Electricity Usage by Home Appliances

Your energy provider calculates your monthly bill based on how much power you use. An average household has an oven, refrigerator, stove, and microwave, all of which use energy. By learning what appliances use the most electricity, you can cut back and reduce your electricity costs. If you’re wondering what uses the most electricity in a home, we have the answer for you.

What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?

In most households, especially in Texas, the heating and cooling system uses the most electricity, and the water heater uses the second-most energy. Your home’s lights and the refrigerator use the next most electricity. Here’s a breakdown of how much the average appliance uses in electricity.

How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use?

A refrigerator is a common necessity in most households, and, on average, it uses around 180 watts of electricity per 24 hours. Limiting the time you leave the refrigerator door open can help conserve energy and keep your food items chilled. Investing in a refrigerator that’s energy efficient can also reduce its electricity usage.

<p> <img src="refrigerator.jpg" alt="Refrigerator as an appliance."> Refrigerators are a common home appliance that consume kWh. </p>

How Many Watts Does a TV Use?

A typical TV uses around 30 watts of energy per five hours of usage. The size of the TV, the energy rating, and how often you have it on also affect how much energy it uses. Many households leave their TVs on when not in use, which continues to draw energy. Use standby mode settings to reduce your energy use when no one is watching the TV.

What Is the Average Washing Machine and Dryer Wattage?

A washer and dryer are other common necessities in most households. A washer uses around 500 watts of energy every 15 minutes. A tumble dryer requires much more energy and uses around 3,000 watts of energy per 15 minutes. Reducing the number of loads you do per week and only washing full loads can significantly cut down on energy use. Some people may completely skip using the dryer and hang clothes outdoors instead.

What Is the Average Wattage of a Microwave?

The average microwave uses around 1,200 watts per 30 minutes of use. Microwaves also use some energy when on standby mode, which is necessary to display the time. You can reduce your microwave’s energy by unplugging it when it’s not in use or investing in an Energy Star-rated one.

How Much Electricity Does an HVAC System Use?

An HVAC system uses as much as 46% of your household’s energy. The typical HVAC system uses between 500 and 4,000 watts of energy per hour. Even central air uses a good amount of energy at an average of 3,500 watts per three hours of air conditioner use.

Heating your home with an electric furnace may use even more energy than cooling it does. The average electric furnace uses around 9,000 watts per hour. Supplementing with a fan or space heater can help households significantly reduce energy use. In comparison, a fan uses just 75 watts of power per three hours of use.

How Much Energy Does a Water Heater Use?

Your home’s water heater is responsible for supplying you with hot water. The average water heater uses around 1,100 watts of energy per hour. Limiting your time in the shower or cooling off with cold water on a hot summer day can greatly reduce your water heater usage.

Do Lights Use a Lot of Electricity?

The lighting in your household can use a lot of energy, depending on how many lights you use and their efficiency rating. One LED light bulb uses around 10 watts of energy every five hours. A CFL light bulb uses slightly more at around 14 watts of energy per five hours of use.

Incandescent bulbs, often used in desk or table lamps, closet lighting, or as accent lighting, use around 60 watts of energy per five hours. Carefully choose the lighting you use in your home, especially in rooms where you use the lights frequently.

How Much Wattage Does an Electric Oven Use?

An electric oven uses as much as 2,400 watts of energy per hour. Of course, the temperature and efficiency of the oven determine how much energy it uses. Instead of preheating the oven to cook a small meal, opt for a toaster oven or microwave instead, both of which use less energy.

How Many Watts Does a Dishwasher Use?

A dishwasher may not be a necessity, but it’s a nice appliance to have. The average dishwasher uses around 1,800 watts of energy for one hour. Cut down on your dishwasher energy use by only running full loads and limiting use to once per day. Pre-rinsing your dishes can also slightly reduce the energy use of your dishwasher.

<p> <img src="dishwasher.jpg" alt="Dishwasher as an appliance."> Dishwashers are a common home appliance. </p>

How Much Energy Does a Computer Use?

The average desktop computer uses around 100 watts per six hours of power. A laptop computer uses slightly less power at 60 watts per six hours of use.

Other technology devices in the household can also add to power use, including printers and routers (both of which use around 6 watts of energy per 24 hours of use.) If there are members of your household that enjoy electronic games, consider the amount of time they will be online and the power needed for multiple devices.

How Much Energy Does a Space Heater Use?

A space heater can warm you up on a cold winter day. The typical space heater uses around 1,500 watts per five hours of energy. While this is still a good amount of energy, it’s far less than an HVAC system uses. This means it may be a good plan to supplement the use of your electric heater with a smaller space heater reserved for the room where everyone spends the most time.

How Much Energy Do Smaller Appliances Use?

Most households have a collection of other smaller appliances, including hair dryers, toasters, and coffee machines. Any appliance that plugs in uses power. A hairdryer uses around 1,500 watts of energy per 10 minutes, a toaster uses about 1,100 watts of energy, and a coffee maker uses 600 watts of energy per 15 minutes. While the electricity consumption of smaller appliances is usually minimal, it can add up with a lot of small appliances in the household.

AC Wattage Calculator and Energy Cost

Energy is measured using watts or kilowatts (kW). Today, most appliances have a label that displays how much energy it uses per hour in kWh. You can use this information to calculate the energy use of different appliances.

You can also use this information when buying new appliances to choose the ones that use the least amount of energy. If you can’t find the label, you can always search for the year and name of your appliance in an internet search to find out its average watt use.

How To Calculate Your Appliance Energy Use

You’ll need two values to calculate the electricity use of your appliances:

  • how often you use the appliance
  • the appliance’s wattage

For example, the average HVAC system uses about 1,166 watts of electricity. To convert this to kWh, divide by 1,000, which is 1.16 kW per hour used.

Using your HVAC for eight hours per day or 240 hours per month will use an average of 278 kWh (1.16 kW X 240 hours = 278.4 kWh).

You can then multiply the number of monthly kWh by the price per kWh listed on your electricity bill. If you pay 10 cents per kWh, then it costs $27.80 to run your HVAC monthly (278 X .10 = $27.80). If you cut your central air use by half, you’ll save as much as $13.90 per month.

You can repeat this with any appliance in your home using your kWh rate plus how often you use the appliance on average. Texas residents can also compare electric companies and energy plans on Home Energy Club to reduce energy costs by selecting plans with lower rates.


Understanding what appliances use the most energy in your home can be a great starting point for saving. Additionally, the following tips can help you save energy and, ultimately, money:

Limit Air Conditioning Use

Since the air conditioning system uses most of the energy in a household, reducing its use offers the biggest benefit. Try to limit the use of air conditioning to the hottest times of the day. Install fans to circulate air throughout the house and help cool it to a comfortable temperature. Sun-blocking curtains or blinds can also help with comfortably cooling your home.

Choose Energy-efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are designed to use less energy. Specifically, look for Energy Star-rated appliances, which means it meets energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Even opting for an energy-efficient thermostat can make a big difference when it comes to energy use. They work by automating your temperature settings in the household. Some thermostats even make recommendations on how you and your family can further cut down on energy use. Other smart appliances to consider include stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Some electric companies in Texas may even offer rebates to customers who conserve energy through smart appliances.

Use Solar and Renewable Energy Sources

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which can help reduce your energy use and costs. Solar-powered appliances rely less on the Texas electric grid, helping to reduce your energy bills. Some solar programs may even offer you tax incentives.

Make Use of Natural Sunlight

You can supplement your heating and cooling costs by making use of natural sunlight. Open the window shades on a sunny day to naturally heat your home and reduce your furnace usage. Turn off the air conditioning on a breezy summer day and open the windows instead.

You can also take advantage of plants, trees, and other landscaping features to block out sunlight and naturally cool parts of your house. Power companies in Texas charge per use, meaning the less you run your air conditioning or electric furnace, the more you can save.

Maintain Household Appliances

Keeping up with maintenance and repairs of your current appliances helps keep them running efficiently. This means making prompt repairs, cleaning out the lint trap on the dryer, and cleaning out the oven before use. Keeping up with service appointments on your HVAC system ensures it’s working to its full potential.

Turn Off Appliances and Lights When Not in Use

Turning off the lights and other appliances when not in use can also reduce your energy consumption. If your household uses a lot of lights, consider swapping to more energy-efficient bulbs. Try to get into the habit of turning off computers and TVs , and gaming consoles when they’re not in use.

Schedule a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit helps you better understand what parts of your home use the most electricity. A customized audit provides you with specific recommendations on how your home can reduce its energy use. Once you make the suggested changes, you’ll likely use less energy.

Where you place your thermostat also makes a difference, and a home energy audit may help you choose the best location. Somewhere that’s away from windows or doors is ideal.

Seal Your Home

Sealing your home gets rid of any exit points where air or heat could escape. This includes caulking air leaks and putting wind blockers under doors. If your heating and cooling bills are especially high, your home may need more insulation or even new windows.

Get the Best Energy Deal

In some parts of the country, you have the option to choose your power provider. Texas is one of those states, meaning you have the opportunity to compare energy providers to choose the best one for your household. Compare electricity rates between different providers to find one that fits within your budget.

Consider a Fixed Rate Plan

Some of the best Texas energy providers offer fixed-rate electricity plans. These energy plans allow you to pay a flat rate each month year-round for electricity. If your energy usage fluctuates from month to month, a fixed-rate plan may be right for you.

At Home Energy Club, we provide our members with all the information they need to make the best energy provider decision for their households. We also make it easy for you to quickly locate your energy provider or transmission and distribution utility company (TDU).


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You should always read a plan’s EFL details to decide if it’s a fit for you, but our system does the tedious math to help you compare estimated costs. Of course, your future bill amounts will depend on your future usage.

You will find a widget on Home Energy Club which fetches your home’s energy usage data from Smart Meter Texas (SMT) and runs calculations of the rate structures of energy plans to help you conveniently estimate the cost of energy plans you are considering, based on your prior 12 months of energy usage as reported by SMT.

In one of the text panels of the widget, you will see an authorization button. By checking the permission box above the fields in which you enter your name and email address, and clicking on the authorization button, you are authorizing Smart Meter Texas to provide us with your location’s energy usage information so that our system can run cost calculations. It’s important to note that errors can occur when developing and running calculations, and the Company does not guarantee that its cost numbers are correct. You should always read the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for each energy plan you are considering before enrolling, and make an independent decision on whether the plan is an appropriate fit for your home based on your own calculations and all the information disclosed by energy providers in the EFL.

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