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Mythbusted: Holiday Inflatables Won't Add Much to My Bill

December 4, 2017



Myth:

Leaving my holiday inflatables on all the time isn't a big deal because they don't use much power.

Busted:

You probably know that person on your street, or maybe it’s you, who likes to put up those big, inflatable holiday decorations. Often they are giant spiders or snowmen, witches or reindeer. They vary in size and cost— around $50 for the smaller ones to several hundred for the big guys.

But the money you pay at the store isn’t the only cost of holiday inflatables. They use motorized fans to push the air in, and those fans don’t spin if they’re not plugged in. They also use internal lights to create a glowing night-time display. In other words, keeping those inflatables blown up will add to your power bill.

How much?

Based on our current market research, we know that the average household runs Christmas lights for about 4.5 hours/day for 37 days a season. We’re not sure if that’s the same for inflatables but we’ll go with that assumption. Although most inflatable manufacturers suggest we don’t run their products for more than 8 continuous hours/day for good measure we’ll include the cost of running for half a day, and a full day too:

Cost per Season/Inflatable:

Hours on Per Day 4.5 8 12 24
Inflatable snow globe/rotating carousel $5 $10 $14 $29
4' Inflatable $2 $4 $5 $11
6' Inflatable $2 $4 $6 $11
8' Inflatable $3 $5 $7 $14
12' Inflatable $3 $5 $7 $15

As you can see, a single inflatable isn’t going to cost all that much, but people usually have a couple in their yards. Those costs can add up, especially if the inflatables are left on for several hours per day, or if the lights inside the inflatables are incandescent bulbs! Final verdict? If you like using inflatables to decorate, go for it! Just consider if they really need to be plugged in all the time and be sure to purchase inflatable with LED bulbs; it will help keep your costs lower! Happy holidays!


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