Most of us turn off TVs and lights when we go to bed. After all, we don't want to run up the electric bill while we are sleeping.
But what you may not realize is that you have one appliance that runs and runs up your electric bill all night long: Your cable box.
Use Power All Night Long
They call them "power vampires," things in your home that suck power 24 hours a day.
Duke Energy Analyst Steve Kinkel a while back used a watt meter to show us some examples, like a coffee maker.
"(The coffee maker) is on even when it's not making coffee, and it's using 6 watts right now," he said when he tested it.
That' s $1.25 a month, even if you don't make any coffee.
Top Nighttime Power Hogs
Sure, your A/C and refrigerator run during the night, but they are doing something: They are not considered to be "vampires." So we leave them off this list.
So the biggest vampire, according to a new report in the Los Angeles Times is your cable DVR.
It's always on, with a spinning hard drive running all night, using 35 to 40 watts of power.
The LA times says that will cost you $5 to $8 a month, depending on tour electric rate.
Doesn't That Stink?
And from the doesn't that stink file, a comparison of night time power drains.
- A computer in sleep mode: Just 7 watts of power.
- The CFL bulb outside your front door at night: 13 watts, on average.
- Cell phone chargers: Just 4 watts each while in use.
- A bathroom nightlight: 7 watts
But that cable box, and its 35 watts, is essentially showing a movie every night when no one is watching. Doesn't that stink?
You might as well stay up and watch the movie.
Change On The Way
The good news: Major cable companies have agreed to switch to newer boxes that use 10 to 40 percent less power over the next four years.
Until then, though, your cable box will continue to be the appliance that never sleeps.
As always, don't waste your money.
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