Whether you’re investing in new appliances for a home renovation or just trying to squeeze some savings out of the household budget, it helps to understand the relative energy operating costs of your current or new appliances. The smartest money-savvy shoppers check whether their favorite model will cost them a fortune to run year after year, while budget-smart homeowners can use these metrics to make adjustments to put a little more jingle in their pockets.
Check out what these common household appliances cost to run, from least to most expensive.
Though you likely only use the dishwasher once a day, daily use of this device costs the average American homeowner approximately 3% of their total home energy budget. Energy-efficient models are available, but you don’t have to upgrade to save some cash. Smart use of this appliance includes scraping (not rinsing) dishes before loading, sticking to cold-water cycles, and only running when you’ve got a full load.
Refrigerators don’t actually cost a lot to run, drawing about 1000 Watts, which adds up to about a dime per hour. But because they run constantly, refrigerators are responsible for about 4% of your household power budget. That beer refrigerator in your basement, ancient and wheezing, very likely costs you more.
Short of an energy-efficient upgrade, clean the refrigerator coils twice a year and make sure your refrigerator is at an acceptable temperature, not laboring to over-chill its contents.
Washer and Dryer
Although not in constant use, the combined cost of water and energy to run these appliances makes them responsible for about 13% of your home’s total energy use. Save some change with every load by reserving use for only when the laundry basket is full, and choose cold water for all cycles.
It costs the average American homeowner about $320 a year to keep the water in a typical tank water heater nice and toasty for your morning shower, close to 15% of your home’s total energy consumption. Lowering the temperature can save you some money, but upgrading to an energy-efficient tankless water heater can save you more while supplying unending hot showers.
The Godzilla draw on power in your home is, of course, your heating and cooling system. Using on average about 15,000 watts of energy every hour, which costs a rough equivalent of $1.50, heating and cooling takes up nearly fifty percent of your whole-home energy costs, which can easily run into four figures for a typical American home. If you’ve got an ancient, inefficient, converted-from-coal boiler furnace in your basement, an upgrade can save you real dollars, every day.
When you’re choosing new appliances, always check out the EPA’s Energy Star labels to compare different models on their energy efficiency. A few more dollars spent up front for an energy-efficient appliance can save you a lot more money in the long run.