Turn off Your Electronics Completely and Save!
Even when in the off position, many electronic products in our homes are pulling and using electrical power. Walk through your home at night with the lights off.
How many little glowing lights and digital clocks do you see? Probably you see quite a few.
Televisions, stereos, home theater systems, computer hardware, personal grooming appliances, etc usually have a small light that shows they are plugged in and ready to go.
Many of these electronic systems have a subsystem that keeps them ready for instant use. That's why your television comes on immediately when you turn it on. It used to be you would turn on the TV and wait for it to "warm up".
You were waiting for power to flow into the system and activate it. We are impatient and quickly adapted to electronics with an instant-on feature.
At the time, saving energy wasn't a huge concern. Electricity was cheap and always available and concerns for the environment were only beginning.
Today we know those same convenient electronic products are sitting there using electrical power all the time to keep them warmed up and ready to go. It's no longer acceptable.
Brand new appliances don't often have this feature but you can adapt your older electronic products to save energy at home by turning off unused electronics. Plug all the electronic products in one room into the bar of one surge protector with an off/on switch.
When not using the electronics, just click the one switch to "off" and power stops flowing to the TV and home theater system. If you had to unplug the products one by one it would be a hassle but clicking one convenient switch isn't hard at all.
Using power strips is also a good option in the kitchen where you may have a half dozen small appliances on the countertop.
Can opener, toaster, toaster oven, blender, food processor, mixer - all of these appliances are using small amounts of energy even when turned off so why not put them all on a power strip and stop wasting energy?
It is not unusual for a homeowner to have several room in his home that are used only on occasion. The three bedroom, two bath home is a standard size in the U.S. For a single person or a couple this means there are bedrooms unoccupied except for rare times when you have overnight guests.
Turning off the electronics in the room will save some energy but why not save more by shutting up the entire room? Rooms have doors for privacy and those doors can be used to save energy at home.
Close off the vents in unused rooms and close the door. The rooms will stay cleaner and you will not be paying to heat and cool unused space in the home.
If you have a formal dining room used only a few times a year for large family gatherings or a formal living room that no one ever sits in, do something about it.
A pair of French doors allows the décor of the room to be seen and appreciated but allows the room itself to be closed off to save energy at home.
If you have a 2000 square foot home with a formal living and dining room and two bedrooms used only occasionally you could close off unused rooms in a ways that costs nothing and stop heating and cooling up to 700 square feet in a typical home.
The residual heat and cooling from the rest of the house would keep the rooms from overheating or from freezing. Adding attractive French doors to a living room or dining room would actually add to the value of the home.
Good Maintenance Helps
A clean appliance uses less energy than one clogged with dust or lint. Check intake vents on clothes dryers, hair dryers and other appliances and keep those vents free of lint and debris. Keep appliances clean to make them work better and use less energy.
Use of overhead lighting in a room is often more efficient overall than using multiple floor or table lamps. Incandescent light bulbs produce heat when lit and this can be counterproductive if you are cooling the air in your home.
Energy efficient light bulbs product less heat and need replacement far less frequently. By saving energy you will be able to eliminate the small amounts of heat being produced by instant on features.
It may seem a small item of savings but when several electric products are plugged in your room may be significantly warmer and this wastes energy for your HVAC system.
Everything you do at home impacts your utility bill. That's why you should turn off unused electronics whenever possible.
You may also consider investing in alternative energy, like solar panels or wind turbines!