There has been a substantial increase in ownership of two types of white goods into Australian households between 1994 and 2008; the proportion of households with coolers (32% in 1994 to 67% in 2008) and dishwashers (25% in 1994 to 45% in 2008) (table 5.4).
Refrigerators and washing machines were the top two appliances replaced or bought by households in the year leading up to March 2008.
Three-quarters of Australian households had not replaced or bought any white goods in the previous year (table 5.5).
Almost all households in Australia had a refrigerator, with one-third (34%) having two or more in use (tables 5.3 and 5.6). Northern Territory had the highest proportion of households (44%) with two or more refrigerators in use, followed by Queensland (42%) and Western Australia (41%). Close to six in ten households (57%) had refrigerators aged 5 years or more while 30% had refrigerators aged 10 years or older (table 5.7). For households with more than one refrigerator, the majority (51%) reported their secondary refrigerator was 10 years or older (table 5.8).
Over one-third (37%) of households across Australia had at least one separate freezer. This proportion has declined from 45% in 1994 (table 5.4). In Tasmania, 53% of households had a separate freezer, the highest rate for all states and territories, and 6% had two or more in use (tables 5.3 and 5.9).
Nearly half of all Australian households (45%) had a dishwasher in 2008. They were most common in the Australian Capital Territory (67% of households) and Victoria (52% of households). The proportion of households with dishwashers increased substantially between 1994 and 2008 (from 25% to 45%). The highest increases were noted in the Australian Capital Territory (from 38% to 67%) and in Western Australia (17% to 38%) (table 5.4).
Three-quarters of all households used their dishwasher at least once a week, including almost one-third (29%) using their dishwasher daily (table 5.10). About 13% of households used their dishwasher less often than once a week and about 12% had not used them at all in the 12 months prior to the survey. Households in the Northern Territory used their dishwasher more frequently than in other states or territories, with 41% using them on a daily basis (table 5.10).
The proportion of Australian households using dishwashers on a daily basis decreased substantially, from 37% in 2002 to 29% in 2008. The most substantial decrease in this period was in the Australian Capital Territory (45% to 28%), followed by Victoria (35% to 24%).
Almost all households in Australia had washing machines (97%) (table 5.3). The more energy efficient front loading washing machines were used by 22% of households. This proportion increased from 13% in 2005. The highest proportion of households with front loading washing machines were South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (28%) (table 5.11).
Since 1994, Australians have used their washing machines less frequently. In 1994, 62% of households in Australia averaged 5 washing machine loads or less per week, and this proportion has increased to 75% in 2008. In the same period, the number of households loading 6 or more loads per week decreased from 38% in 1994 to 25% in 2008 (table 5.12).
The use of cold water in washing machines has been steadily increasing in Australian households, rising from 61% in 1994, to 74% in 2008 (table 5.13).
In 2008, 56% of households in Australia had clothes dryers, a slight increase from 52% in 1994 (table 5.4). Half of all households with a clothes dryer (50%) used it seasonally/depending on the weather. About one-fifth of households (21%) reported they used the clothes dryer at least once a week. A further 13% reported that they never used their clothes dryer (table 5.14).