What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?

The average monthly electric bill in the United States is a little over $117. That’s quite a sum of money, but the good news is that if you know what exactly uses the most electricity in your house, you’ll be able to significantly reduce energy use.

Heating and cooling account for nearly half of the average home’s electricity consumption, followed up by water heating (14%), the usage of various appliances (13%), and lighting (9%). A lot of appliances use energy even when they’re tuned off – these vampire devices draw up to 15% of residential energy.

What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?

  1. Heating and cooling equipment uses 46-47% of the average US home’s energy consumption
  2. Water heating accounts for 14% of energy usage
  3. Appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove, oven…) – for 13%
  4. Lighting – about 9%
  5. Media equipment and TV – 4%

What Usually Uses the Most Electricity in a House?

Furnaces and air conditioners use the most electricity in an average house. These appliances are incredibly powerful and some homeowners choose to keep them on 24/7 on extra cold or hot days.

In a 24-hour period, your HVAC system might end up using up to 63 kW.

What Household Appliances Use the Most Electric?

Furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters are ‘responsible’ for the largest part of your energy consumption. The rest of the appliances account for around 13% of your home’s electricity usage.

  • An average fridge, for example, requires 162 kWh per month
  • Your washer and dryer might be using around 5% of the house’s energy
  • If you have an electric stove and oven, then these appliances might ‘eat up’ 75 kWh and 45 kWh a month
  • A regular dishwasher might require 10 kWh per month

Read: Does Central Heating Use Gas Or Electricity?

What Appliances Use the Most Electricity When Turned Off?

All the equipment that draws standby power accounts for 10-15% of residential energy use. Some of these vampire electronic appliances include:

  • TVs (48.5 W)
  • Stereos (5.44 W)
  • Garage door openers (7.3 W)
  • Microwaves with a clock (4.9 W)
  • Furnaces (9.8 W)
  • Air conditioners (1 W)
  • Coffee makers (2.7 W)

What Small Appliances Use the Most Electricity?

Such small appliances as vacuum cleaners, curling irons, hair dryers, toasters, and coffee makers can actually use more watts than fridges.

The good news is that we do not tend to use these small devices for too long, while a refrigerator keeps operating 24/7. However, do remember that some of these appliances can draw power even when they’re turned off, but remain plugged in.

Read: Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

What Costs the Most on Your Electric Bill?

Air conditioning and heaters would cost the most on your electric bill. If you weren’t using any heating or cooling appliances that month, then the chances are high that your water heater or water pump is going to make it to the top of the list.

What Uses Electricity Overnight?

Of course, if you leave your air-con or furnace on during the night, then it will be consuming as much electricity as during the day. 

Such things as the fridge and freezer also keep on running, even when you’re asleep, as well as routers and modems. By the way, any appliance that is plugged in will also be draining energy (this includes smart appliances that are constantly connected to the Internet and have always-on displays).

Read: Do Mini-Splits Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Does Unplugging Stuff Save Money?

According to the Department of Energy, you’ll be able to save up to 10% on your electricity bill, if you simply unplug all the appliances that are not in use.

Such a practice can also help you increase the lifespan of the appliances as it eliminates the risk of damage due to a power surge.

What Can I Unplug to Save Electricity?

You might want to unplug anything that you’re not using at the moment. Like your computer, printer, stereo, small kitchen appliances, chargers, lamps around the house, etc.

Do bear in mind that there are a few appliances that need to be left on at all times. Your refrigerator, for example, has to continue cooling the food in it.

Read: How Much Electricity Space Heaters Use?

Should I Unplug My TV When Not in Use?

Have you ever noticed the small LED light on your TV that stays on even when you have switched the device off? This red light needs electricity in order to function and your TV ends up drawing 48.5 W even when turned off.

Unplugging the device will not only help you save a bit on your electricity bill but it is also considered to be a safety precaution as an unplugged appliance cannot start a fire or shock someone. 

How Much Money Does Unplugging Things Save?

You’ll be able to save up to $200 a year if you spend a few seconds every day unplugging the devices that you’re not using. 

Is Switching Off at the Wall the Same as Unplugging?

Some appliances might still be drawing power, even if you have turned them off. Any battery-operated devices (like computers) will continue using energy when you shut them down.

Does Leaving a Charger Plugged in Use Electricity?

If you leave the charger plugged in and not switched off at the socket, then it will continue to draw a small amount of electricity.

But the truth is that leaving the charger plugged in 24/7 will only cost you around 46 cents per year. So, removing the charger certainly won’t save you a lot of money.

Do Power Strips Use Electricity When Turned Off?

The majority of power strips do not use electricity when turned off. However, there are strips that will continue drawing power when they’re in standby mode.

With that being said, leaving the power strip alone might be a better decision as turning the thing of would make it waste energy on restoring the built-in controls.

How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill at Home?

  • Insulate your house
  • Take shorter showers
  • Replace dirty air filters
  • Consider washing your clothes in cold water
  • Get smart power strips
  • Set the fridge to 38 F and the freezer to 5 F
  • Use the dishwasher at night

What’s the Cheapest Time to Use Electricity?

There are off-peak electricity hours. During this time, it becomes a lot cheaper to use your appliances.

Some energy providers are going to charge you less for the electricity that you used early in the morning or late at night. These off-peak hours usually begin at 10 p.m. and last for around 8 hours.

Do bear in mind that the rates will depend not only on the time of the day but also on the season. In winter, for example, electricity is more expensive from around 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. as that is when the majority of people would be heating their homes. 

Read: What Are 4 Basic Categories Of HVAC Systems?

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Light Bulb for 1 Hour?

It will cost you around 0.6 cents per hour to run a regular light bulb that uses 60 watts. LED light bulbs, in their turn, use only 7-10 watts.

Is It Cheaper to Leave Lights On or Turn On and Off?

The more energy-efficient a light bulb is, the longer you can have it on before it becomes cost-effective to turn the light bulb off.