If your electric bill has been high lately, one or more of these items may be to blame. Keep reading to find out just how much electricity everyday household items use.
10. Light Bulbs
The amount of electricity your light bulbs use depends on the type of bulbs you have. An incandescent light bulb uses 60 watts typically and costs about $0.60 cents an hour to run, while an LED uses just 7 to 10 watts. To break it down even further, incandescent bulbs use $180 worth of electricity over a 23-year span, while an LED light bulb will only use $30 of electricity over that same span.
As for compact fluorescent bulbs, they use $0.08 per kilowatt-hour. They also use about 75 percent less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs last even longer and use even less energy.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
How much electricity a refrigerator uses depends on its size and age. Newer Energy Star-certified refrigerators use between $3.80 to $6.60 worth of electricity a month, whereas older fridges use between $9.90 to $16.50 worth. Unfortunately, a fridge is one of those appliances you can’t turn off or unplug, so when you tally the annual costs, it comes out to quite a bit of money.
-Consider buying a new refrigerator. They are more efficient than older models. As a result, they consume less energy in the cooling process.
-Invest in a mini-fridge. It could actually lower your energy use depending on how often you open your big kitchen refrigerator to grab small items, like a soda for instance.
-When buying a new refrigerator, make sure it fits your family’s size. If you’re the only one in your household, you may want to get a small fridge. That’s because a full refrigerator uses less energy than one that’s half empty.
8. Cell Phone Chargers
Smartphone chargers use between 15 and 20 watts when plugged in. Charging your phone with a 20-watt charger for an hour every day will cost you just $0.06 per month.
TIP: Don’t forget to unplug your charger when you’re not using it. If left plugged in all day, a cell phone charger will use 0.1 to 0.5 watts per hour. And, while that may not be a lot, it still adds up. Not to mention that it’s just plain wasteful.
7. Air Conditioner
Thankfully these appliances typically aren’t used year-round. Could you imagine what your energy bill would be like if they were? Air conditioners use between 2,000 to 4,000 watts per hour. Central air uses about three kWh per hour, which comes out to about $0.33 an hour. So, a 24,000 BTU central air conditioning system that uses about 3,800 watts of power per hour at $0.12 per kilowatt-hour, comes out to $0.46 an hour to run it. As a result, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars a month in energy costs during the summer just from your AC alone! Fortunately, there are ways you can go about reducing the amount of energy it consumes, including:
-using a programmable thermostat to have temperatures fluctuate to energy-saving levels while you’re asleep or away from home
A desktop computer uses between $0.01 to $0.03 per hour, whereas a laptop uses less than a penny an hour. There are things you can do to reduce the amount of electricity used by your computer. The first is to take advantage of downtime and non-use by setting the sleep and standby modes. When a desktop computer is in sleep or standby mode, it uses less than a penny an hour. The second thing you can do to save on electricity is to use a power strip. Lastly, be sure to unplug your computer when you aren’t using it.
TIP: Make sure you unplug your printer, too, when it’s not in use. Leaving it plugged in all the time will cost you about 40 to 55 cents a month.
TVs use anywhere from $0.01 to $0.05 an hour to run, depending on the type of TV you own. But, they don’t just consume energy when they’re on only. They consume energy when they’re turned off, too. This is due to a neat little thing known as “vampire energy,” or “standby power.” It’s this energy that keeps your TV “ready to receive a signal from the remote to power on at any time,” according to Payless Power, an electricity provider based in Texas. This applies to other remote-ready appliances as well, including DVRs, video game consoles, and satellite and cable boxes.
4. Electric Oven
Electric ovens cost about $0.25 an hour to operate — however, the number of burners you’re using and the temperature they’re set on will cause that cost to vary. Then, you have to factor in your oven’s self-cleaning capabilities, which can cause your energy costs to rise slightly as well. And, here’s another thing: using the oven can make your home very hot, causing your AC to work overtime, thereby driving up your energy costs even more! To prevent this, you should use the toaster or microwave whenever possible. They use less energy, plus but they don’t emit a ton of heat.
3. Clothes Dryer
This is an appliance that, depending on your family size, can be used several times a week. And, at $0.33 per hour, it doesn’t take long for a clothes dryer to drive up your energy costs. Thankfully there are some things you can do to decrease this appliance’s energy usage. First, make sure you’ve got a full load of clothes if you plan on operating your dryer. And, if your dryer has one, use the drying sensor instead of the timer. Something else you can do is clean the lint trap before putting your clothes in. And, make sure you don’t overfill the dryer either. This will cause it to run longer and, in turn, use up more electricity. Lastly, consider drying clothes the old-fashioned way: hanging them outside on a line. Not only will you save on energy costs, but your clothes will be sunshine fresh!
Who doesn’t love the convenience of letting the dishwasher take care of those stacks of plates, cups and utensils after dinner? But, a dishwasher can range in electricity use from $0.06 to $0.24 cents a load. To save money, you should only run your dishwasher when it’s full. That means that you should handwash lighter loads of dishes. Another money-saving option is to run your dishwasher on an energy saver cycle rather than the normal cycle. Lastly, consider upgrading your dishwasher to a new, more efficient model to lower your energy bill.
1. Coffee Maker
If you have an addiction to coffee, now’s a good time to quit. That’s because your caffeine habit is costing you about 61 kWh per month, which comes out to about $6.10 per month. That’s about $73 a year! And, if you use single-use pod coffee makers, that’ll cost you about an extra $5 month! After reading this, you may be tempted to head to Starbucks every day for your fix, but that’ll cost you even more. Yes, it would save on energy costs, but what’s the point if you’re going to spend three times as much money at Starbucks? TIP: Cut back on the coffee.