In these tough economic times, saving money by any means can really help individuals and families. Unplugging electronics and appliances when they’re not in use can save money and it also helps to conserve energy. This is important for any family that is eco-conscious or that could use a few extra dollars at the end of the month. An electrician recommends unplugging all appliances and electronics when they’re not being used and the money saved might be more than you would think.
Unplug It: Energy Savings Add Up
Many people don’t realize just how much of their energy consumption is taking place when their appliances are plugged in but not in use. In fact, the government’s Energy Star program warns individuals that 40% of energy consumption is from appliances and electronics that are plugged in and not turned off. This translates to a huge portion of your electric bill and according to one Berkeley study; you could reduce your bill by 6% to 26%. In fact, most homes have approximately 19 appliances and electronic devices that operate on standby power. Typically, the larger the home is, the more energy there is that can be saved by eliminating standby power.
Hunt Standby Power Appliances
You don’t have to be an electrician to find energy savings in your home. Go through your home and write down the appliances and electronic devices that are always plugged in, even when they’re not in use. The most common “standby energy” appliances and devices are the cable and satellite dish, sound systems, gaming consoles, DVD players, computers, printers, televisions, lamps and coffee pots. Instruct the family to keep things unplugged until they’re ready to use them. You can track your energy savings by looking at your electric bill the month before unplugging and then the months after unplugging the items.
Biggest Energy Wasters
While an electrician might warn you to unplug all of the appliances you’re using, there are some that waste more energy than others. For instance, computer printers in most homes aren’t used on a daily basis but they suck a lot of energy. Some use up to 11.5 watts when they are not in use. Televisions use a comparable amount of power in standby. Cable boxes can use double the amount of computer printers; up to 23 watts when not in use, but still plugged in. One of the biggest drains on your energy savings is the TiVo or similar devices, which can use up to 50 watts when the machine is off, but plugged in. By understanding the biggest energy wasters, you can really save energy by unplugging them.
Energy Savings Timers
Timers of all sorts are available to help you save energy and money in your home. Outdoor appliances and lights can be set with specific timers that withstand extreme temperatures and turn off items when they’re not in use. This includes flood lights, the hot tub, outdoor decorations and more. Indoor timers can be used on big appliances like the stove, washing machine and dryer. Smaller indoor timers can be used for lamps, lights and exhaust fans. These timers can be set for specific times so that the coffee pot can kick on in the morning or heat can turn on a few minutes before you get home from work. However, they keep appliances from sucking energy when they’re not in use or when you’re not home.