Top 5 Energy Sucking Appliances

  • By: Mommy & Love
  • Date: November 23, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Top 5 Energy-Sucking Appliances

Do you get a little sticker shock when you open your electric bill? Do you find yourself thinking, “I can’t have used this much energy!”
You can and you did.
The problem is, you don’t have a good concept of how much energy your appliances use. Educating yourself on energy use is like counting calories. You think you know how much you’re consuming, but the real figures are always startling and eye-opening.
Looking to ease that electric bill heart attack? Here are five of the top energy-sucking appliances, along with some tips to keep them from sucking you dry.

1. Hair Dryer

Let’s start with the most surprising: The hair dryer. That’s right! Your hairdryer is a big energy hog.
A quick scan of hair dryers for sale on Amazon shows a wattage range of 1875 to 2200 (with outliers, of course). But what does that mean in terms of energy costs?
That means if you spend 15 minutes per day, every-other day, drying your hair with your 1875 watt hair dryer, that’ll cost you $10 per year.
That doesn’t sound like much until you remember how many other bigger appliances you use on a longer and more frequent basis. Ten dollars per year for a handheld beauty appliance is nothing to sneeze at. Imagine how that cost would climb if you used a higher wattage, used it every day, or factored in other family members.
The easiest way to cut back is to let your hair air dry. It gives your hair a break from the damaging heat and costs nothing. You can even use braids, pins, fabric and other methods to style your hair into waves and curls as it dries.

2. Home Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling accounts for 48% of energy use in an average US home.
Luckily, there are many ways to save on heating and cooling costs without freezing to death or succumbing to heat stroke:

  • Replace your unit. It’s an upfront cost with long-term rewards. Old systems do less and cost more, thanks to energy inefficiency and repair needs.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. This is one of the most effective ways of saving money on heating and cooling costs. Run your system on a schedule that reflects when you’re home, away or sleeping.
  • Change by degrees. Keep your heat set to 72? Work your way down to 68 degrees over a few weeks.
  • Turn it off. When you can, as soon as you can, turn your system off. Turn off your AC and open your windows overnight. Turn off your heat as soon as warmer temperatures roll around.
  • Check for leaks. Don’t pay to heat the outdoors! Do a quick spring/fall check of caulking and weatherstripping and add insulation if yours is insufficient.
  • Dress right. Don’t forget the power of adding or removing a layer of clothing.

3. Water Heater

Your hot water heater sees a lot of use, from washing clothes and dishes to taking hot showers. At 4500 watts, it also accounts for a significant portion of your electric bill.
For a quick way to cut costs, start washing your clothes and other items in cold water. Barring super-soiled items like cloth diapers, most items can be safely washed in cold water.
Need more reasons to switch? Cold water bonuses include:

Wait to run your washing machine or dishwasher until they are full, to maximize your energy efficiency.
Taking cooler, shorter showers is another great way to save. To keep track of time, put a waterproof clock in your shower. Or, you could add a waterproof radio and set a song limit (two or three songs, for example) to keep you on track.

4. Clothes Dryer

Unlike the hair dryer above, you probably expected to see a clothes dryer on this list. With a wattage similar to a hot water heater, using either appliance for only one hour a day, 180 days a year, costs around 100 dollars.
Again, savings solutions are simple: Run a full load when you have to run it, and air dry what and when you can.
You don’t need a huge yard and an old-fashioned clothesline to air dry your clothes. Air drying clothes is just as possible in apartment living with drying racks and other solutions.

5. Light Bulbs

All light bulbs use energy, but incandescents cost more to operate than newer, energy-efficient LEDs and CFLs. As bulbs die, swap them out for more modern varieties.
Most importantly, turn off lights you don’t need or aren’t using. It may be your habit to switch a light on when you enter a room, even when it’s sunny out. Many people notoriously leave lights on after they’ve left rooms. Make it a habit to turn lights off when not in use and avoid turning on unnecessary lights during daylight hours.
Some appliances you can’t afford to turn off (like your refrigerator), but you can see savings by getting savvy about your appliance usage. Figuring out which habits to change and which energy vampires to leave unplugged can help lessen the blow of your energy bill.
*This is a guest post written by Bobbi Peterson. Bobbi loves writing and regularly posts on her blog Living Life Green. She’s also a freelance writer, green living advocate and environmentalist. You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter

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