Which household appliances use the most energy?
Efforts have been made over recent years to ensure appliances are more efficient, but there are nevertheless some products that typically use more energy than others.
Although older appliances are generally less energy efficient than their newer counterparts, there are some items in your home that will rack up electricity and gas prices faster than others.
Being savvy about how you use your appliances is a great place to start, as some simple behavioural changes can make all the difference to your bills in the long run.
The same goes for the rest of your household - there's little point in you making the effort if nobody else is following suit.
Here are some of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home - it might be worth upgrading these products or limiting their usage if you're hoping to drive down your bills!
Air conditioning units
If you've ever used your air conditioning for a long period of time then you'll no doubt have noticed the impact it has on your bills.
Although the technology has come a long way over recent years, air conditioning units still remain one of the biggest users of energy in your home.
Instead of reaching for the on switch, you might instead want to think about natural ventilation such as opening windows and creating a through-draught, which you can enjoy free of charge.
Piling all your dirty crockery into the dishwasher might feel like it's saving you lots of time, but is it saving you money? Probably not.
Although dishwashers tend to come with a range of different cycles, the fact is they will all generally use more energy than if you simply tended to your pots and pans by hand.
If you do insist on using a dishwasher, make sure you only ever turn it on when it's packed full, otherwise you will only be wasting water and electricity.
Tumble dryers might seem like a great idea when you need to get your clothes or linen dry in double-quick time, but have you ever thought about how much electricity they're consuming?
The unit requires high levels of heat in order to operate and so the cost of running these appliances can easily be run up over time.
Instead, consider hanging your clothes out on the line and let the sun do the hard work for you - best of all it won't cost you a cent!
A steaming hot cup of tea or coffee is often a crucial part of many people's everyday routine, but use your electric kettle too often and your bills could take a hit.
There are some more eco-friendly models available these days, such as those that boil water in double-quick time, but your kettle still has the potential to cost you dearly.
You'll find some ways of cutting down your kettle costs, such as making sure you only ever boil as much water as you need - there's no point in heating water if you're not going to use it.
Vacuuming is one of those household tasks that many people dread, but the fact is it could also be leading you to spend more on your electricity bills than you might like.
Although one of the smaller appliances in the home, a vacuum clean requires large amounts of energy to operate and create the suction needed to keep your home clean.
Think about investing in a newer and more efficient model, or alternatively clean the filters on your existing vacuum cleaner to ensure it works to its full potential.
Each time you switch on the washing machine, you'll find not only does your electricity bill take a hit, but so does the amount you pay for your water.
These appliances have come a long way over the years - they're now designed to work more effectively at lower temperatures, therefore reducing the amount of energy needed to heat up the water.
One way of making your washing machine more efficient is to only ever use it when you have a full load, otherwise it'll be working overtime to compensate for the lack of contents.
You might not have given this much thought before, but your desktop computer could be racking up your bills - especially if it's left on all the time.
You not only have the screen to power, but also the tower, router, speakers and whatever other technology you might have hooked up to the system.
Consider switching to a laptop instead, as they are much more economical to operate in the long run and can be just as functional as a standard desktop.
Posted by Tim Wolfenden