Energy use for appliances is responsible for about 13% of the monthly energy bills for the average American home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at the top of the appliance-energy-use list are water heaters, refrigerators, and clothes dryers (and pool pumps for those homes with swimming facilities). According to their estimates, one's desktop computer uses about twice the amount of energy as their clothes washer.

These data provide tools for identifying best practices that Americans can use to reduce their home energy use. For example, the DOE has developed a set of recommendations for reducing energy consumption for cleaning and drying clothes. Perhaps surprisingly given the amount of energy consumed by clothes dryers in the United States, recommendations to line-dry one's clothes is at the bottom of this list.

Photo Credit: Graph courtest of the U.S. Department of Energy