We are frequently asked how much electricity various items use.  Rather than provide those answers individually, below you can see how much you can expect certain items to use.  Before showing you the list, though, a few caveats:

  • Usage varies from model to model.  Your model may use more or less electricity, depending on numerous factors including age, features, etc.
  • Usage varies by use.  This is obvious.  Washing clothes in hot water will cost more than washing them in cold water, for example.  Setting your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter will reduce costs.
  • Appliances that create heat use more electricity.

Product labels will give you estimated usage in watts.  If it only gives you amps, multiply that by 120 to get wattage.  If you want to be even more precise based on your usage habits,, you can buy a watt-hour meter and monitor it.  Here is the table.

Heating

26,500 watts Elec. furnace, 2000sf, cold climate
7941 watts Elec. furnace, 1000sf, warm climate
1440 watts Electric space heater (high)
900 watts Electric space heater (medium)
600 watts Electric space heater (low)
750 watts Gas furnace (for the blower)
1100 watts Waterbed heater
450 watts Waterbed heater (avg. 10 hrs./day)

Cooling

3500 watts Central Air Conditioner (2.5 tons)
1440 watts Window unit AC, huge
900 watts Window unit AC, medium
500 watts Tiny-ass window unit AC
325-425 watts Fan only for central AC (no cooling)

More efficient cooling

400 watts Evaporative cooler
350 watts Whole-house fan
100 watts Floor or box fan (high speed)
90 watts 52″ ceiling fan (high speed)
75 watts 48″ ceiling fan (high speed)
55 watts 36″ ceiling fan (high speed)
24 watts 42″ ceiling fan (low speed)

Major appliances

4400 watts Clothes dryer (electric)
see sep. page Washing machine
3800 watts Water heater (electric)
200-700 watts Refrigerator (compressor)
57-160 watts Refrigerator (average)
3600 watts Dishwasher (washer heats water)
2000 watts Electric oven, 350°F
1178 watts Electric oven, self-cleaning mode
(takes 4.5 hrs, 5.3 kWh total)
1200 watts Dishwasher (dry cycle)
200 watts Dishwasher (no water heating or drying)

Lighting

60 watts 60-watt light bulb (incandescent)
18 watts CFL light bulb (60-watt equivalent)
5 Night light
0.5 LED night light

Computers 

(see more about electrical use of computers)

150-340 watts Desktop Computer & 17″ CRT monitor
1-20 watts Desktop Computer & Monitor (in sleep mode)
90 watts 17″ CRT monitor
40 watts 17″ LCD monitor
45 watts Laptop computer

Televisions & Videogames

191-474 watts 50-56″ Plasma television
210-322 watts 50-56″ LCD television
150-206 watts 50-56″ DLP television
188-464 watts 42″ Plasma television
91-236 watts 42″ LCD television
98-156 watts 32″ LCD television
55-90 watts 19″ CRT television
45 watts HD cable box (varies by model)
194 watts PS3
185 watts Xbox 360
70 watts Xbox
30 watts PS2
18 watts Nintendo Wii (source)
Other
1440 watts Microwave oven or 4-slot Toaster
900 watts Coffee maker
800 watts Range burner
4 watts Clock radio
3 watt-hours Total energy stored by an alkaline AA battery. This is to put batteries into perspective. If you could power your clock radio with a AA battery, it wouldn’t even last an hour. We have more on batteries on our Guide to Household Batteries.