What Uses The Most Electricity In The Home

There’s a few potential benefits to knowing what uses the most electricity at home.

Firstly, you can get an idea of what is contributing to your power bills (and how you might be able to save money by saving electricity), and secondly, you can see where you might be having a bigger environmental impact.

In this quick guide, we look at the common appliances that uses electricity, as well as other power using activities.

 

Summary – What Uses The Most Electricity In The Home

Devices & Activities That Can Use The Most Electricity At Home

Space cooling and heating use almost 50% of home electricity/energy according to most sets of data.

Some reports indicate that space heating specifically uses more electricity than space cooling. 

Water heating can come in behind space heating and cooling, followed by lighting, washing and drying, and refrigeration/freezing

Electric stoves and ovens can also sometimes use a reasonable amount of electricity

 

Obviously a big variable to electricity usage of something like space heating and cooling is the climate someone lives in.

For example, those living in far cooler climates may not have as much need for space heating, and therefore their electricity share may look different

There can be many other variables too such as the type of lifestyle someone lives, the energy efficiency of the building, and more.

 

Devices That Can Use The Most Power When Not In Use

Set top boxes, computers and printers are amongst the appliances and electronics that can use the most electricity when not being used. Refer to the guide below for the full top 10 list

 

Devices & Activities That Use The Most Electricity

Space heating, space cooling and water heating might cost the most (in terms of electricity spend) of the different devices and electricity consuming activities in the house.

 

Reducing The Average Electricity Spend Of A House

Things such as using less power, being more efficient with power use, and not wasting power can all help with reducing power spend.

 

Wasting Electricity

Some estimates indicate that 35% of electricity consumed is wasted

 

Electricity Saving Tips

The guide below contains a range of tips that may help reduce electricity use and waste at home

A few major tips might include using a fan over an electric heater or ducted heating system, and, not using (turning off) heating and other devices/electricity using systems when you’re not in the room or at home

 

What Uses The Most Electricity In A Home

Space cooling and heating use almost 50% of home electricity/energy according to most sets of data.

Some reports indicate that space heating specifically uses more electricity than space cooling. 

Water heating can come in behind space heating and cooling, followed by lighting, washing and drying, and refrigeration/freezing

 

Cooling & Heating – 47%

Water Heater – 14%

Washer & Dryer – 13%

Lighting (depending on the type of bulb used) – 12%

Refrigerator – 4%

Electric Oven – 3 to 4%

TV, & Cable Boxes – 3%

Dishwasher – 2%

Computer or Laptop – 1%

– visualcapitalist.com

 

Air conditioning and heating: 46 percent

Water heating: 14 percent

Other (such as the washer and dryer) – 14%

Appliances (fridge, dishwasher, electric stove and oven): 13 percent

Lighting: 9 percent

TV and Media Equipment: 4 percent

– directenergy.com

 

In 2009 in the US, energy in the home was used on:

Space heating (42%),

Electronics, lighting and other appliances (30%),

Water heating (18%),

Air conditioning (6%),

and Refrigeration (5%).

– eia.gov

 

The four main energy culprits in homes are:

Heating and Cooling – 40%

Appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher and the TV) – 33%

Water Heating – 20%

Lighting – 6%

– energymadeeasy.gov.au

 

Top Appliances Or Electronics That Use Power Even When You’re Not Using Them

Set top boxes, computers and printers might be amongst the devices that can use the most electricity when not in use

 

A full top 10 list of devices that might use the most electricity when not in use might be:

1. Set Top Box

2. Computer

3. Printers

4. DVD/VCR

5. Central Heating Furnace

6. Routers & Modems

7. Phones

8. Gaming Consoles

9. Televisions

10. Microwaves

– visualcapitalist.com

 

Tips For Saving Electricity At Home

Some tips might include:

Live in a climate which is friendly to electricity use – such as less extreme climates, or more moderate and mild climates that don’t require as much space heating and cooling

Consider living in an efficient house – better insulation in walls, energy efficient windows, curtains and blinds, an energy efficient house orientation that makes use of natural sunlight, and other energy efficient house design features can all help reduce electricity usage

Change personal lifestyle choices to use less electricity – spend less time watching TV, take more cold showers, wear warm clothes and use blankets in the winter where possible, spend more time outside the house, and so on

Use energy efficient devices and appliances (that use less electricity, or, are energy star rated) – this applies to heating and cooling, lighting, washers and dryers, fridges and freezers, and so on

Turn off appliances and devices when you’re not in the room or not home, and disable standby features for devices like TVs (or use standby only if power consumption is very low). Consider using timers and sensors where possible, especially for lighting

Use a low energy consuming wall heating unit over an energy hungry electric heater or ducted heater

Use regular fan over a ducted cooling system where possible

Use door and window draught stops in winter to stop letting cold air in

Energy efficient lighting can use electricity a lot more efficiently – specifically LED lights. Even better – use natural lighting where possible

Make sure to maintain and service electricity consuming devices and systems – especially heaters and air conditioners

Make sure your water heater is set to the right temperature, and consider insulating hot water pipes where you can

Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature

Try to wash only full loads (and not partial loads) in the dishwasher and clothes washer

Try to naturally dry clothes on the line over using an electric dryer

Consider washing with cold water where possible

Having shorter showers or cold showers can sometimes reduce need for heating water

Having water efficient devices in the house can help lower electricity use, as well as using less water in general. Read more about how to save water at home in this guide

 

Other factors like the number of people living in a house (which impacts the per person electricity usage average), whether a family is living under one house or multiple houses (in the case of a divorce), and other factors can also play a role in electricity use in homes.

 

What Is The Average Power Spend Per Year In American Household?

In 2016, it was around $1,368.36 per year.

– visualcapitalist.com

 

Things such as using less power, being more efficient with power use, and not wasting power can all help with reducing power spend.

 

Average Power Cost Per Year Of Different Appliances & Electronics In Your Home

Space heating, space cooling and water heating might cost the most (in terms of electricity spend) of the different devices and electricity consuming activities in the house.

 

[Annually, the average household may have a spend across the different electricity using activities and devices that looks like this:]

Heating – $662 

Cooling – $394

Water Heater – $317

Washer & Dryer – $143

Refrigerator – $95

Electric Oven (based on 1 hour of 350 degree usage daily) – $90

TV, DVD, Cable Box – $57

Dishwasher – $49

Lighting – $28

Computer – $28

– visualcapitalist.com

 

How Much Electricity Does The Average Household Waste?

Around 35% of the total power consumed is wasted, while only 65% is actually used (visualcapitalist.com)

 

Sources

1. http://www.visualcapitalist.com/what-uses-the-most-energy-home/

2. https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/hot-topics/energy-around-house

3. https://www.directenergy.com/learning-center/energy-efficiency/what-uses-most-electricity-in-my-home

4. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=us_energy_homes

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