Thirty percent of U.S. electricity goes to power homes. Why the huge glut of energy consumption in the residential sector? Simple: Home appliances draw extreme amounts of energy. An appliance rated at 1,000 watts, left on for one hour, will use 1 kWh of electricity. Now think about all the appliances – large and small – you have in your home. A refrigerator manufactured in 1979 consumed between 120 and 300 kWh per month; in a post-2001 unit, that monthly range is down to 31 to 64 kWh. But still, refrigerators are a big draw on the energy supply. And they’re not alone. Small appliances like toasters, hair dryers, coffee makers, vacuum cleaners and curling irons all use more watts than refrigerators do.
Refrigerators are the top-consuming kitchen appliance in U.S. households, and separate freezers are next on the list. The approximate energy range is 30-200 kWh/month. That’s the thing about energy ratings for any particular appliance: The range is vast. Lots of people still have fridges from the 1980s (or even earlier), which means they’re still using in the thousands of kWh every year. Check your fridge for a power-saver switch. If you don’t notice condensation after you switch it off, you might not need the feature.