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Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970


Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning Blog

Energy Vampires: A Year-Round Drain

Energy Vampires: A Year-Round DrainEvery year, ordinary household electrical devices cost Americans at least $3 billion in wasted electricity. Many devices create a constant energy drain, even when they’re turned off. Learn how to detect these energy vampires and stop them before they put another hole in your wallet.

Many electrical devices drain power when you’re not using them. Most devices — such items as clocks, radios, computers, printers, HDTVs, etc. — in standby mode are not actually turned off. They’re using less power than when in use, but still consume electricity to carry out internal tasks. For instance, a microwave when not in use still powers its clock and display. A DVD player set to record a show keeps track of the time electronically.

The amount of electricity that you use without knowing it might surprise you.

  • Your computer, even in standby mode, may consume as much as 333 kilowatt-hours in a year.
  • A plasma TV can use almost 1,500 kilowatt-hours per year.
  • Video game consoles might be draining more than 230 kilowatt-hours each year.
  • Your DVD player wastes an average of 79 kilowatt-hours per year.

Depending on the number of electrical devices you use, you could be wasting between $100 and $800 each year in  your home.

Fortunately, stopping this senseless waste of energy and money is easy. Unplug your phone, camera, battery and laptop chargers when you aren’t using them. If they are plugged in, then they are using electricity even if they aren’t connected to any devices. The same is true for power adapters. Use power strips with off switches, to quickly and easily turn off several devices when you’re done with them. For instance, use a single power strip for your computer and its peripherals, use another for your TV and other entertainment devices (do not connect your DVR to this power strip though, as it must stay on to function properly). Disable clock displays on microwaves and other devices when they aren’t needed. Use Energy Star-qualified devices whenever possible as they use less standby electricity than comparable devices.

Contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning to obtain more expert advice about energy vampires and other home comfort issues. We have been providing quality professional service to the greater Fresno area for nearly 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy vampires and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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