I have two ReadyNAS NV+ units from Netgear and I’ve put them in a backroom where nobody normally goes. I don’t either. Now, for extra security in case of fire or a break-in, I’m actually moving them to a neighbor’s spare room, which means I can’t easily get at them anymore and the energy consumption could become a problem. As could the constant whining, but I don’t think so.
The problem with the ReadyNAS is that even though you can power them down through their config pages using a browser, there is no way to switch them on again short of actually, physically, walking over there and pressing the blue button. There’s no wake-on-lan or any other similar provision. The only alternative is to have it power on and off according to a schedule, which is what I have done so far. But if you do that, that schedule will be unnecessarily liberal, just in case you need access to the units. I’m mainly using them for Retrospect backups and disk images when doing recovery, and very little else, so I don’t even use them every day. I calculated that the 16 hours a day these two boxes are running, costs me around 900 kWh per year. That’s around $150 in electricity per year. And it’s ecologically rude, too.