How Appliances Affect Your Energy Bill

Has your energy bill increased lately? Where does all of the energy go? With the increase in high-tech devices in recent years, a lot of energy is going to your appliances. That sophisticated coffee maker you bought that makes the perfect cup of coffee at exactly 6:15 AM. The 3 laptops and 5 smartphones you plug in every night. The DVR that records all of your favorite TV shows when you’re too busy to watch them live.
There are tons of things drawing power from your sockets every day. The more advanced our technology gets, the more power we need. See which appliances affect your energy bill the most, so you can keep an eye on your usage and maybe reduce some of it where possible.
Power Vampires
Many appliances these days suck power from the socket 24 hours a day. These are sometimes called “power vampires.” Although they don’t take a lot of power to run each day, the amount they use really adds up when you calculate how much each costs in a month or year. Then add together all of the different little payments and you get one large energy bill.
For example, many modern coffee makers suck up 6 watts of power per month, even if you never use it to make a cup of coffee. In many places, this comes to about $1.25 per month or $15 per year. This is increased when you make one or more cups of coffee per day. Other electronics can suck up even more money. If you leave a PC on 24 hours a day, it can cost around $8 per month.
Your DVR that records your favorite shows costs about the same as a PC, and it has to stay on 24 hours a day in order to function. Here’s an article in the LA Times that goes over how much of a power hog DVRs can be, when you consider how many there are running all day every day in the U.S. DVRs are definitely convenient, but it’s important to be aware of the fact that yours is using about 35 watts of power per month.
Worst Offenders
Here’s a list of some of the biggest energy-draining appliances and electronics found in many households:
  • Central air conditioner
  • Heater/space heater
  • Water heater
  • Clothes washer/dryer
  • Water pump
  • Hair dryer
  • Electric range burner
  • Refrigerator
  • Personal computers and laptops
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Light bulbs/porch lights
Keep in mind that even when asleep, appliances that are connected to a socket will draw some electricity. Some are worse than others when it comes to such passive drain. PCs and cell phone chargers are very bad about draining energy constantly.
Modern Improvements
Although modern technology has mostly increased our power usage in the past, the future is looking bright. Many companies are focusing more on “going green” by significantly improving the efficiency of all kinds of appliances. Even the cable companies are starting to switch over to more energy- and cost-efficient DVRs that use about 20% less power. As our technology improves, those costs should be reduced even further.
When shopping around for new appliances, watch out for high efficiency (HE) stickers and tags. Also pay close attention to Energy Star ratings, the government-issued system that keeps track of efficiency for all kinds of appliances.
If you want more information about how to keep your house running efficiently, check out Complete Protection’s 10 tips for home energy efficiency.
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