It seems like the costs of energy, especially electricity, continues to rise every year with no end in sight. This has probably caused you to think about exactly where in your home you are using the most electricity. Standard household appliances and lighting are major contributors to your electric usage, making up an average of 31 percent of your total electrical output in your home. With this much riding on your energy costs, it is vital that you understand your household appliances’ usage and energy costs, as well as effective ways to curb those costs.
Your electric bill is based on the overall number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) your household uses each month. The electric company will charge you a set fee for each kilowatt-hour used and these fees vary greatly among providers. To determine just how much each household appliance in your home is costing you to operate, you must first know how many watts per hour the appliance uses. This information is sometimes marked on the product itself, otherwise it will be included in the information packet that came with the appliance. You also need to determine about how many hours you use the product each day.
Once you have this information, you can calculate the appliance’s operating costs. Simply multiply the number of watts used to run the appliance by the number of hours it is used during the day. Divide this total by 1,000 and multiply by the price your electric provider charges per kWh, which can be found on your electric bill.
Estimated Costs of Top Household Appliances
To get a general idea of how much certain appliances cost to operate, here is a breakdown of their average cost. These figures are computed using the average usage and a $0.07 charger per kWh. Your actual costs may vary.
- 5,000 BTUH Air Conditioner $10.50
- Clothes Dryer $7.00
- Stove Top Range $7.00
- Refrigerator $3.85
- Computer $3.85
- Television $2.80
- Dishwasher $2.45
- Humidifier $1.75
- Microwave $1.12
- Washing Machine $0.56
- Vacuum Cleaner $0.28
- Toaster $0.28
- Hair Dryer $0.28
Ways to Save on Electric Costs
As you can see, operating multiple appliances can really start to add up over time. There are some steps you can take however, to lower your monthly electric bill, and make your energy costs more affordable.
- Cut Back on Your Usage. The first step you can take to cut down on your electric bill is to minimize your electric usage. This can involve easy steps like turning your lights off when you leave the room, unplug certain appliances when you are not using them, and keep your air conditioning set at a lower temperature level.
- Energy Saving Appliances. Another step you can take is to convert some of your larger appliances, such as air conditioner units, refrigerator, clothes dryer and oven to an energy saving model. This can be especially beneficial if you have older appliances because they typically use a lot more energy.
- Solar Power. One of the best ways to cut down on your electric bill is to install solar panels on your home. The solar panels work by collecting energy from the sun and then converting that energy into power for your home. The installation of these solar panels can greatly reduce your electric bill from day one. The exact savings you will see depends on the size of your solar panels and your overall household usage. These panels will more than pay for themselves over time and incentives and tax credit offered by the state and federal government can help defray some of the cost.
If you are concerned about the rising costs of your electric bill, now may be the time to make the change to solar power. In addition to reducing your energy costs, there are other great advantages of solar energy. First, it helps to protect the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases your home emits into the air. Secondly, it reduces your dependency on electricity and allows you and your family to have peace of mind know your home will always have power available.