appliances stacked on a light wood floor with a dollar sign in the middle of the graphic

Energy makes the world go round, and nowhere is that more apparent than your home! According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2021, the average amount of electricity a home in the US used was 10,632 kilowatt-hours. 

So, how much of that is used by each household appliance?

This post will fully synopsize how much energy you use throughout your home and when. Hopefully, seeing these numbers will inspire you to go greener wherever and when possible!

How Much Energy Does Each Home Appliance Use?

Major home appliances and their components such as your air conditioner use up to 4,100 watts of energy. A heater can suck up 50,000 watts, a fridge about 800 watts, and a freezer 100 watts. 

The chart below breaks down each home appliance’s energy usage in greater detail.

Energy Usage By Home Appliance

Home ApplianceEnergy Used
Air conditioner900 to 4,100 watts an hour 
Heater10,000 to 50,000 watts 
Lighting0.61 kilowatt-hours per month 
Television58.6 kilowatt-hours 
Desktop computer60 to 250 watts 
Laptop15 to 60 watts 
DVR8 to 15 watts 
Video game console90 watts
Refrigerator300 to 800 watts at 120 volts 
Freezer30 to 100 watts 
Oven1.5 to 2.3 kilowatt-hours per hour
Microwave0.12 kilowatt-hours per five minutes
Coffeemaker0.4 to 0.26 kilowatt-hours 
Dishwasher0.5 kilowatt-hours per load 
Ceiling fan0.9 kilowatt hours per day 

Now we’ll break down each of these home appliances. Let’s start with a big one, your air conditioner.

Air Conditioner

Without AC, your home would be sweltering hot in the summer, so it’s not like you can go without, right? 

Central air conditioner units on the exterior of a home.

Of course not! Just be prepared to pay for it.

A portable air conditioning unit that’s not a window unit sucks up anywhere from 2,900-4,100 watts of power each hour it runs, says American Home Water & Air. Window ACs use 900-1,440 watts.

If your home has central air conditioning, then each hour the AC is on, that central air conditioner is sucking up 3,000-3,500 watts of energy an hour. 

How can you make your air conditioner more efficient? Upgrade to an Energy Star-approved model. 

Heater

As the days become shorter and the temperatures colder, you’ll bid your AC farewell until next spring or summer. You’ll be reliant on your heating system or furnace for the next several months.

According to energy resource EnergySage, an electric furnace’s average energy usage is 10,000-50,000 watts. 

So per day, an electric furnace will suck up roughly 26 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and each week, 182 kilowatt-hours. 

Again, making the jump to an Energy Star-approved model is the best way to reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint.  

Water Heater 

If you had to consider what one of the most significant sources of energy use in your home is, would the water heater spring to mind? It should!

Energy Star says that every single day, your water heater will suck up 64 gallons of water. It also contributes up to 18% to your utility bills.

a blue tesla model 3 on the left with a rheem hybrid heat pump water heater on the right in a garage, an energy-efficient home appliance
We installed a new heat pump hot water heater and saved over $400 per year over a conventional water heater.

Most American households spend $400 to $600 yearly to heat their water. Military showers in cold water might be okay on occasion, but not every day. 

So what can you do?

Energy Star has a few recommendations if you’re feeling downtrodden at the cost of your water heater—switch to low-flow shower heads and faucets, wash your laundry on cold, reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120ºF, and upgrade to a solar water heater.  

Lighting

Of all the sources of home appliance energy, the lighting might not be one that you’d think of first, but it does contribute to your overall utility bill costs!

How much energy your lighting uses depends on the source of illumination. 

EnergySage notes that an LED light that only runs for two hours daily requires 0.61 kilowatt-hours of energy over 30 days and 7.3 kilowatt-hours for the entire year. Therefore, the light only costs $1.04 to use for a year.

a hand in the middle of the picture holding up a lit up LED light bulb with a garden in the background
LED bulb with lighting – New technology of energy

If you’re more old-school and still have incandescent bulbs in your home, those take up 12.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity over 30 days when used for two hours per day.

Per year, incandescent lights suck up 43.8 kilowatt-hours of energy if you use them daily for two hours. The annual cost to use incandescent lights is $6.22. 

It would be best if you multiplied the above costs for however many lights you have in your home, as that is the energy usage per bulb. 

Turning off lights throughout your home when you’re not using them will go a long way toward conserving energy. You should also switch to LEDs when you can, as they’re more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. 

Television

Although sitting down in front of the TV as a family isn’t such an everyday activity anymore, most households have this home appliance, and many have more than one TV.

Today’s televisions aren’t huge energy-sucks, using about 58.6 watts when running, says energy resource Eco Cost Savings. So each year, the TV will use 106.9 kilowatt-hours of electricity, costing you only about $16.

Here’s something interesting about TVs: Even on standby mode, they’re still using power, although not as much—it’s only 1.3 watts.

Remember, if you’re a multi-TV household, you must add up the television costs. 

Desktop Computer

Laptops sure are handy for portability, but a desktop computer suffices just fine for a home office. 

Perch Energy notes a desktop device uses more power, anywhere from 60-250 watts. Unless your computer is turned off (not left in sleep mode), it will continue stealthily sucking up small amounts of energy. 

Laptop

An open, glowing laptop screens on a bed in front of a pillow

You may have a mix of desktop computers and laptops in your home. If so, Perch Energy states that a laptop uses only 15-60 watts. 

Just make sure to turn your laptop off when you’re done using it. Doing so will better conserve its battery and prevent unnecessary energy usage from vampire power, which is when an electronic device sucks up energy even in standby mode. 

DVR

For those who still watch live TV, you’ll often program shows or movies on your DVR so you can watch them later. A DVR is always on, so how much energy is this home appliance using?

If yours is an HD DVR, Energy Use Calculator predicts it needs 8-15 watts of energy. When the DVR is on standby, its energy usage is reduced by 10% but is never zero. 

Video Game Consoles

Kids and adults alike love playing video games, and the activity can bring families together. But precisely how much energy does this home appliance use?

When the console is on and running, Energy Use Calculator (in a separate link from above) estimates the energy usage is about 90 watts. In standby mode, your gaming console still uses about two watts.

The console is in standby mode even when turned off but plugged in. Since most video game consoles get cranky when you unplug them, you’ll just have to contend with that small amount of wattage the console uses. 

Refrigerator

One of the most essential home appliances in any house is the refrigerator. You use your fridge daily to keep your food and beverages frosty and cool so you can make meals throughout the week and avoid food spoilage. 

A homeowner looking at tomatoes in her hand as she stands in front of the open natural gas refrigerator in her kitchen

A fridge will be a substantial use of electricity in the home. EnergySage suggests that the average fridge uses 300-800 watts of power if running on 120 volts and six amps. 

This home appliance is another source of energy that’s pretty much unavoidable. But, unfortunately, if you want to preserve your food, you can’t unplug your fridge! 

What you can do is treat your family to an Energy Star fridge. You’ll still get the same cooling power out of your refrigerator but pay less on your utility bills. It’s a win-win! 

But what about your freezer?

Freezer

This home appliance also uses energy, as it operates independently of your fridge (even if attached). 

According to Energy Use Calculator, today’s freezers require anywhere from 30-100 watts of electricity based on factors such as efficiency, temperature, and size. 

Just as Energy Star produces energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, you should also strongly consider switching to an Energy Star-approved freezer. 

Oven

Ding! Your oven has finished preheating. Unless yours is a gas oven, it uses electricity to reach the desired temperature. Then, it will continue to suck up more energy to stay at that temp until you turn the oven off.

Electricity resource Silicon Valley Power notes that an oven uses between 1.5-2.3 kilowatt-hours of energy per hour of use. If you’re not running the oven, it doesn’t suck up power.

Guess when your oven will use the most electricity? It’s when it is in self-cleaning mode! For as many hours as that lasts, the oven uses six kilowatt-hours of energy. 

Microwave

A microwave oven can’t be beat when warming food in a pinch or making popcorn. Its efficiency and ease of use make it a family favorite, which means your microwave is constantly spinning and beeping.

Well, fret not. Silicon Valley Power says this home appliance sucks up 0.12 kilowatt-hours of electricity per five minutes of use, which only costs you $0.02. 

Coffeemaker 

Many people can’t imagine starting the day without a steaming hot cup of coffee. If you’re in that same camp, you can make your coffee at home or pick up some java at the drive-through café.

Making your coffee at home doesn’t use up a lot of energy. A single-serve coffeemaker generates 0.26 kilowatt-hours of electricity per brew cycle, a standard coffee maker 0.12 kilowatt-hours, and a coffeemaker with the brewer on 0.4 kilowatt-hours, says Silicon Valley Power. 

Dishwasher 

On the blog, we’ve compared the energy-saving merits of using a dishwasher versus washing dishes by hand in the sink, but we were more concerned with the amount of water used. 

Closeup on the bottom rack of an old-school dishwasher full of clean plates and silverware

A dishwasher will always use more electricity than hand-washing because you’re not using any additional energy to wash your dishes in the sink than the lights on in your kitchen.

But precisely how much energy does a dishwasher require? 

Silicon Valley Power notes that this home appliance sucks up 0.5 kilowatt-hours of energy per load when in energy-saver mode. That’s the equivalent of paying $0.07 per dishwasher load.

If that’s not sitting right with you, then perhaps it’s time for an Energy Star dishwasher. 

Ceiling Fan 

Usually limited to bedrooms or sitting rooms, ceiling fans can circulate air to keep a room fresh and generate a soft breeze. 

Per day of use, EnergyBot reports that a ceiling fan uses 0.9 kilowatt-hours of energy, but it begins adding up if your fan runs all the time. 

Per month, this home appliance sucks up 27.36 kilowatt-hours of energy, which costs you $2.74. So in a year, your ceiling fan will use 328 kilowatt-hours of electricity, contributing $32.85 to your utility bills.

Those are the costs for one ceiling fan. If you have three or four in the house, you’re looking at significantly higher costs. Energy-saving ceiling fans can keep you cool and control energy usage for lower utility bills month after month. 

Conclusion 

There you have it; a complete breakdown of how much energy each major utility in your home uses. Now that you have this information handy, you can use it to decide which components are worth using less and which can be upgraded to Energy Star models. 

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