Culprits Revealed! Check Out What Appliances Use The Most Electricity At Home
With energy costs on the rise, money-conscious households are keen to find ways to reduce their electricity bills. However, despite their efforts, many families fail to make the desired dent in their energy usage because they don’t have an accurate idea of what’s driving their power bills up. To that end, it helps immensely to know which electrical appliances in your home cost the most to run.
In this post, we look at which appliances drain the most electricity, how they contribute to your climbing power bills and what you can do to bring your energy costs down.
What Appliances Use The Most Electricity In A Household?
Let’s start by looking at which appliances use the most electricity and why.
Cooling and Heating
The air conditioning units responsible for cooling and heating your home have the biggest impact on your energy bills. In fact, they can account for as much as 40% of your average electricity bills, depending on where you live and having an older AC system will do you no good. Plus, the wilder the temperature extremes in the summer and winter, the more you’re going to have to crank up the AC – adding even more to your bill.
Water heaters are also renowned for consuming lots of power, with them being responsible for somewhere between 15% and 25% of energy use. The main culprit for this is hot showers, which, naturally, add to the average household’s water bill as well.
Washer and Dryer
The combo of a washer and dryer is another conspicuous consumer of energy. A tumble dryer, because it produces so much heat, can easily add $100-$200 to your annual electricity bill, depending on how frequently you use it, which model you have, and which settings you run it on. Your washing machine, meanwhile, costs less at around $70-$100 per year.
Fridges and freezers consume a good chunk of electricity because they’re one of the few appliances that have to be running 24 hours a day. Their precise consumption depends on the size, capacity, model, and age of your fridge freezer. That being said, most Australian homes often have a 600L fridge, which costs around $100 – $160 to run each year. However, it’s not uncommon for a household to have a second fridge and/or freezer, in the garage, for example, which can cause that expenditure to double.
An electric oven can also end up consuming a fair amount of power, depending on how regularly you use it. This will be heavily influenced by how many people live in your household, the type of food you cook, and how much you’re able to keep for future meals.
TVs and associated devices like DVD and Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, and consoles can easily add over $100 per year to your electricity bill. It’s easy to understand why, as they’re among the most used appliances in many households.
Fortunately, as we’ll explore in the next section, a TV can be classified as a “vampire appliance” that needlessly consumes electricity, so it’s possible to trim how much it contributes to your electricity bill.
Fortunately, lighting doesn’t contribute as much to electricity bills as it used to because light bulbs are increasingly more efficient. It’s easy to understand why LED lights are taking the spotlight within the industry as they are the current go to replacement for older lighting and are perfect for cutting costs within the home. A typical household’s expenditure will depend on how good they are at switching lights off when they leave a room and how much natural light their home allows in.
Although they’re not as commonly found in households as the other appliances on this list, a dishwasher contributes around $60-$70 per year to your power bill, if you run it once a day. This is down to the fact that, like your washing machine and dryer, it has to generate quite a lot of heat for a concentrated amount of time.
You’ll be relieved to hear that although a computer can often be on for over 8 hours a day, it isn’t a massive contributor to your electricity bill. However, it’s pretty common for there to be several computers and/or laptops within a household so you’ve got to take that into account. Also, like TVs, computers left on standby, or in sleep mode, become vampire appliances.
Swimming Pool Pump
Now, though not every home has a swimming pool, Australia has one of the highest pool ownership per capita in the world – especially in Queensland. The pool’s pump, however, which typically runs for 4-6 hours a day, can add over $1500 to your energy bills each year.
Why Is My Electric Bill So High All Of A Sudden In 2022?
If you’re like the average consumer, it can’t have escaped your notice that your power bills have risen dramatically in 2022.
Here are some of the reasons why this has happened.
As touched upon above, some electrical appliances are known as vampire appliances for their ability to drain power unexpectedly. A vampire appliance is any device that has a standby mode, namely TVs, computers and laptops, game systems, sound systems, etc. These can account for as much as 10% of your annual electricity bill. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this – you just have to get in the habit of completely switching appliances off when you’re not using them.
Failed To Unplug Unused Devices
Related to the above point, often appliances aren’t completely off when they’re switched off and may still consume electricity. To combat this, unplug appliances, including electric ovens, microwaves, washers, dryers, and dishwashers, when you’re not using them.
Inefficient And Improperly Positioned Lighting
Inefficient lighting could cause you to unnecessarily run up your electricity bill. First, lighting may be inefficiently placed, resulting in it inadequately illuminating a room and requiring you to switch on more lights than necessary. Ceiling lights are an example of this, as can often fail to bathe a room in light as desired. Lamps may be a great money-saving solution, as you can direct their light more towards where you need it.
Secondly, look into the kind of bulbs you frequently use and how energy efficient they are. If possible, purchase more efficient bulbs, such as LED bulbs, which have been shown to use up to 90% less electricity – and have a longer lifespan.
House Not Properly Insulated
Inadequate insulation could be a significant contributor to your rising power bills. If your house isn’t well-insulated, the air isn’t able to flow in and out of your house properly, making it difficult to maintain an even temperature. This will make it harder to feel comfortable within your home, causing you to crank up the AC more in both the summer and winter. Making sure your home, particularly your attic, is insulated ensures proper airflow and that your AC system doesn’t have to work as hard to achieve the desired result.
Having The AC On While Windows Are Open
On a similar, but, fortunately, far simpler note, make sure windows and doors are closed when your AC unit is running. An open window is the equivalent of a large leak in your insulation, which means it disrupts airflow and makes your AC way less efficient. Luckily, closing windows and doors is easy, you just have to get into the habit of doing so.
Heatwaves and cold snaps require you to use your AC unit more, which drives up your energy bill. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do about this – which is why it’s important to use your AC unit efficiently at all other times.
Old, Outdated Appliances
Outdated appliances may be another reason why your energy bills end up being higher than they ought to be. Well-used appliances can become less energy efficient over time, causing them to consume more electricity than necessary. When it comes time to replace them, look for energy-efficient appliances as indicated by their energy efficiency rating. The more stars the appliance is awarded, the more efficient it is.
With that in mind, it’s important to take energy efficiency ratings into account when purchasing electrical appliances, instead of their price and brand. A cheaper appliance may help you keep more money in the short term but may cost you more in the long run when you factor in energy consumption and water costs.
Running Appliances That Are Not Filled To Capacity
Running less than a full load through a washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher is wasteful so only switch them on when they’re at capacity. This prevents the need to run them multiple times and will extend their lifespan too.
How Can I Reduce High Electricity Bills At Home?
Right, so now we know which appliances are the main culprits when it comes to power consumption, here are some potent suggestions on how to reduce high electricity bills.
Conduct An Energy Audit
Get an electrician or your energy provider to carry out an energy audit within your home. The person carrying out the energy audit will test your home for air leaks, measure the effectiveness of your insulation, check your heating and cooling system’s efficiency, and more, to pinpoint ways to reduce your electricity bill.
As well as any leaks in and around the house itself, repair any leaks on appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, fridges, and dishwashers. This not only prevents the need for the appliances to work as hard, making them more efficient, but will also bring down your water bill too.
Check Seals On Windows, Doors, And Appliances
Check and, if necessary, replace seals on doors and windows to make sure they’re not drafty. Similarly, check the seals on appliances like fridges and freezers to make sure they’re able to close properly and do their job efficiently.
Install Some Smart Automation
Smart home automation systems allow you to control temperature, lighting, and other settings in your home. This allows you to ensure appliances are switched off while you’re out of the house and operate at optimal levels when you’re at home. Better still, most smart automation systems can be controlled by an app. Not only is this more convenient but having control of different systems within your home makes you more conscious of how you’re using them, which can help you lower your energy bills in the long run.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Setting your thermostat back around 10 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or out of the house can reduce your heating and cooling costs by around 10% every year. A programmable thermostat or, as described above, smart home automation, will achieve this for you.
Use Power Efficient Appliances
As touched on in the last section, if it comes time to replace any of your electrical appliances, make its energy efficiency part of your selection criteria. This is especially important for larger appliances like washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, fridges, ovens, and, best of all, AC systems. As we’ve explored in this post, these have the largest influence on your energy bill so purchasing power-efficient models instead of sticking with your old-school appliances will help you save considerably over time.
One of the easiest suggestions on this list – is simply unplugging appliances when you’re done with them. This is the stake through the heart for the so-called “vampire appliances” we talked about earlier, as TVs, computers, game consoles, and the like, can’t drain energy if they’re not plugged in.
Switch Off Lights
Switch off lights when you leave a room. Additionally, you could install dimmers so you have even more control over the brightness in a room and won’t have to switch on so many lights or you can switch to LED lights to save some extra money.
Take Shorter Showers
Cutting down your shower time reduces the demand on your water heater and helps to reduce your energy bill. A good way to take shorter showers is to wake up a little, with a few stretches and an amble around the house to grab a glass of water, before hopping into the shower. Not being half-asleep in the shower can cut down your shower by 5 minutes each day, which can knock heaps off your electricity bills in the long run.
Don’t Wash Clothes In Hot Water
Opting for cold or warm washes when you do your laundry will reduce your energy usage per load by up to 50%. When coupled with our earlier advice of only running full loads of laundry, this is a potent way of being more energy-efficient.
Having a greater awareness of which appliances cost the most to run and how much influence you have over them can make a huge difference to your annual electricity bills. Better still, whether upgrading your home’s insulation or unplugging appliances when you leave a room, there are lots of surprisingly effective ways to bring down your rate of energy consumption.
If you’d like to speak to a professional about ways to significantly reduce your power outage or want a friendly, no-obligation quote on some work you want to be done around your home, please get in touch.