The Top 5 Appliances That Use The Most Energy

Joe Fortunato


 The household appliances being built these days are all designed with energy efficiency in mind. While the energy consumption of the average appliance has dropped considerably, there are still some appliances that draw more power than others. When comparing the energy draw of the most power-hungry appliances, it is helpful to use wattage as a measuring stick to tell us which appliances put the biggest dent in our energy bills.

Electric Water Heater

 electric water heater

Image via ">Flickr by stevendepolo

It seems like the only time that we notice our electric water heater is when it stops working while we are in the middle of taking a shower. A closer look at the electric home water heater shows that the most power-hungry models can draw as much as 5,500 watts. By way of comparison, the maximum draw on an electric space heater is around 1,500 watts.

Central Air Conditioning

Even if you have a gas furnace, you will still have an electric central air conditioning unit. People who live in the southern part of the United States and other areas where the temperatures regularly reach the 80's and 90's will run their central air conditioning units all day long and consume as much as 15,000 watts of power. If you visit Constellation Energy, you will be able to see just how much a draw of 15,000 watts will add to your electric bill every month.

Clothes Dryer

clothes dryer An electric clothes dryer is a home appliance that most families would not be able to live without. If you have an electric clothes dryer, then you should do a thorough cleaning of the entire unit at least once every six months to remove excess lint. If that lint is left to collect, then it becomes a fire hazard. The reason it is a fire hazard is because the electric clothes dryer is drawing around 5,000 watts of power to heat the air it uses to dry your clothes.

Coffee Maker

For some people, a coffee maker is an essential home appliance. The technology used to make coffee makers has changed a lot over the years, but these little wonders still draw a significant amount of energy. At their peak, the average coffee maker can draw as much as 1,200 watts of power. Since the appliance uses that power to make coffee, most people do not complain about how much energy their coffee maker uses.

Hair Dryer

We've always been told that hair dryers draw a lot of power and that it's just smarterhair dryer to use a towel to dry our hair, but how much energy does a hair dryer actually draw? The average handheld hair dryer draws around 1,200 watts of power. The true impact of the hair dryer on a monthly energy bill depends mostly on how long the dryer is being used each time. 

When you are shopping for electric home appliances, you should always read the label to see how much energy the appliances draw. The smarter you are when you go shopping, the less you will have to pay each month on your energy bill.

Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at@joey_fort.

1 comment

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Ian O. 10°

The article misses out on the other essential component of calculating energy use: time. They are kilowatt-hours! Thus a coffee machine or hair dryer may suck watts while they're running but they are typically on for only a few minutes a day. Clothes driers and particularly air cons may run for many hours. The former is especially wasteful because the majority of folk could be drying clothes outside in the sun for free if only a lot of civic authorities could scrape up a clue.
One appliance that regularly gets lambasted is the ancient, inefficient beer frig/freezer out in the garage. We have both here but when we are away on holiday and the hot water is turned off leaving only the garage frig & freezer, the kitchen frig/freezer, the TV recorder and the security system running, our power bill drops to $2-$3 a day. Clearly the frigs aren't consuming much power even if they are 20+ years old.

Written in September 2013

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  • Posted on Sept. 9, 2013. Listed in:

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