Wired, connected and powered on: How much power am I using and how can I save electricity?

Work is Over cartoon

"Work is Over"

After seeing this funny little cartoon I got an idea for another helpful tip post concerning power consumption by devices.  Particularly ‘vampire’ power as it’s called(the juice that a power block draws even when nothing is plugged into it or the VCR uses just to display the time).

Tips for saving power:

  • Turn off devices you aren’t using(Well duh).  The easiest of them all is to turn off devices you aren’t using.  This sounds simple but can be even more meaningful if we turn off things like VCR’s if not being timed to record anymore(now that we have DVR and Tivo).  Plug all your home theater equipment into one surge protector and turn it off overnight or when you’re not using it.   Same goes for things like coffee makers that leach power to display the time for no one.
  • Get a programmable thermostat and set it correctly or just turn down or up the thermostat a few degrees depending on heating or cooling.
  • Replace your standard incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.  You can even get non ice cream swirl ones that look more aesthetically pleasing if that’s a deterrent.  You can save around 10% on your heating and cooling bills each year by adjusting the thermostat 10 – 15 degrees for eight hours each day. The best time do adjust the thermostat? At night while you’re asleep.
  • Setup power saving modes on your computer and sleep the computer and display when possible.
  • Use only cold water cycles in your washer where possible and line dry your clothes.
  • Heat your home through cooking in the winter and grill outside in the summer to keep the house cooler.
  • Invest in energy limiting devices like Enviroplug which switches off electric draw when your mobile phone is done charging.
  • Audit energy use of devices using a Kill-A-Watt and use this to select and swap out inefficient devices or turn off energy hogs.
  • Seal your home – Windows, doors, walls, electrical outlets can all be weather sealed to better keep heat or cold from leaving your house.
  • Insulate pipes and wrap hot water heaters.  Also make sure your hot water heater is set well.

In closing here’s another video reminding us to power down every now and again. Enjoy!


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