7 Appliances That Are Wasting Energy in Your House

A pot on an electric stovetop in the kitchen.

Many of our home appliances, though necessary, are also known for wasting energy. This may explain why your utility bills are always on the higher side. If you can improve on the energy efficiency of home appliances, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes to your energy bills. It's also good to know that you can practice green principles right within your home. Below are seven home appliances that frequently waste energy.

1. Kitchen Cooktops

Much energy is lost through our kitchen cooktops via various mistakes. To reduce energy loss when cooking, keep your pots covered with lids to diminish cooktime. You can also match the pot size to the stove top to keep heating at a reasonable level.

2. Air Conditioner

An air conditioning unit outside against a brick wall.

Most of us use our air conditioners full-time. An air conditioner makes all the difference, especially during the stifling heat of the summer. However, the efficiency of the air conditioner may be hampered sometimes, resulting in higher energy bills. One way you can cut down on the demand for the air conditioner is to keep the curtains or blinds in your windows closed, to decrease the amount of direct sunlight and heat in the room.

3. Fans

A fan improves air circulation and is helpful when installed in the kitchen or bathroom. However, fans are often left running long after one has left the room or when it's done its job. This causes needless energy waste. Just get into the practice of turning off the fan when it's no longer needed to make a difference in your energy bill.

4. Water Heaters

Much energy is lost through hot water tanks. If you have a tank that's too large, consider getting a smaller size. Less heat loss occurs with smaller tanks. Another way water heaters can experience heat loss is if it's not insulated. Wrap your electric hot water tank with a blanket to insulate it. This will reduce heat loss by almost 20 percent!

5. Dishwasher

Someone lifting a clean white plate out of a dishwasher.

Many of our dishwashers use more energy than necessary. A couple of simple measures in dishwasher usage can save you energy. Set the dishwasher to “economy” mode to save energy, and open the door to allow the dishes to air dry naturally instead of putting it on a "dry" mode.

6. Furnace

Dirty or blocked filters cause the furnace to utilize more energy than necessary. It's a good practice to regularly clean your furnace filters to prevent this energy loss. Simply incorporate the removal of dirt and dust from furnace filters into your seasonal cleaning routines to keep your appliance clean and efficient.

7. Clothes Dryer

Many of us leave our clothes in the dryer for longer than necessary. Most clothes can dry adequately in under 30 minutes, making longer time settings unnecessary. In addition to keeping a close eye on the dry time of your laundry, you can also hang clothes on a line or clothes drying rack to eliminate the need for the dryer in the first place. It's also a good idea to clean your dryer filter before every load instead of allowing lint to accumulate. This will both increase the dryer's efficiency and reduce energy usage.