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The ‘vampire appliances’ in your kitchen adding the most to your energy bills – and how to cut costs

FAMILIES are battling one of the worst cost of living crises in decades and soaring energy bills are taking their toll on UK households.

But many people don’t realise which appliances are the biggest energy-guzzlers in their home - and there are some easy ways to cut costs.

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Tumble dryers are the most expensive kitchen appliance
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Energy bills rocketed by 54% in April, with the average annual bill now coming in at an eye-watering £1,971.

It is set to increase further in October, with latest estimates predicting bills will hit almost £3,000.

A number of factors are driving the price rises, including higher-than-expected demand, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the collapse of almost 30 energy suppliers.

Historically, households have been advised to shop around for a fixed energy tariff for the best deal, but that is no longer the case.

Most families are now better off sticking with the standard tariff, because it is limited by the energy price cap.

But with bills so high, it's important to do everything you can to reduce your usage.

Here we take a look at the average annual running costs of each large appliance in your kitchen according to Which?.

Tumble dryers

Tests show tumble dryers are the most costly appliance to run in the kitchen.

They cost the average household a whopping £140 a year.

But if you have a heat pump model this price is slashed in half - as they are far more energy efficient.

In warmer weather, hang your clothes outside to dry if you can, and you could save money by using a heated clothes airer too.

Freezers

American-style fridge freezers can cost a small fortune - setting the average household back £120 every year.

But freestanding models, which are usually smaller, are significantly cheaper to run.

These will only typically cost £84.94 to run - and integrated models are even cheaper at £72.41 a year, said Which?

The energy usage for these appliances are so high because freezers need to be on 24/7.

To save money make sure to let food cool down before putting it into the freezer - as hot food makes it work harder.

Dishwasher

Dishwashers can be pricey when you tot up how much they cost over the course of a year.

They set the average household back £79.38.

The obvious way to save money is to only run your appliance when it is full - or go back to the good old fashioned sink.

If you are using a dishwasher, wait until you have a full load and use the eco-setting if you have one.

Oven

The average built-in electric oven costs £64.18 per year to run.

In general, electric ovens are more energy efficient and do better in cost-saving tests.

Turn off the oven a few minutes before food is ready, leaving it to continue cooking in what's left of the heat (check it's piping hot before eating though!)

You can also get away with not pre-heating the oven in most cases too.

Where possible, consider using the microwave instead as these are much cheaper to run.

Washing machine

Washing machines fall only just behind ovens in annual running costs at £63.25.

To save money - and the planet - wash your clothes at a lower temperature.

If your machine is only half full, you might want to hold off from hitting the start button too. Waiting until you have a full load of washing means you’re likely to do fewer cycles through the year. 

Which? recently found that doing one big wash four times a week reduces energy consumption by 17% compared to someone doing three smaller washes every day. 

Money saving tips

Prices will vary based on the model you have, how much you use it, your energy tariff.

Emily Seymour, Which? Sustainability Editor, said: “It’s not surprising that tumble dryers are the appliances that cost the most to run so it’s worth thinking about drying your clothes outside when you can. If you are in the market for a new model, a heat pump dryer could also shave £100 from your annual energy bills.

“If you are worried about your current energy consumption there are lots of small steps you can take; using an air fryer, microwave or a slow cooker instead of a conventional oven can use less energy and therefore could save you money in the long run.”

Here's how to use your radiators correctly so your not wasting cash.

And here's al little-known boiler trick cut one woman's' bill by nearly £100 a month.

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