Winter is almost always tough on our electricity bill. So, it may be easy to see a high energy bill and write it off as using additional electricity to heat our home.
But, if you do some investigating, you may find that other appliances may be the culprit. Here are some of the top energy-consuming appliances in our homes and ways to reduce usage.
Your water heater uses 4,000 watts of electricity per hour to provider hot water to your home. That means that if your electricity rate is 10 cents/kWh, it is costing you 40 cents per hour to run.
This may not seem like a lot but it can add up if you use a lot of hot water to do dishes, take long showers, laundry, etc. To reduce cost, lower the temperature on the water heater, wash clothes and dishes with cold water, and take shorter showers.
Also using 4,000 watts/hour on average, your clothes dryer is an energy hog. If you do multiple loads of laundry each day, this can add more than a dollar per day to your energy bill.
To reduce, make sure you have a high-efficiency dryer with sensors that will shut off automatically when clothes are dry. In the summer, try drying some clothes outside on clear days.
These little appliances are not only dangerous but consume a lot of electricity. The average space heater consumes about 1,500 watts per hour and, if left on all day, can add a couple bucks per day to your energy bill.
Rather than using a space heater to keep a space warm, address the underlying issue. You might need additional insulation in the room you’re trying to heat, or you might be able to block drafts by sealing around doors and windows.
Heat pumps can be more cost-effective than baseboard heating, but it’s important to make sure you’re using the right pump for your home and your climate. Being able to shut off heat or cooling to rooms that aren’t being used will also help keep your energy costs down.
Note that a heat pump is usually right up there with central air in terms of the impact on your utility bill. A heat pump uses about 15,000 watts of power, translating to a cost of $1.50 an hour.
I may be small, but a hair dryer is big in energy usage. By consuming 1,200 watts of electricity, your hair dryer is costing you 12 cents per hour.
Try letting your hair dry and then using your hair dryer for styling. This will reduce the run time and save electricity.
We all have to eat, right? However, a single burner on your electric range uses 1,000 watts of power each hour, which will cost you 10 cents per hour to run.
To reduce energy usage, turn off the burner 5-10 minutes before the actual cooking is done. The heat will radiate for a while after you turn off the burner.
Your refrigerator uses about 1,000 watts of power per hour, costing 10 cents per hour. While you can’t unplug your refrigerator to reduce energy usage, you can take other steps.
Keep foods covered in the refrigerator, as the moisture released by foods makes the compressor have to work harder. Also, make sure your refrigerator is full because a full refrigerator is more efficient than one that is half empty.