Biggest Electricity Hogs of the Average Home


Have you ever found yourself staring at your electricity bill and wondering how it got so high? Chances are you have, along with many other people across the country. You may be asking yourself what you can do to lower the cost of your electricity bill and which appliances or devices use up the most power. Some appliances and devices use a small amount of electricity, while others can be “energy vampires”; the latter mentioned is what consumes the most energy.

Not only do certain appliances use more energy, but its estimated that approximately 35% of power used is actually wasted, in the average American home. Here’s a breakdown of appliances and how to lower their energy consumption:

1. Air Conditioning – Residents of Melbourne, Florida are all too familiar with our high year-round temperatures and the even higher temperatures throughout the summer months. The air conditioner consumes a large portion of the energy in your home, an estimated 45% of energy, to be exact.

To cut down on the energy consumption of your cooling system you can:

  • Set the thermostat as high as comfortably possible, dress lightly and use fans for comfortability
  • Keep blinds or shades on the windows that face the sun during the day
  • Ensure your home is insulated and sealed properly
  • Upgrade to a smart thermostat so you can follow a schedule

2. Refrigerator – The most effective way we can recommend to minimize the energy consumption of your refrigerator is to upgrade to a more energy efficient model. Besides upgrading, a few other things to do are; replace the rubber gasket around the door if and when it becomes brittle, loose or cracks. A few other things to do are: minimize the amount of time you keep the door open, clean the coils and vents on the back and bottom periodically. Lastly, don’t set the refrigerator temperature lower than 36 degrees and don’t set the freezer below 0 degrees.

3. Water Heaters – Any appliance that produces heat is sure to use a lot of electricity. Water heaters are used so often, as you can imagine, every time the hot water is used for: bathing, washing dishes, running the dishwasher, laundry and more. Here are a few tips for cutting back on water heater energy consumption:

  • Installation of a jacket around the water heater’s tank and pipe insulation of hot water lines throughout the home that are accessible
  • Replace the anode rod as needed to preserve energy efficiency and flush the water heater approximately two times per year.
  • Keep thermostat at 120 degrees (Fahrenheit)
  • Use cold water setting to wash clothes and take shorter showers to conserve hot water

4. Dryer - The washer and dryer may have a higher electricity consumption than you realized. We’re going to focus on a few ways to lower the consumption of the dryer, since it is an appliance that creates heat. Since we live in sunny and warm Melbourne, air drying clothes is one great option. Another suggestion is to stop the dryer and take the clothes out right away as soon as the clothes are dry along with clearing out the lint trap after every single load. Lastly, when applicable, we suggest using the lowest heat setting possible to dry your garments.

Lowering your energy consumption may seem like a daunting task, but it is definitely possible if you are committed to making some changes throughout the household.