In a world where "going green" is becoming more and more of a focus, you may wish to evaluate your own home and decide how energy efficient your appliances are. The amount of wattage consumed by the objects you use routinely in your home may surprise you. Knowing which appliances use the most electricity can help you decide where to cut back to reduce the watts charged to your utility bills each month.
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Refrigerators and Freezers
Your refrigerator and freezer run constantly every day and are the most demanding household appliances when it comes to energy consumption. According to the California Energy Commission, refrigerators and freezers use approximately one-sixth of all electricity in the average home. Today's refrigerators and freezers are far more efficient than they were in the past, but they still consume considerably more than other appliances. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a 16-cubic-foot frost-free refrigerator uses 725 watts. Although some other appliances use higher wattage, they do not run constantly like a refrigerator does.
Washers and Dryers
A washer and dryer combination consumes a high amount of electricity. The dryer has the higher energy needs, ranging from 1,800 to 5,000 watts, according to the Washing Machine Advisor. Their occasional use means they do not consume as much energy as some other appliances, but use a lot when they do operate. The clothes washer uses somewhat less energy, ranging from 350 to 500 watts.
Dishwashers consume a considerable amount of wattage, but the total energy consumption can fluctuate greatly depending on how it is used. The optional drying feature can cause a dishwasher to use much more wattage. This is why the range of wattage consumption varies widely, from 1,200 to 2,400 watts, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Microwave ovens are sold at various wattage levels. The wattage determines the oven's ability to cook or warm food in terms of time needed to complete the task. Microwave ovens generally range from small versions that consume 750 watts to higher powered models that use 1,100 or more watts.
Hot water heaters are also among the biggest energy users in the home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 40-gallon water heater uses 4,500 to 5,500 watts and is also required to run frequently to complete its job.
Televisions use various amounts of wattage depending on the type of television and the screen size. A 19-inch television, for example, uses between 65 and 110 watts, while a 53-inch projection television uses 170 watts. A flat screen television uses around 120 watts.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.