Don't Waste Your Money: Nighttime power drains - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Don't Waste Your Money: Nighttime power drains

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(Toledo News Now) -

When you go to sleep at night, you know that your air conditioner and refrigerator continue to use power, and that's OK with most people. But those aren't the only things running up your electric bill and costing you more money.

You might turn off TVs and lights when you go to bed, but what you may not realize is there's another appliance that runs up your electric bill all night long: your cable box.

They're called "power vampires" – things in your home that suck power 24 hours a day. Another example: your coffee maker.

"This is on even when it's not making coffee, and it's using six watts right now," said Analyst Steve Kinkel, who was testing with a watt meter.

That adds up to $1.25 a month without making any coffee.

But according to a new report in the Los Angeles Times, the biggest power vampire is your cable DVR. It's always on, with a spinning hard drive running all night, using 35 watts of electricity.

The report says that can cost as much as $8 a month, depending on your electric rates.

To compare - a computer in sleep mode uses seven watts. The CFL bulbs outside front doors average 13 watts. Cell phone charges are just four watts. But that cable box is essentially showing a movie every night while no one is watching.

The good news is many major cable companies have agreed to switch to newer boxes that use 10-40 percent less power over the next four years. Until then though, your cable box will continue to be the appliance that never sleeps.

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