What it costs to run your appliances
KNOWING how much it costs to run your household appliances is a big step towards controlling soaring electricity bills.
Canstar Blue has crunched the numbers to highlight that many consumers may be wasting money through heavy use of energy-guzzling appliances.
Air-conditioners are often blamed, but there are other appliances that cost more to run - and several options to cool your home more cheaply.
Canstar Blue's analysis, using "conservative calculations", puts the cost of using a reverse cycle air conditioner to cool a room at about 60c per hour. Cooling a whole house with a ducted airconditioner costs up to $3.45 per hour. Using a ceiling fan it will cost between 2c and 5c per hour.
Portable airconditioners cost up to 55c an hour. "Portable airconditioners are not energy efficient but are going to cost you almost as much as a split system or reverse cycle," said Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes.
He said the hourly costs might not seem large on their own, "but play the long game and consider how many hours a week or month you are going to be using the airconditioner".
Canstar Blue's analysis found that appliances that can be more expensive include:
• Ovens, which cost between 63c and $1.33 per hour;
• Vacuum cleaners at 41c-82c per hour;
• Running several light bulbs at once, costing up to $1.68 per hour, and
• Clothes dryers at up to $3.14 per hour.
Mr Downes said people could try to offset cooling costs through savings elsewhere. "Try not to use the clothes dryer in summer, and I would consider not using the oven so much in summer."
Appliances that are cheaper than airconditioners include:
• Small appliances such as computers and printers that cost less than 1c per hour;
• Dishwashers, which cost between 12c and 56c per hour, and
• Televisions, which can cost as little as 1c but be as high as 14c per hour for large plasma and LED models.
Mr Downes said consumers should compare what their energy retailer was charging with other providers. "You can have the most energy efficient appliances in the world but if you are paying too much for power, it's still costing you more than you need to pay," he said.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokeswoman Abigail Koch said switching energy providers was easy. "You still receive the same electricity without the need for disconnection - the only real change is in the billing paperwork," she said.
"Australians love the convenience of hi-tech appliances but it's important to know which ones are the energy vampires that suck up a lot of electricity and can add substantially to your quarterly bill.
"Air purifiers or humidifiers have become increasingly popular, but few people know that the little innocent-looking box in the corner could be adding over $60 to your bill each quarter."