One can take for granted the convenience of electronic appliances that wait for our instructions, then respond instantly. Being able to switch on the TV without walking across the room is something most of us don’t think twice about.
Unfortunately, that convenience comes at a price. The glowing dot on every device that we consider switched off means power is being consumed, and power costs money. Money spent on “sleeping” appliances is wasted money, and it can add up. The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection has estimated that the average American household wastes approximately $100 every year in this way.
Known as “vampire drain,” this phenomenon is properly called standby power drain, and it’s a silent thief of your household energy. Learn to identify the appliances that are consuming power while not doing anything; a little effort can save a lot.
Culprits. Devices that are operated by remote control create a significant vampire drain. Turn off or unplug the TV overnight, and all day if the house is empty. Voltage adaptors to appliances such as computers are also greedy, and battery chargers for mobile phones and personal music players suck up energy when they’re not actively charging.
The most convenient way to curb standby power drain is to supply multiple, common-use appliances through a single power strip fitted with a central on/off control. That way, a single flick of the switch turns off everything. Use this trick with computer peripherals; the monitor, printers, scanners – even the external hard drives – become redundant when the PC itself isn’t running. It also works well for all your battery chargers (and don’t forget those in the workshop and garage).
Along these lines, it’s important to understand the Energy Star; it guarantees a certified appliance will use significantly less power than comparable non-Energy Star devices. Much Energy Star-qualifying equipment is designed with power management settings, to eradicate or reduce standby power drain. Contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling to learn more about reducing your standby power drain. We serve the Metro-East area with pride.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about standby power and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.