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How much energy do your appliances consume?

green potted plant on yellow and white wooden table
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How Much Energy Do your Appliances Consume? Here Are The Answers

You can save energy and money by replacing old appliances with newer, more energy-efficient models. You’ve probably heard that your microwave oven uses a lot of energy. But how much? And what else does it use? Find out how much electricity is wasted due to inefficient appliances in your home. After this article it might be more clear how much energy your appliances consume.

What Affects Appliance Efficiency

There are many ways to measure energy efficiency. The appliance’s kilowatt-hour meter (also known as a home energy assessment meter) measures kilowatt-hours. It measures electrical energy used in a single hour. The higher the number, the more energy that appliance uses in a single year. Other ways to evaluate appliance efficiency include: Energy Star ratings, The Energy Department’s national ratings, The Department of Energy’s appliance ratings, The Edison Electric Institute’s ratings, The average efficiency of new appliances since 2007. Most residential refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines are sold with an Energy Star label. This label indicates the appliance uses about half as much energy as the average home appliance.

How much energy do appliances waste?

The best way to calculate how much energy your home appliances use is to look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Ratings. Their online tools show you how much energy your appliances waste based on their energy consumption and your home. Most home appliances fall into one of four energy efficiency ratings: Very efficient — the appliances can use 40 to 50 percent less energy than their counterparts in the same energy-efficient category. Energy Star — the appliances use about 40 percent less energy than their counterparts in the same energy-efficient category.

Energy and money saved by replacing old appliances with more efficient models

Most microwave ovens heat up food through microwaves instead of the heat they use to cook. So, they’re mainly used for heating up food, like cooked pasta or leftovers. And they tend to be inefficient, wasting most of the electricity they use to do so. In 2009, the average microwave oven in the United States used 2,500 kilowatt hours of electricity. The energy used by each microwave in one year is enough to run about 1 million gallons of gasoline. You can offset the use of 1 million gallons of gasoline annually by spending an average of $20. Some Energy-Efficient Appliances Refrigerators and other large appliances consume a great deal of energy. The number of refrigerator models increased 2.7% from 2007 to 2011, according to the International Energy Agency.

Conclusion

The more information you have about your appliances, the better decisions you can make. And knowing where you stand helps you to do a more complete job when making those decisions. And of course, you can’t make your appliances use less energy if you don’t know what they actually use. Keep a notebook handy and do a few quick write-ups on appliances that you use. Not only will it help you to make informed decisions but it can save you some money as well. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) provides a free publication that outlines the steps that homeowners can take to make their homes energy efficient. The AIA Home Energy Efficiency Guide recommends using the AIA appliance color coding system as a guideline for making decisions on what appliances to replace.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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