5 tips to help you save money on your home electronics usage.
Generally speaking, the majority of U.S. homes have one or more electronic devices. From televisions, to stereos, to computers, laptops, gaming systems, smart phones, and DVD players.
The point I’m getting at is that we depend on electronics every day, however, many of us hardly stop to consider the amount of energy these devices consume on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis. It’s worse when you consider the vast amount of energy that’s being wasted when we leave our electronics on or plugged in when not in use.
Phantom power is the term for the energy an electronic device continues to consume from the wall socket when it’s left plugged in, but not turned on or in use. For example, I used to leave my Ultrabook from Lenovo off, but plugged into the charger when I wasn’t using it so it would be all juiced up when I took it to work or to the café with me.
What I wasn’t aware of was that the device continued to draw energy even though it wasn’t on or in use. Remember, even though your computer, laptop, or cell phone is in sleep mode (which means it’s technically off) it still continues to use energy. The only time electronic devices stop consuming energy is when a device is unplugged from the wall socket or when they are plugged into a power bar and the switch is turned to off.
By making a few simple changes in the way you consume energy, you can actually conserve a great deal of energy and still enjoy your home electronics.
Here are my top five tips for saving energy on the electronics usage in your home…
1. Use rechargeable batteries
You know those batteries that you put in the remote control for your television and your camera? Do you throw them in the trash when they burn out?
One way to save on electronics in your local landfill is with rechargeable batteries. Sure, they might be a tad more expensive, but they will help conserve a small portion of the environment by decreasing your personal waste, and actually save you money over the long run on buying new batteries each time because, overall, they are much more cost effective than disposable batteries.
2. Buy electronics with an Energy Star rating
Replace old electronics with items with an energy-saving Energy Star rating—which means these electronics meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. In fact, American households using Energy Star-rated appliances and electronics conserved nearly $18 billion on their utility bills collectively.
3. Unplug when you leave home
Do yourself, the environment and your utility bill a favor—when you leave the house unplug your electronics or turn your power strips to off to stop all phantom power being sucked to the device, such as DVD players, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances.
4. Sleep mode doesn’t cut it
Your laptop continues to draw power from its AC adapter or power strip even when it’s off or in sleep mode, but still plugged into the power source. Instead, maximize savings by charging the battery during the day when you’re using the device then shut down and unplug during the evening hours when you’re not using your laptop.
5. Manage your power
Did you know that by taking advantage of the power management settings on your computer monitor and laptop, you can save a bundle on electrical costs?
For instance, most computer monitors or laptops use a green LED indicator to show that they are fully on. This same indicator is yellow or orange when it is in a low-power mode. When power management is disabled on devices, people tend to charge or leave a device plugged in even when it’s already fully charged.
On the flip side, if power management is enabled, we are more likely to make use of it to save energy by turning a device off when it’s fully charged.
About the Author
Rebecca Keller is a graduate of the Arts and Technology program at the University of Texas. An admitted tech-junkie, freelance writing about Android devices for AndGeeks.com offers the perfect outlet for a tech geek like Rebecca. When she’s offline, which isn’t very often, Rebecca enjoys volunteering for her local animal shelter and off road mountain biking.
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