Home Energy Hogs
These Home Appliances Suck Up a Surprising Amount of Electricity!
When we think of energy consuming appliances, big ticket items such as refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines tend to top the list. However, some of the most costly appliances in your home are actually the smallest. Small devices like cell phone chargers and computer printers use lots of energy, and as these gadgets become more common in our homes the amount of energy they use grows exponentially.
What is the main reason so many of these small appliances use so much power? It is because they are almost always plugged into electrical outlets, even when they are not in use. They draw energy constantly, even when they are turned off or the devices they power have been disconnected.
Check out our list of the most energy inefficient small appliances. How many do you have in your home?
You know you want one. Plasma televisions are on most of our home entertainment wish lists, but these hot items are quite literally hot. They use a lot of energy and throw off a significant amount of heat, too. The average 42-inch plasma screen uses as much as 325 watts of electricity; that old-fashioned CRT TV you have lying around uses just 120 watts. LCD TVs are a good compromise, using about 200 watts of electricity.
Digital Photo Frames:
Once a novelty item, digital picture frames are quickly becoming more commonplace as they become more affordable. However, according to a recent estimate from the Electric Power Research Institute, if every home in the US had one of these frames operating 24 hours a day it would take five entire power plants to keep them all running.
Video Game Consoles:
Video games have come a long way since Pac Man and Pong. Today’s games require high level digital processors to control all of those stunning graphics, and those processors require tons of energy. Compounding the problem is that energy-efficiency standards have yet to catch up to video game consoles like Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that game consoles consume around 16 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year. This is roughly the same amount of yearly energy usage as the entire city of San Diego.
Cable and digital converter boxes for your television may seem like pretty innocuous devices. While they only draw about 30 watts of energy, these boxes are always on—even when the TV is turned off. A single box can use as much as 265 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year. This is equal to the annual energy consumption of a 28-inch tube television.
It seems that everything that rings, beeps or clicks now comes with its very own battery charger. Although these small devices do not use much energy—only about 10 watts—most of us simply plug them into the wall and leave them there, connecting them to the phone, camera or portable DVD player only when we need a charge. Even when there is nothing attached to them, battery chargers continuously draw power if they are plugged in. Consider the fact that most American homes have at least half a dozen chargers, and our total energy consumption adds up to the output of several large power plants.