Standby Power: Is It Silently Stealing Money From Your Energy Budget?
If you want a quick and painless way to cut your energy bill, go through your home and look for all the objects that use standby power. Game consoles, computers and monitors, televisions, chargers for portable tools and small electronics, along with some kitchen appliances use power whether they’re running or not. The EPA estimates that American households spend $100 annually on this kind of power, also called vampire power. Collectively, that adds up to $10 billion each year.
The easiest way to cut the vampire power you use at home is to identify the battery chargers that drain your power and isolate them in one place. Storing them together with a power strip nearby means that you can charge several devices at a time. If you have a lot of devices and chargers, labeling the chargers will eliminate sorting through each one to find the right one. When you’re done charging, turning off the power supply to the power strip eliminates standby power losses.
If you have multiple devices in the kitchen that use standby power, consider smart power strips that have multiple outlets. Some of the outlets stay alive after you shut the entire strip down. You could plug your programmable coffeepot into a live outlet and use the other outlets for small appliances that don’t need power unless you use them.
Your computer monitor uses a lot more electricity than the computer itself, so changing the power settings in your system can help you reduce wasted energy. High-definition televisions, especially plasma TVs, also use a lot of electricity when off, so look for the Energy Star label when purchasing. Any television that has a delayed start-up after you turn it on uses less power than those that start instantly.
Although your home’s air conditioner doesn’t use standby power, it’s probably the largest energy consumer in your home during the summer. Keeping it clean and maintained helps reduce electric consumption.
If you’d like to learn more about servicing your A/C or reducing your home’s standby power, contact Smoky Mountain Heating & Air.
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.
Smoky Mountain Heating & Air services Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!