It often depends on the home, but in many cases the biggest drain on energy is heating. Again, this depends largely on what kind of heating system you have, how well insulated your house is, and what kind of climate you live in. If you do happen to live in an older house in a colder area of the world, then heating is almost definitely your main energy concern. There are, fortunately a few things you can do to lower the energy drain, the two main ones being increasing your cold tolerance and decreasing the amount of heat lost through windows, doors, outlets and light switches, and exhaust fans.
Heating is, of course, essential in many cases, so it might not be completely accurate to consider it a waste of energy. As far as inessentials go, one of the hugest power drains is from set-top-boxes (digital cable and recording devices). Since they run 24 hours a day, even in “stand-by” mode, these devices represent a significant power drain (about 446 kwh per year).
The HVAC system in many homes could be considered the biggest waste of energy as most residential systems are not operating to their full potential, and are working at 34% below efficiency standards. This results in a total waste of 212 billion kWh of electrical energy (enough to power 17.2 million homes for exactly one year).
Experts say this is because most HVAC systems don’t have the necessary airflow (about 400 cubic feet of air/minute) that they need to operate efficiently. Most home units are currently working at about 265 cubic feet/min, the exact discrepancy that results in the 212 billion kWh of waste each year!
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