Why your DVR may be costing you more than you think

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 18:27:05-05

When you think of big power draws in your home, you probably think of your air conditioner and refrigerator.   But there are a lot of other devices that draw a lot of power, and sometimes even when they’re in sleep mode. They’re called “power vampires.”

And your home DVR is one of the biggest culprits. It’s always on, with a spinning hard drive running all night. A check of Comcast’s website shows the DVR is one and being used, depending on the model, energy usage ranged from over 22 watts to more than 32. But even when it’s in sleep mode, it draws anywhere from 20 watts to more than 26. That can translate to an average of 26 dollars added to your energy bill, and that’s just if you have one DVR.

Cut your costs

If you have more than in your house, a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests calling your cable company and making sure that any extra DVRs are “thin clients.” They “talk” to the main DVR and require less than half the power. Also, he suggests making sure your main DVR is an energy-efficient model. They’ve become about a third more energy efficient since 2012.          

And the Department of Energy says that desktop or laptop can still suck 15-21 watts when it’s in sleep mode. If you turn it off instead, that could be up to 20 dollars in savings from one device alone.

Considering how many appliances in an average household, the Energy Department says these energy vampires can cost us from one to two hundred dollars a year.

Click here for government website to estimate appliance and home electronic energy use