Appliances come in all shapes and sizes and are very crucial for providing us convenience and comfort. The amount of energy that an appliance uses significantly impacts a household’s monthly expenses. Usage is generally measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and 1 kWh is equal to 1000 watts working for one hour. An old appliance may be adding extra expenses to the monthly budget, so it may be time to consider what appliances are responsible for the most energy consumption.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average of 12% of a household’s expenditures go towards air conditioning. An air conditioner can use between 28-63 kWh in one day, and this equates to an average of 17% of a household’s total energy consumption. The cost to heat a home is slightly less, but the HVAC system is by far the highest energy-consuming appliance in a home. It is wise to have an annual inspection to perform needed air conditioning repairs and tune-ups to help reduce consumption.
Water heaters can use up to 3.5 kWh a day, and they are responsible for about 14% of the total energy consumption in a household. This is a hard-working appliance. A 40-gallon gas hot water heater can take 1 hour to reheat its entire supply of water, and the electric version can take up to 2 hours. Setting hot water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can help to reduce consumption.
Lighting can be responsible for approximately 10% of a household’s energy consumption. The energy consumption can vary based on the type of bulb that is used for light fixtures. A single 100-watt incandescent light bulb consumes about 0.2 kWh a day if it is left on for 2 hours. Using energy-efficient LED bulbs can help to reduce consumption.
The fourth highest energy-consuming appliance is essential for keeping produce and other various food supplies fresh and consumable. The average refrigerator uses approximately 5.3 kWh of electricity per day and is responsible for about 7% of the energy consumption in a household. Setting a refrigerator to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature settings helps to reduce consumption.
Modern-day appliances have become essential for everyday living, and knowing how to reduce energy consumption will make a tremendous impact on a family’s pocketbook. In order to determine a good plan for reducing energy consumption, the first step is to use available resources for determining individual personal household consumption.