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How Much Electricity Each Item in Your House Uses

Now you know why people go nuts for LED lights.

CFL lightbulb between coins and dollar billsFamily Handyman

CFL bulb

CFL bulbs will provide 10,000 hours of light and use $10.40 of electricity (at eight cents per kilowatt-hour). To get the same output with incandescents, you would have to use seven bulbs, which would cost less up front, but the electricity would cost $48. Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money—and a place everyone can start. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. This can save you up to $35 in electric costs over the lifetime of each bulb. Switching to CFLs in the five most frequently used fixtures in your house will save about $60 per year, according to Energy Star. Choose CFLs with the Energy Star label to get the greatest savings. Energy Star products have to meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the Department of Energy. When you shop, keep in mind that light fixtures with dimmers require special CFLs; read the label. When your CFLs are finally spent, recycle them (to find locations, check with your trash hauler or local government). Learn more about how to recycle CFL bulbs here.


DVD player

A DVD player uses around one to 13 watts and will use around a penny’s worth of electricity an hour. The average cost for electricity in the United States is 12.83 cents per kilowatt-hour. A typical home consumes 908 kWh a year. The conversion to kWh is to take the watt consumption per hour, divide it by 1,000, and multiply it by the cost per hour.

printer ink cartridges recycleWuttisak Promchoo/Shutterstock

Computer printer

A printer consumes around four to six watts and will run between .0005132 and .0007698 kWh, plugged in 24 hours a day, that will cost about 40 to 55 cents a month.

air conditioner outside of houseGSPhotography/Shutterstock

Air conditioner

An air conditioner will use between 2,000-4,000 watts or .2556 kWh to .5132 kWh. Central air will use about three kWh per hour, which translates to about 33 cents an hour. On the other hand, you’ll want to know how to save on heating costs when the days turn chilly, too.

Frozen food in the refrigerator. Vegetables on the freezer shelves.; Shutterstock ID 1013189377Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock


The electricity a refrigerator uses varies by its size and how new it is. Newer Energy Star appliances will use less energy. Older refrigerators will cost from $9.90 to $16.50 a month to run. New refrigerators cost between $3.80 a month to $6.60 a month, according to this appliance energy use chart put together by Silicon Valley Power. If you do this one thing to your refrigerator you could see a big drop in your electricity bill.

glass cookware ovenhydra viridis/Shutterstock


An oven will use about 2.3 kWh an hour, which is about 25 cents an hour, according to Silicon Valley Power. Avoiding your oven in the summertime, likely when your AC is cooling your house down, is just one of the ways to slash your home energy bills.

shutterstock_53629048 dishwasher clean platesAlexander Raths/Shutterstock


According to Silicon Valley Power, a dishwasher can range in electricity use and ranges from six cents per load to 24 cents a load. An energy saver cycle is on the lower end of the range and a normal cycle will cost you more.

shutterstock_670453921 laundry room washer and dryer ImageFlow/Shutterstock


Depending on the water temperature, a clothes washing machine will use between 2.3 kWh per load and 6.3 kWh. That equates to between 25 and 69 cents a load, according to the appliance energy use chart.



A dryer typically uses between 2.5 and four kWh per load; it varies depending on the weight of the load. The energy use chart says that works out to be around 28 to 44 cents a load. To save even more money and further reduce your carbon footprint, consider air-drying your clothes, and doing these other 24 things, instead.

Desktop in modern loft interior with advanced computer for perfect creative freelance work and stationary, mock up PC standing near cup of coffee and croissant for breakfast in co working officeESstock/Shutterstock

Desktop computer

A desktop computer typically uses between one to three cents per hour, but when it’s in sleep or standby mode that drops to less than a penny an hour, according to the energy use chart.

laptop charging chargerART65395/SHUTTERSTOCK

Laptop computer

According to the energy use chart, a laptop computer typically uses 50 watts and will cost less than a penny an hour to run.

tv Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock


TVs consume anywhere from a penny to five cents an hour to run, depending on the type of TV, according to the appliance energy use chart.

energy efficient lightbulbfixer00/Shutterstock

Light bulbs

A LED light bulb uses just seven to ten watts while a fluorescent light bulb consumes 16-20 watts. An incandescent light bulb will use 60 watts typically and cost about 0.6 cents an hour to run, according to the energy use chart. Check out more things your electrician wishes you knew.

ceiling fanOllyPlu/Shutterstock

Ceiling fan

A ceiling fan uses 25-75 watts depending on usage and will cost about a penny an hour to run, the appliance energy use chart reports. Now, learn even more ways to save on every household bill you have.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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