All electric appliances consume energy. And although the latest models are more energy efficient than their predecessors, the utility bills of the average household are still high. So our concern here is to determine which home appliances use more energy and what you can do to control it.
Which home appliances use more energy?
Most homes are swamped with appliances. From fridges & freezers to televisions and PCs, they all consume energy but some are thirstier than others. Let’s see.
Even if they are A+ rated, refrigerators consume nearly one-third of the home’s energy. Since they use electricity at all times, they cost you about $100 in energy consumption annually.
· Oven Ranges
Electric ovens or ranges cost you more than gas ones – almost double as far as their energy consumption is concerned but keep in mind that new gas ovens cost more. Electric cooking appliances take about $60 out of your pocket every year.
Dishwashers cost you about $40 annually given that you use them approx. twice each week. So they are not cheap. Imagine the annual cost if you’d use them daily. In this appliance’s defense, let’s just say that they consume less water than you would if you had to hand-wash.
You might not use your top load dryer daily but when you do, remember that’s one of the most expensive appliances in the house. If you use it 3-4 times a week, it will cost you about $70 annually. Now if you consider that you are using both washers & dryers, the annual energy cost kicks up to approx. $140.
The air conditioning and heating system also consumes a lot of energy, especially in the winter. It’s hard to estimate here the annual cost since some households have a different cooling and heating system while some regions experience more summery than wintery months. To give you an idea, the heating system alone might cost as high as $600 a year.
Factors affecting the appliance energy consumption
The above costs are merely average estimates of appliance energy consumption. There are several factors, which affect how much energy home appliances use. First of all, it has to do with the energy efficiency of the appliance. Some households still use appliances dating back decades. These ones are true vampires. And then, it has to do with the hours you use appliances daily.
Let me make a short pause here. There is no doubt that the list of the energy-hungry home appliances above could include more. Take TVs for example. They also consume over 12% of your home’s energy annually and NOT only when they are on. The standby mode is not kind to your wallet.
One more thing to consider is the appliances’ condition. Even improper oven or dryer installation might lead to money leaks. Now, if you consider that the fridge loses a lot of energy when the door seal is torn, it makes sense that lack of appliance repair when it is needed will also drive the annual energy costs to the sky.
How to calculate the energy home appliances consume
Appliance energy is measured in kilowatt/hours. Watt is the way we measure power. And since electric appliances use energy, we measure their power in W. Now, 1 kilowatt is 1,000 watts. But since we want to calculate our monthly or annual bills, we need to know how many hours each is working a day or month. So the kilowatt-hour measures the energy consumed by an appliance in an hour. In order to calculate the energy consumption of your appliances, you need to consider their watt, the number of hours they operate, and the number of days they operate each year (hours per day x days per year x (W of the appliance/1000) = kWh per year. So if your 900 W microwave oven runs one hour a day per 50 days a year, it will consume 45 kWh.
How to control electric home appliance consumption to save money
Replace the old appliances. If you can invest in a gas range installation, you’ll save some money down the road. For the existing appliances, you need to keep an eye on the way they work. If the cooling system is not doing a good job, it means that worn parts or filth block its operation and so the appliance works twice as hard to provide the right temps and as a result it consumes more energy. So invest in the maintenance of your appliances. It’s a small price to pay to an appliance repair company to prevent problems rather than wasting money on energy. And there are two more benefits from preventive appliance service. You protect the environment and enjoy healthy appliances.