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Don't Let Energy Vampires Suck Your Energy Savings Dry

While energy vampires may be a phrase that is new to you, the concept makes a lot of sense. Devices and appliances that draw energy while not in use can slowly drain extra cash from your budget. This standby power may seem negligible, but according to ENERGY STAR, U.S. homes average approximately $100 per year in money spent on electricity that is drawn by devices that are in standby mode. On a national level, that equates to $10 billion per year.

Strategies for Battling Energy Vampires

There are some simple ways to lessen the impact of these energy loss issues in your household budget. These include:

  • Select products with low standby power requirements, typically those rated for excellent energy usage by entities such as ENERGY STAR.
  • Unplug chargers for cellphones, laptops and other devices when they are not in use.
  • Manage multiple devices with a power strip that can be turned off.
  • Enable power management settings on monitors and computers.
  • Evaluate the need for small kitchen appliances to have standby power. Your microwave and programmable coffee maker may be worth the cost of standby electricity, but standby mode for the blender and toaster may not be quite as important.

Some household systems and products won’t serve their purposes well without standby energy. Examples include your alarm clock, DVR and major appliances. However, you can do a thorough review of your home to curtail waste through better management of your small appliances and electronic equipment.

Making Additional Dents in Energy Usage

As your evaluation of energy loss issues allows you to focus on smaller sources of waste, your HVAC contractor can help you to explore larger issues. An energy audit is an excellent option if you want to take a comprehensive look at your home’s usage. As a technician evaluates your home performance, he will measure airflow and thermal energy to pinpoint problems with ducts, insulation and leaks. Your technician can recommend energy-saving home improvements and helpful equipment services that may allow you to curb your monthly energy costs. Some helpful measures include:

  • Seasonal HVAC maintenance – optimized equipment counters efficiency losses that occur because of normal wear.
  • Air sealing and insulation – ENERGY STAR indicates that improving these factors can cut 10 percent from home comfort usage.
  • Window treatments – windows rated for better energy performance can reduce heat gain, but use of light colored and reflective curtains, blinds or shades can also help.
  • Attic ventilation – monitoring and clearing blocked soffits and maintaining ventilation can keep energy usage down.
  • Duct sealing – leaky ducts can represent a huge amount of energy loss.
  • Thermostat use – make your programmable thermostat work for you by implementing recommended setpoints and adjustments for better comfort levels and lower energy bills.

AC by Luquire can provide an evaluation of your home’s HVAC equipment and energy usage issues, enabling you to achieve better management of those energy vampires. Call us for an appointment.

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