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Copper Uses

The importance of copper in our economy cannot be understated. One of the largest users of copper is  building construction, which accounts for more than two-fifths, 46.3% (3,384 million pounds), of total US consumption.

Other end-use markets include: electrical and electronic products - 22.7% (1,662 million pounds); transportation equipment - 10.2% (744 million pounds); consumer and general products - 10.9% (798 million pounds); industrial machinery and equipment - 9.9

Copper in Your Home
While building construction accounts for more than 40% of all copper use, residential construction is about two-thirds of the building construction market. The average single-family home is about 2,100 sq .ft.; a multifamily unit averages about 1,000 sq .ft. An average single-family home uses 439 pounds of copper. In an average single-family home, you will find about: 195 pounds - building wire; 151 pounds - plumbing tube, fillings, valves; 24 pounds - plumbers' brass goods; 47 pounds - built-in appliances; 12 pounds - builders hardware and 10 pounds - other wire and tube.

In an average multifamily unit, they uses 278 pounds of copper: 125 pounds - building wire; 82 pounds - plumbing tube, fittings, valves; 20 pounds - plumbers' brass goods; 38 pounds - built-in appliances; 6 pounds - builders hardware; and 7 pounds - in other wire and tube.

Copper in Major Appliances
For major appliances, the general levels of copper used around the home include: 52 pounds - unitary air conditioner; 48 pounds - unitary heat pump; 5.0 pounds - dishwasher; 4.8 pounds - refrigerator/freezer; 4.4 pounds - clothes washer; 2.7 pounds - dehumidifier; 2.3 pounds - disposer; 2.0 pounds - clothes dryer; and 1.3 pounds - ranges.

Other Uses Around the Home
Some 10,000 copper range hoods and 20,000 weather vanes are produced annually, using about 7 pounds of copper each. The average house has 12 locksets: 2 1/2 are keyed, the rest are passage sets. The average multifamily unit has 6 locksets - 1 1/2 keyed, the remainder are passage sets. There are probably about a billion doorknobs in the U.S., weighing in with about 500-600 million pounds of copper. There is an average of 50-55 electrical outlets per home and some 15-20 switches. That translates to between 2 1/2 and 3 pounds of copper alloy for these uses per house.