Did you know that standby power in your home can raise your electric bills by as much as $100 a year? On an individual basis, that’s not an overwhelming amount, but across the U.S., the federal EPA estimates that people spend $10 billion a year by consuming power that serves no purpose. It comes from all kinds of electronics and charging devices that are left in their power strips or outlets, drawing power regardless of whether the appliance is on.
The culprits in your home include digital televisions, computers, peripherals, and chargers for all your electronic devices. If you leave game consoles plugged in, they’ll draw electricity even when off, and all those phone chargers do, too. The most effective way to cut these standby power losses is to unplug the devices or plug them all into power strips that you can turn off when you’re done charging or playing.
Another convenient solution to reduce your power losses is to use smart power strips. These have several outlets that stay on even when you turn the strip off. They provide energy efficiency when you want to run a clock radio, a programmable coffee maker or a DVR player on the same strip that you use for charging devices.
Some electronics have Energy Star ratings that indicate the product has low standby power ratings. These can save you money, especially when you’re looking at televisions, telephones and audio/video equipment. Some battery chargers also earn the Energy Star, so when you’re shopping, looking for that label can save you money.
While it doesn’t consume any energy when it’s not running, your air conditioner places a big load on your electric bill during the summer. The most effective way to lower the amount of electricity it consumes is to keep the air filter for the blower clean and have an HVAC technician provide annual maintenance.
If you’d like to learn more about standby power and how to lower your home’s energy consumption, contact Comfort Systems. We’ve provided HVAC services in the Wichita area since 1953.
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.