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Standby Power Consumption – Tips to Reduce Yours

Did you know that if your TV, computer and other appliances are plugged in, they are quietly draining electricity all day, every day, even when they are turned off? This phenomenon is known as standby power, or the electric power consumed by products when they are switched off or in a standby mode. We may not notice it, but standby power is a big issue. It accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy use, costing the average U.S. household $100 or more per year.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your standby power loads and save money, and we’re here to provide you with three easy tips that you can take action on right now:

Tips to Reduce Your Standby Power Loads

Use a power strip to help you manage your standby power consumptionUse a Power Strip with Switches. Use a power strip with on/off switches to plug in your appliances. For example, you may have a power strip in your living room, where your TV, DVD player, game system and sound system are all plugged in. You might have another power strip in your office where your computer, printer, paper shredder, lamp and phone charger are plugged in. If you plug all of your products into a power strip and flip off the power strip when these items are not in use, they are truly off.

Unplug Your Products. Another sure way to reduce your standby power load is to just unplug your products. There are some products you may want to keep plugged in, such as the digital alarm clock in your bedroom or the refrigerator. You might find it to be quite a pain to have to reset the alarm clock or have to buy new groceries every day! But there are many appliances you may not need to have plugged in, such as the microwave or toaster oven.

Consider using ENERGY STAR® products. Many ENERGY STAR products are energy efficient and have lower standby power than comparable non-ENERGY STAR products. The Standby Power Data Center, a website from DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), helps federal agencies and the general public to identify low standby power products. For more information on lower standby power products, check out FEMP’s website.

So, there you go — three simple ways to reduce or eliminate your standby power, and save some money too!

For more tips on energy savings, visit our section on Myrtle Beach Energy Savings. We’ve posted other “energy efficient” tips.  Find them here.

Remember to grab our 20% off coupon on your next service call by Liking us on Facebook.

5 Energy Efficient Renovations Homeowners Should Consider

Homeowners need to be proactive in making energy-efficient home renovations. HouseMaster, a home inspection organization, provides the following easy check-ups every homeowner can do to optimize the energy efficiency of their home:

Windows and DoorsDoors and Windows Draft Problem
Holes in windows and doors allow conditioned air to leak from your home and allow outdoor air to infiltrate, which can tax your heating and cooling systems and raise your energy bills. Caulk around windows and doors where there are gaps. Also caulk areas where plumbing lines or electrical wiring extend to the exterior of the home.

Floor and Wall Insulation
Insulation acts as a barrier to heat movement and helps keep any home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter—all while using less energy. Making sure insulation is used at potential gaps such as around an attic stairway or over the attic access door is important as well.

Shedding a Little Light on a Simple Solution
By replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, you can use up to 75% less energy on lighting alone. A wide assortment of CFLs is now available for almost any type fixture found in a home.

Appliances and HVAC Systems
Your major household appliances are a good place to focus on to make your home more eco-friendly. Start by changing the filters of your HVAC systems regularly and consider upgrading older appliances to take advantage of newer, more efficient designs.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat
This energy-saving step can have a positive and noticeable impact right away. Programmable thermostats are fairly easy to install and once they are set up a homeowner can adjust them as the weather changes. For every degree that a thermostat is set back, you may realize a savings between 1-3% on your heating or cooling bills.

For more tips on saving energy in your home, see


Can a Heat Pump Save You Money?

The cost of heating and cooling a home can be extreme. In many cases, the cost is downright prohibitive and many families end up having to go cold in the winter because the bills are just too expensive. Whether your heating is electric based or you have a gas furnace system, energy costs in general have gone through the roof in recent years and paying these bills has never been more difficult.

Some people believe the solution to soaring energy costs is a heat pump system. Heat pumps generally cost less to operate than central heating and cooling systems, so many people believe they are the way to go. But is it true? Can a heat pump really help you keep more money in your pocket every month when it comes to your energy bill?

First, let’s consider how heat pumps work and why they are less expensive.

Heat PumpsFor starters, a heat pump costs less to install than a central heating and cooling system. Heat pumps heat and cool with a single unit, while central heating and central cooling are each a separate unit. Clearly, purchasing and installing one unit rather than two saves money. During the operating life of the system, heat pumps also cost less because there is less equipment to maintain.

The real savings come into play when you consider how a heat pump works. When you have a central heating system, that system takes air, then uses gas or electricity to warm that air, then expels it into your home. The same holds true for a central air system. The air is cooled through some method that requires the expenditure of energy, and then it is pumped into your home, cooling the temperature by adding cool air to the air already in your home.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, work with the heat that is naturally present in the air. Although you may not be able to feel it, there is hot air constantly present in the environment, even on the coldest of days. Heat pumps take that warm air from the outside and pump it into your home. There is no artificial heating process, so there is less energy expenditure. In the summer, the heat pump takes the hot air inside your home and funnels it outside, cooling the air inside by removing the heat from it rather than cooling the air artificially.

In these ways, a heat pump can reduce your energy expenditure – on average, a few hundred dollars per year. However, this only holds true if you live in a moderate temperature zone. Otherwise, a heat pump will not provide adequate heating and cooling.

Call us for more information on how installing an energy efficient heat pump in your home can save you money in the long run. Call us 24 hours a day at 843-497-9867 for all your heating and air conditioning needs, or visit us at our website at

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