Which Home Appliances Use the Most Energy?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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When considering the energy consumption of a household, home appliances account for a large portion of energy usage. The energy consumption of a typical household includes lighting, cooling and heating, and appliances. While the total energy consumption of all appliances is typically less than lighting and temperature control in a year’s time, many household appliances use a significant amount of energy.

The two most energy-consuming home appliances are the refrigerator and the clothes dryer. The refrigerator is always on although it consumes the most energy when the compressor cycles on to maintain the proper temperatures. Clothes dryers do not remain on, but when they are in use they consume a lot of energy. Though energy costs and types vary by location and type of dryer, the typical clothes dryer averages $85.00 US Dollars (USD) annually to operate.

Other high-energy usage household appliances include ovens, microwaves, water heaters, automatic dishwashers and stove tops. Generally, machines that are used to create heat — or in the refrigerator’s case remove heat — use the most energy. Smaller home appliances including coffee pots, toasters, and fans consume less energy overall, but the actual usage of any appliance depends greatly on its frequency of use.


You can reduce the energy usage of home appliances by using them wisely and by replacing older, out of date models with newer, energy efficient models. Because heating and cooling is a huge source of energy consumption, replacing an inefficient furnace or air conditioning unit will save the most energy and money. When purchasing new appliances, you can compare their energy efficiency by checking the yellow tag that displays the appliance’s energy rating.

Using your home appliances wisely can also reduce energy consumption. Avoid leaving appliances turned on that are not in use and avoid running things like washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers until they contain a full load. Remember that home appliances such as your dishwasher and washing machine combine several sources of energy. Utilize the energy saving features of many newer models by washing in cold water or selecting the “no-heat” drying cycle on your dishwasher. You can also reduce the energy consumption of your oven by foregoing pre-heating when baking.


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Post 15

Your list does not include Hot Water Tanks.

Post 9

How much energy does the TV use?

Post 6

@ Georgesplane - I hate to tell you this, but your plasma television is probably responsible for a large chunk of your energy bill. Televisions in general consume large amounts of energy, but plasma's are the worst of them all. Plasmas use almost three times the energy of a comparable sized LCD or LED. Plasmas also suck more juice as the screen size and resolution increases. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Add a device like a game console or Blu-ray player, and a surround sound system and you could end up using upwards of 1,000 watts when your system is powered on. It should be noted that all televisions, cable boxes, computers, game consoles, and stereos

use electricity even when they are not running. For example, according to CNET, an HD DVR set top box uses 33 watts of electricity when it is in standby mode. that is like leaving a sixty watt light bulb on for 12 hours a day, 365 days a year. Think of the energy drain from all of a home's audio, video, and computer equipment combined. Premium electronics comes at a price, but there are ways to reduce their consumption. Use a programmable outlet or power strip to connect all of your appliances. This will allow your appliances to automatically shut down during the night and re-boot in the morning. They run anywhere from $20 up to about a thousand depending on how many outlets you want them to control, and the units capability. The more advanced units can literally set timers for all of the devices in your home for up to a year, and as precise as to the second. Another thing that you can do is be sure that your TV is properly calibrated. A television that is used at the out-of-the-box settings can use twice the energy as a properly calibrated television and only last twice as long. Calibration discs can usually be found for $20, and instructions can be found online. There is a price to pay for premium audio video equipment, but with the proper planning your efficiency can be maximized. I hope this helps.

Post 5

What about a television and all of the auxiliary components that go with it? Does screen size contribute to the amount of energy used by a television? I have a plasma television, but I never really thought about how much energy it consumes. I also work from home and spend a lot of time on the computer. I have replaced all of the light bulbs in my condo with compact fluorescents, turn off all lights when I leave, and set my HVAC unit to 80 degrees when I am gone, but my electricity bill still seems high. I have always wanted to get an energy audit, but I guess I am a procrastinator when it comes to these things. Can anyone fill me in on the details of the energy consumption of an audiophile?

Post 4

foregoing preheating before baking is a good idea but in natural gas or electric ovens you have to, otherwise the baked goods will have doughy insides and hard outsides. propane ovens heat up quickly and you can forgo preheating.

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