Thursday, July 12, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Energy Vampires

Look out for Energy Vampires

Today I am writing about how you can save your money and the environment by just being vigilant when you use your electrical appliances.

Remove the screen saver from your computer. When those pictures are activated on your screen, the computer is still running on full power.

Put Your Computer to Sleep: If you don't want to keep rebooting your PC, you can reduce the electricity consumption by putting both the monitor and the computer itself in sleep mode when they're not in use. Computers operating on snooze control use about 95% less electricity than those running on full power. A stroke of the key will wake up your computer right away.

Workplace: Make sure your co-workers aren't leaving their computers on all night long. Make it a corporate policy to have all computers shut down at the end of the workday.

Use a Power Strip: Plug all components of a computer or home entertainment system into a power strip. Turn off the power strip with a single switch when electronics and appliances are not in use. Anything plugged into the strip is truly turned off.

Take the time: In the evening when it is dark, turn off all lights and take a walk around your house as if you were a detective finding clues. Make note of all those little red (sometimes comes in other colors) dots that are innocently glowing in the dark. When you have identified them attempt to get the electrical items that are near each other plugged into a power strip. Once you have completed this it becomes extremely simple. Use the on/off switch of the power plug when you are not in need of the items.

Unplug electrical cords when they are not in use: Did you realize that your TV uses electricity even when turned off? The same goes for your stereo, coffee maker, garage-door opener, microwave oven, clock radio and other electronics. Yes, even chargers for cell phones and MP3 players siphon energy when plugged in - even if they're not charging a thing! Included are inkjet printers and iPod chargers. Unplug power adapters or battery chargers when equipment is fully charged or disconnected from the charger.

These ‘energy vampires’ add about $200 to your annual energy bill. That’s because the "off" button doesn’t really mean "off" these days; instead, it means "standby." In fact, your TV, VCR, DVD player with remote control uses more energy during the 20 hours a day that it’s turned off and in a "standby power" state than it does during the hours you watch the tube.

Do you really need everything that is plugged in? In my kitchen there was a clock on the stove, microwave, coffee maker and on the wall. Just how many did I need to tell me the time in one room? I kept the one on the stovetop connected and now I disconnect the others when not in use. I moved the wall clock to another room.

Let’s talk about saving energy and money: The average U.S. household spends $100 annually to power devices while they are ‘off’. Microwave ovens, computers and TVs even when turned off continue to use energy. Like a leaky faucet, they are responsible for a tremendous amount of waste. In fact, 40% of the energy used to power consumer electronics is consumed when the devices are not in use. The typical American household has 27 appliances that are always on.

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