health permitting, and turn your air conditioner off when not at home. Move any furniture blocking vents to be sure air is flowing efficiently.
Water Heater Wastage
We all know that hot water is a huge energy drainer, and that's all because of the water heater required to get it up to temperature.
Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.Does watching TV increase electric bill? ›
While “common” is getting harder and harder to describe when it comes to modern televisions, there is still a fairly well-established energy consumption range. TVs can eat up anywhere from as little as 80 watts to as much as 500 watts. In more useful terms, this can be the difference between paying $15 a year or $100.What is the number one use of energy in homes? ›
More than half of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning.Does washing machine consume more electricity? ›
A washing machine is considered the electronic appliance that consumes most electricity and increases electricity bill significantly.How much electricity does dryer use? ›
On average and across all loads and cycle configurations, electric clothes dryers may use anywhere from 1800 to 5000 watts of energy. That translates to somewhere in the range of 1.8 to 5 kWh of electricity.How much electricity does a washer use? ›
On average, washers use 400 to 1,400 watts of electricity – this number is highly dependent on the model you have. Using a washing machine 3 times a week will use about 140.4 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. It costs an average of $1.66 to run a washer for a month, and $19.92 to run for a year.