“Energy Vampires” in Your Home
Energy Efficiency Solutions: Plug-In Electronics and Your Home
October is National Energy Action Month, when Americans are called up to work together “to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for our children” as President Obama wrote in the official proclamation. As a preferred solar electricity company in San Diego, we vow to do our part by providing customers with the latest solar power energy news and energy saving solutions.
At Baker Electric Solar, we thoroughly understand that electronic devices are an integral part of all of our lives, it’s difficult to get much work done without them! Your home office and entertainment space is a great place to start when you want to make some energy efficient changes at home to reduce your monthly electric bill.
Studies show that the electronic devices we love account for 15-30% of a monthly home electric bill. The U.S. Department of Energy tells us that not only do appliances continue to draw electricity while the products are turned off, but in the average home nearly 75% of all electricity used to power electronics is consumed by products that are turned off. Putting some best practices into place about how we manage our electronics can keep more money in our pockets.
Any device that when turned off still continues to use electricity is considered an “Energy Vampire.” There are definitely some practical steps you can take to keep these energy suckers to a minimum impact on your monthly bottom-line.
Home Entertainment System
It is recommended to connect your TVs, DVD players and stereo equipment to a power strip. Instead of just turning this equipment off, kill the whole power strip during working hours and sleeping hours.
Also check for EnergyStar ratings on future equipment purchases, especially with computer equipment that can save 30%-65% more energy than computers without this designation.
Computer & Home Office
Turn off monitors completely when not in use and make sure that automatic sleep modes are activated on your computers. Contrary to common belief, a screen saver does not reduce energy consumption of your computer, but turning off your monitor in between visits does make an impact.
Connect scanners/faxes/printers/copiers to a power strip and turn the strip off when this equipment is not going to be in use.
Shut down your laptop when it is not in use and disconnect the plug from the wall.
As a long-term decision, purchasing a laptop over a desktop will save a lot of energy. Desktops are considerably more expensive to power.
Rechargeable Devices and Cell Phones
After you are done charging your device, unplug the charger from the wall.
If you have many devices that you charge often, consider getting a central charging station set-up and use a power strip that can turn off multiple power charging cords when you are not charging a device.
These are among the most offending of the energy vampire group, and it is very common that the devices are put in sleep mode instead of being turned off. It can cost as much as $120 annually to leave your X-box plugged in, drawing up to 1,000 kWh of energy per year. The PlayStation 3 draws even more at 1,300 kWh per year when left plugged in and not switched completely off.
By creating new habits of powering these devices completely down (not just leaving them in Stand-by mode) and using the switch on the back of the device to completely stop the power draw on them, you can reduce that portion of your consumption by 90%!
Your Future Energy Saving Habits
Taking these steps and making your home and habits more energy efficient will pay off almost instantly. You’ll be doing yourself, and the environment, a huge favor by not using unnecessary energy. When you decide to take the ultimate home improvement step and install a renewable solar power system, you will be able to offset energy that you use, and not waste energy. This will enable you to select a smaller solar system size that will actually cost you less and be an even better investment in the long run.
If you would like more information about home energy efficiency and powering your home with solar power panels, contact us today!