One of the wealthiest men in the world, Warren Buffett, believes that “every extra dollar spent on something one doesn’t need is wasted capital.” Even in our own homes, we are wasting capital through our uneconomical use of electricity. How? In America alone, total electricity used by households is the third largest consumer of energy in the country. A typical American home uses a number of the most energy-hungry appliances each day. Some of the most common ones are listed below.
Heating and Cooling Appliances
Heating appliances include room heaters, water heaters, irons, microwaves, hair dryers, garment steamers, and the like. It takes a lot of energy to produce heat. That is why these appliances carry very high wattages in their labels. On the other side of the thermometer are devices that provide cooling such as air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, and other similar devices. These appliances consume even more electricity when they are in areas that have high temperatures. For instance, using air conditioners during summer consume greater energy than when using them in less tortuous months. Energy consumption from heating and cooling appliances comprises a whopping 47% of your total household electricity use.
Washers and Dryers
The electricity American households use to power their washers and dryers add up to an average of 13% of total energy consumption. That’s a lot of energy! Between washers and dryers, the latter use more electricity than the former. To conserve energy, consider hanging your garments to dry outdoors especially when the weather permits. Switch to more energy-efficient models of washing and drying devices which bring you cost savings in the long run.
Did you know that in America, total energy consumption from household lighting constitutes 12% of total electricity use? Although LED light bulbs are now readily available and affordable, there still are residences powered by inefficient lighting such as incandescent bulbs and halogen lighting.
Vampire appliances are devices in the home that consume electricity even when they are switched off. The most common ones are computers, printers, DVDs/VCRs, digital cable boxes, satellite DVRs, routers and modems, gaming consoles, answering machines, televisions, and microwaves. We often leave these devices plugged, thinking that they stop consuming electricity as soon as they are switched off, but this is far from the truth. To remedy this situation, we can use a power strip to plug several gadgets in a common area. This way, we can just flip one switch to terminate electrical supply to all those devices at once. Moreover, we can also purchase appliances that indicate a low standby power usage. Another option is to search for Energy Star compliant devices which are purposefully designed to be less reliant on standby power.
We have to do what we can to make this world a livable place for the generations that will follow. Perhaps we can do our part by conserving energy consumption. It is hoped that the information above can move you to be more mindful of your household’s energy utilization.