What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?

When you consider monthly bills, electricity use takes a significant chunk of that total. Understanding what makes your home guzzle the most electricity can help you save money and even reduce your environmental impact.

Not all household appliances are created equal; some larger devices will cost you much more in monthly bills. Learn more about the energy consumption of common household appliances and get tips on reducing energy costs while being a bit kinder to the planet.

Which Household Appliances Use the Most Electricity?

Discover the biggest culprits and find actionable tips to decrease the total energy wattage used for a house.

1. Air Conditioning & Heating

AC and heating systems are the primary sources of comfort inside the home, insulating it from the extreme cold or hot temperatures outdoors. When looking at energy consumption, an HVAC system uses the most energy of all, coming in at about 52% of the energy consumption of an average US home, according to the US Energy Information Administration. A home can use anywhere from 850-1950 kWh in a month with an HVAC alone.

If you want to save on your energy use, your HVAC system is the perfect place to start. Some tips to reduce consumption include:

  • Schedule regular maintenance to ensure systems operate efficiently
  • Set thermostats a little higher in summer and lower in winter
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate air and reduce reliance on HVAC systems
  • Seal air leaks in your home to maintain the desired temperature and avoid escaped air
  • Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to optimize usage

2. Water Heating

Your water heater comes in second place for the most energy usage in a home, taking up about 18% of the total energy used. Your water heater only runs for about 3 hours a day, which puts into perspective just how much power it uses during that short stint.

If you want to save on your energy bill by reducing the work your water heater puts in, consider these tips:

  • Insulate your water heater to retain heat
  • Take shorter showers or consider heating options like tankless systems
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Set the water heater temperature to 120ºF or lower
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water usage in general

3. Refrigerators

General home appliances account for a good chunk of your electricity use. Refrigerators use the most of these, coming in at around 14% of total electricity of typical energy use. It can be tricky to save on energy through your refrigerator because it’s something you can’t turn off or use less.

However, these tips can still help you minimize excess use:

  • Ensure your refrigerator’s seal is tight
  • Do not overfill your fridge; this can restrict air circulation
  • Bring your most-used items to the front of the refrigerator for accessibility
  • Set temperatures to the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Keep coils clean to help the unit operate effectively
  • Consider upgrading to a modern model that’s more energy-efficient

4. Washer and Dryer

The average clothes dryer alone takes up about 6% of electricity, which doesn’t account for the power needed to run the washer. This is a sneaky area of energy use and can be a great area to improve if you want to see your bill go down.

Try to integrate these tips to save energy and money:

  • Wash full loads on the cold-water setting
  • Use high spin speeds to remove more moisture from laundry and dry faster
  • Clean the dryer lint trap before every load and clean the dryer vent often
  • Dry consecutive loads to take advantage of the residual heat
  • Air dry clothes on drying racks when possible

5. Oven and Stove

Using an electric oven and stove to cook one meal a day for about an hour can quickly add a lot of kilowatt-hours of energy. They can also increase the heat in your home, which may cause the AC unit to work overtime to get it back to your desired temperature.

Minimize the impact your oven and stove have on your monthly bill with these easy shifts:

  • Use the right size pot on burners and covers to prevent heat loss
  • Avoid opening the oven door while cooking
  • Use a microwave, slow cooker, or toaster oven when possible
  • Turn off convection options when not needed
  • Only use pre-heat when necessary for results
  • Opt for non-stick pans, which heat up faster and cook more effectively due to typically being made from aluminum rather than stainless steel

6. Dishwasher

If you run your dishwasher daily, a little can go a long way regarding your energy bill. Dishwashers can create excess heat in the home, which can be another trigger to make your AC system work harder.

Minimize your energy use via your dishwasher with these hacks:

  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load
  • Skip the heat-dry option
  • Rinse before loading dishes
  • Use energy-efficient dishwasher detergents
  • Regularly clean the filter to ensure proper drainage and avoid overuse

7. Lighting

Outside general household appliances, a home’s lighting can also use a lot of energy depending on your lightbulbs and how often you leave the lights on. On average, they consume about 9% of household energy.

Reduce lighting energy consumption by integrating the following behaviors:

  • Switch to more energy-efficient LED bulbs
  • Use natural light as much as possible
  • Install dimmer switches to use less electricity when full brightness isn’t necessary
  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms

8. TV and Media

Electronics today may use less energy than in decades past. We’re now more likely to have all-in-one devices like smart TVs rather than a TV, receiver, audio system, DVD player, and all the other media devices we used to rely on. Still, they can often use about 3% of your total energy expenditure.

Add these simple changes to see a positive impact:

  • Unplug TVs and media devices when not in use to prevent standby power usage
  • Use power strips to turn off multiple electronics at once
  • Adjust brightness and contrast settings to consume less power
  • Consider downsizing the screen for less energy consumption
  • Update old devices with newer, more energy-efficient models

Tips To Save On Electricity Costs

Beyond appliance-centric strategies, there are more general things you can do to slash your electricity bill.

Install Smart or Energy-Star Appliances

The smart home revolution has brought more convenient and energy-aware appliances into focus. From AC systems you can adjust on your phone to smart plugs that detect inactivity, integrating these into your home can lead to significant savings.

And, when it’s time for an upgrade, look for the Energy Star label. These appliances meet the strict energy efficiency guidelines the EPA and Department of Energy set.

Invest in Solar Energy

If you can invest upfront, solar panels and generators can dramatically reduce your dependence on the grid. Using any of the EcoFlow DELTA Series Solar Generators, such as the EcoFlow DELTA Pro + 400W Solar Panel, to power just some of the appliances and systems listed above can make a big difference in cutting your ongoing electricity bills.

Or, if you’d prefer to eliminate your energy bill entirely, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra or EcoFlow Whole Home Generator are two super-powerful products that can provide enough power for the whole home, allowing you to say goodbye to high monthly bills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Wastes the Most Electricity in a House?

Devices like air conditioners, water heaters, and refrigerators are top electricity guzzlers because they run continuously or frequently at a high usage level. HVAC systems use the most electricity by far, so this is the best area to start integrating energy-saving tips if you want to reduce your bill quickly.

What Uses a Lot of Electricity in a House?

Electricity use varies based on usage habits, but traditionally, heating and cooling, water heating, refrigeration, washers and dryers, and lighting are consistent powerhouses. TV and media also use a portion of household energy, but the most significant culprits traditionally are HVAC, water heating, and appliances.

Final Thoughts

By identifying the primary energy users in your home and taking practical steps to reduce consumption, every homeowner can make a noticeable impact in lowering their bill and using less non-renewable energy.

Ready to take the next step in your energy-saving journey? Explore EcoFlow’s DELTA series solar generators for a power-packed solution to help you cut energy and your bills.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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