In the average home, nearly half of all energy usage is due to heating and air conditioning. Closely following is lighting and large appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, clothes washers and refrigerators. One great way that many homeowners have saved on electricity costs is by replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient CFLs and replacing appliances with energy star replacements. All the while, there are a handful of gadgets and other devices that continue drain energy on a daily basis. Though the following devices may seem like minor loads, they can actually be substantial contributors to your electric bill whenever they run all day every day.
Your Cable Box
Many cable boxes do not have a very good standby mode. In fact, some of them are guilty of drawing more than a CFL light bulb. To make things worse, a cable box runs all day long, making its drain much more substantial than any of your light bulbs. To combat this, plug your box into a power strip and shut it on and off as needed.
Modems and Routers
These are other devices that are frequently left on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While they require relatively low amounts of energy to blink the lights and maintain connectivity, it can add up due to the constant on time.
It is estimated that the combination of a DVR and a cable box will use more electricity in a year than a brand new Energy Star rated refrigerator. This is largely because the DVR is always on and has no standby mode.
One of the largest power consumers in the TV world is the plasma TV, which draws an average of 300 Watts. This amount is triple that of an LCD television. LCD sets can also be power hogs, drawing much more energy than older, smaller television sets. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a television is whether or not it is Energy Star rated. This means that it will use less than 1 Watt whenever it is in standby mode.
Air Purification Systems
Although humidifiers, air purifiers and dehumidifiers may seem like low-impact devices that use little to no electricity, you would be surprised at how much they do use. In fact, some of these units are estimated to use more electricity than an energy star refrigerator. Standard air purifiers can use up to 550 kilowatt-hours each year in electricity. When choosing an air purifier, look for an Energy Star model that uses up to 40 percent less electricity than a standard purifier.
You may or may not have some or all of these appliances in your home. The important lesson to take from here is that you can be surprised how some of the electrical items in your homes draw electricity even when you believe that they do not. Be smart, and be safe and you will be well on your way to a highly energy efficient home.