Saturday, November 5, 2011


I hear this annoying argument all the time: I live in a cold climate so my {home server, tube amp, idle set-top box, microwave oven display} doesn't waste electricity, it just helps keep my house warm.
I understand that resistive space heaters are popular in the U.S., but in the rest of the world some people like heat pumps better. The heat output from both resistive space heaters and microprocessors or all other electronics is equal to the electrical energy drawn from the grid. The heat output from a heat pump-based device is higher than the electrical energy input, the difference resulting from cooling the outside air. Just like air conditioning in the summer, but in reverse. So there, your inefficient technology is not only helping keep your home warm, it's also wasting electricity that could otherwise be used to heat it more efficiently.