Which Household Appliances Use the Most Energy?

In the Cayman Islands, even a small household tends to experience electricity costs as high as $400 KYD per month. Families that live in large homes are likely to spend more than that, as they have more people relying on the appliances that use the most energy. Air conditioning units, water heaters, and dryers are some of the largest sources of household electricity usage.

Despite being such a major expense, the average person doesn’t necessarily understand what goes into their electricity bill. In this blog, we’ll discuss which major appliance uses the most energy and how to measure the electricity consumption of different appliances. When you learn how to measure electricity consumption, you can track which household appliances use the most energy and cut down on your electric bill.

How to Measure Electricity Consumption

What better way to start saving than by learning how to measure electricity usage per appliance? Fortunately, it’s not difficult to figure out how to measure electricity usage by an appliance. Let’s discuss this process in detail.

Appliances measure their power consumption in something called a kilowatt-hour, which is the number of kilowatts an appliance consumes to operate for an hour. Once you can estimate how many hours per day you use a device, you can multiply that by the kilowatt-hours it uses.

Are you unsure how to measure electricity usage by an appliance because you can’t find the kilowatt-hours? You can find this information on the appliance’s nameplate if it is easily accessible to you. Otherwise, search the product information for your appliance’s specific make and model online, and you’ll also find its power consumption.

Track usage throughout a month, and you’ll be able to trace the overwhelming majority of your electricity bills. Now that you know how to keep track of energy usage, you may be asking, “What home appliances use the most energy?” You might be surprised to learn the average power consumption of household appliances. Once you know the appliances that use the most energy, however, you can find ways to cut back on energy consumption.

Home Appliances by Household Energy Usage

It’s impractical and unnecessary to track every electronic device, as only a handful of culprits consume the lion’s share of electricity throughout the home. Central air conditioning is the largest source of electricity consumption by a long shot, with an average cost that’s nearly three times the two runners-up combined. In an average household, the figures for electricity consumption often look something like this:

  1. Central Air Conditioner: Which major appliance uses the most energy? Central ACs come out on top. On average, central air conditioners can use 1450 kWh/month.
  2. Water Heater: Water heaters are the appliances that use the most energy after a central AC. Your home’s water heater uses about 310/kWh/month.
  3. Refrigerator: Refrigerators use about 205 kWh/month. This amount of energy usage can depend on the refrigerator’s age, make, and energy efficiency.
  4. Oven and Stove: An average 2,800W oven and stove will use about 1,022 kWh of your home’s energy per year, averaging out to about 85 kWh/month.
  5. Tumble Dryer: In general, tumble dryers use 75 kWh/month. It can be easy to overlook your tumble dryer when considering the amount of energy your central AC uses.
  6. Dishwashers: Second to last for overall energy usage is a dishwasher at 30 kWh/month. Like all appliances, this amount can vary depending on your household size and how often you use your dishwasher.
  7. Washing Machines: Your washing machine comes in at the bottom for the overall power consumption of household appliances at 9 kWh/month.

Keep in mind that some of these figures vary based on the strength and size of the appliances you choose. While it’s true that air conditioners and other major household appliances use the most energy, it’s important when operating on such a large scale of energy usage to note the power your appliance carries. The larger and more powerful the machine, the more likely it is to use more kWh per month of energy. 

While an oven and stove might average out to 1,022 kWh/year of electricity, some of the highest quality appliances can range up to 4,800W. These appliances average about 1752 kWh/year or about 146 kWh/month of electricity. Central air conditioners take up the most electrical power, but smaller window AC units can vary in size and strength. 12,000 BTU units take about 300 kWh/month of energy, while larger 36,000 BTU units take as much as 900 kWh/month.

Energy Saving Tips

Now that you know which household appliances use the most power, you likely want to know how to save more energy. Many homeowners spend plenty of time wondering how they can use less energy, but it isn’t just about lowering the number of times you use an appliance. You don’t want to compromise your comfort to prioritize energy savings. 

When you’re thinking of ways to cut your energy bills and save money, you should start with the appliances that consume the most electricity. Air conditioners take up almost 40% of your energy plan, so look to changing and adjusting consumption habits. While it might be tempting to look into difficult, time-consuming things like washing every dish by hand, these processes are so inefficient that you’d actually end up using more electricity.

Cutting back on air conditioning by 20% will single-handedly save you more than wearing unwashed clothes and eating from dirty dishes. It’s highly beneficial to find ways to adjust your AC usage instead of finding complicated ways to cut back on the electricity consumption of different appliances.

You should adjust your AC unit’s temperature to accommodate your desired comfort levels while minimizing your energy consumption. You may experiment setting your thermostat a degree or two warmer than normal and assessing if you are still comfortable.

Reducing your reliance on air conditioning is also the simplest way to cut back on your electricity usage. Using ceiling fans and taking steps to improve your home’s insulation are worthwhile steps. Installing thermal windows, sealing gaps around doors, and taking other steps can pay for themselves. Beyond that, here are a few additional tips to consider to save energy and cut your electricity bill:

  • Maintenance Services: Schedule regular maintenance to keep your appliances and air conditioner at peak energy efficiency. These services can also help keep your appliances in peak condition.
  • Don’t Waste Space: Use your washer, dryer, and dishwasher as close to full capacity as possible. As a result, you’ll get the most out of every round.
  • Forget Washing By Hand: Washing dishes by hand is as inefficient as running a 1/8th of a full dishwasher — don’t do it!
  • Remember to Insulate: Seal the edges of windows and cover them to insulate these major points of energy loss.
  • Replace Your Windows: Install thermal windows to maximize air conditioning efficiency.
  • Don’t Just Turn Appliances Off: Unplug appliances completely to eliminate phantom power usage.
  • Use Natural Drying Methods: If the weather is suitable, consider hanging laundry from an outdoor clothesline or balcony.
  • Use Less Hot Water: Faucets and showers use a ton of water, so taking a slightly cooler shower or washing your hands and brushing your teeth with cold water can help save a ton throughout the course of the year.
  • Don’t Forget Your Lights: Lighting only uses about 3-4% of your home’s energy, but that can add up quickly if you forget to turn off light bulbs around the house.
  • SEER Rating: Pay attention to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) rating of your air conditioner. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system, and the more savings you’ll see.

Additional Ways to Save Energy

As a homeowner, it’s easy to forget what home appliances use the most energy. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, keeping up with which household appliances use the most power can feel like a chore. However, when you know how much energy your appliances consume, you can find ways to consume less energy—and save more money. One way you can save energy is by maintaining your appliances with the help of a professional.

It’s important to make sure that you take good care of your appliances. Energy efficiency can drop with age, particularly if you don’t properly maintain and repair the electronics you depend on. Save on energy consumption and keep your electricity bills under control with routine maintenance, repair, and replacement from the Appliance Doctors.

Join our Service Discount Club to get the best prices on appliance maintenance, or contact us to learn more about how our appliance repair services in the Cayman Islands can help you save on your electric bill.