The question about what home appliances use the most electricity is actually a little more complex than the obvious answers. At first glance we might think that appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, freezers, clothes dryers, pool pumps, furnaces and air conditioners would use the most energy around the home. The real answer is that it depends on the actual appliance and your life style regarding how you heat your home, cool your home, conversion to energy saving devices and so on.
For example, our neighbor sets his air conditioning at 21 C or 70F all day and all evening long. His wife likes to sleep with the window open in the summer and the winter time with the corresponding energy loss that is associated with open windows. Another neighbor sets his AC at 24C or 75 F at night and even higher during the day.
Major issues for What Home Appliances Use the Most Electricity
Time of Day Energy Costs
Clothes dryers take a lot of energy and can cost a lot unless you only use then during non peak times such as in the evening and weekends. In a situation where you only dry your clothes in the evenings or on weekends, your clothes dryer may actually use even less energy than your AC system.
What about the oven? It uses a lot of energy when in use, but if you cook during non peak times or use the microwave which is very efficient, you can reduce your oven energy use significantly.
Should We Measure Real Usage or Per Event Usage
From a ranking perspective, ovens, dryers, air conditioning units and incandescent lights use a lot of energy. If you know which appliances use the most and then try to limit their use, then you can actually save and reduce total energy use. For example use the microwave whenever you can instead of the oven. Set your fridge temperature a degree or two higher. The same applies to the AC system. If you heat your home in the winter time, setting your inside temperature at 21C or 70 F will reduce your overall usage compared to someone who keeps their home at an even 24 C or 75F all day long.
There are all kinds of steps that consumers can take which will reduce their energy usage and save them a great deal of money. Use your appliances wisely even the ones that use a lot of energy, but limit their usage to reduce your overall energy foot print.
Turn up the temperature in the summer to reduce AC, turn down the temperature in the winter to reduce heating energy, use the microwave instead of the oven, turn up the temperature of the fridge and the freezer, use the clothes dryer and all appliances in non peak hours, turn your pool pump on at night and only run it for a few hours a day and so on.
We have a number of posts on this site that provide more detail and more information on how to save energy overall. It is not always the appliance that uses the most electricity that you have to focus on!