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All about Appliances

Appliances are one of the largest consumers of energy in our home and often contribute to a higher energy bill. The more we use our appliances, the higher the energy bill. Today, let’s dig into how much energy common home appliances use, so we can look to reduce energy consumption and take a big bite out of our monthly utility bills along the way.

NOPEC is a nonprofit energy supplier in Ohio that provides competitive energy cost savings to residents and small businesses through a buy-in-bulk approach and breaks down how much each appliance consume.

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems: Electric furnaces typically need 15,000 watts or more while central air conditioning units use about 3,000 watts. Window and wall units typically use between 730 and 1,800 watts.

In the kitchen: Ovens typically use about 2,300 watts. To use the self-cleaning feature, you’ll need about 6,000 watts. About 120 watts are needed for every five minutes you use your microwave. Toasting two slices of bread uses about 40 watts, compared to a toaster oven, which uses about 750 watts. For older units, refrigerators use about 150,000 watts. Newer units like Energy Star refrigerators use between 34,000 to 60,000 watts. For the dishwasher, a normal cycle uses about 1,000 to 2,170 watts per load. Choosing the energy saver cycle, which air dries the dishes, significantly lowers the energy usage to about 500 watts per load.

In the laundry room: It takes about 6,300 watts to wash your clothes with hot water, compared to the 2,300 watts needed for a cold wash. Depending on the load and heat setting, a clothes dryer uses about 2,500 to 4,000 watts per load.

Naturally, technology can help to determine how much electricity your appliances and home electronics exactly use. Knowing how much energy is used can help decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or not.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy suggests there are several ways to estimate how much electricity your appliances and home electronics use including reviewing the energy guide label, using an electricity usage monitor to get readings of how much electricity an appliance is using, or installing a whole house energy monitoring system.

Another option is to calculate annual energy and costs using a formula. Start by estimating the number of hours per day an appliance runs and find the wattage of the product. There are three ways to find the wattage: stamped on the appliance; by multiplying the appliance ampere usage by the appliance voltage usage; or by using online sources to find the typical wattages or the wattage of specific products.

Next, find the daily energy consumption using this formula: (Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption. Find the annual energy consumption using this formula: Daily kWh consumption × number of days used per year = annual energy consumption. Finally, find the annual cost to run the appliance using the following formula: annual energy consumption × utility rate per kWh = annual cost to run appliance.

Whew, that is a lot of math, but this will help you find the annual energy consumption of a product and determine if it needs to be replaced. Another option, of course, is to use smart-home technology, which can give you similar data. Not everyone is good at math and doesn’t want to do all these calculations. That is why you can look at energy management systems that provide the data on apps for you to see and to help you better manage all of this. Perhaps there is no better time than the present with energy prices rising to shop and compare. Have you considered if your appliances are energy efficient enough?

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