Taking the energy suckers out of your home, one room at a time
Think quick – how many devices do you believe you have plugged in your home right now? 5, 10? Think again. On average, any household has an average of 25 electronic devices plugged in pretty much at any given time. Did you guess right? Probably not. And that’s because many of the devices we keep plugged into our home outlets aren’t things we use on a daily basis.
Off the top of your head, you can surely name some of the things you have plugged in right now – your PC, TV, maybe your phone is charging... But there are many others that are actually using some energy and go unnoticed – until the electric bill comes, that is. Have you ever wondered why are you paying so much for electricity? If your answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to take a tour through your house with this article in your hand – we’re going energy-sucker hunting! The goal - energy efficiency!
Into the kitchen
You probably are asking yourself “where should we start our journey”? Perhaps it’s best to start with one of the key rooms in any house – the kitchen, with all the appliances and it’s lights and LED displays. So, go there and try to identify which appliances are sucking energy just by stating idle. We’ll help – look for microwaves and ovens with stand by modes. Coffee makers also just sit there, sucking your precious energy away while you’re not looking.
So, what can you do? Unplug it all? That’s one choice, albeit not the most practical one. Perhaps the best idea is to connect all of those appliances to a power strip you can control with just one button. Ready to use one of them? Flick the switch and voila! Done using them? You’re just a button away from major savings.
Forward and into the living room
You can move on and start checking your living room, probably the biggest idle consumer of energy. Count yourself – TVs, game consoles, PCs, stereos, players and the like are all there, with blinking lights hungry for some energy. All of them are using energy and practically for nothing. For instance, keeping your TV on stand-by mode (with that little red light on) can cost you up to $150 every year. Doesn’t seem much? That’s the price you’re paying for nothing!
Again, the best way to deal with this is to plug your “entertainment center” to a power strip you can control with just one button. Hey, you can even use smart power plugs to automatically switch on and off the entire strip!
Next – the bedrooms
At first glance, you probably believe there aren’t many things in your bedroom sucking up your energy. Well, take a closer look. Alarm clocks, electronic chargers, air conditioners and heaters are all consuming energy and costing you money, even when you don’t use them. Check for these, especially in guest rooms, where chances are you’re forgetting them there, all plugged in.
Other items you should look for are extra TVs, DVD players or stereos you might have in those extra rooms. And finally, if you have a TV in your bedroom, remember to unplugged it at night. You won’t only be saving some energy, you’ll sleep better without that tiny yet incredibly irritating light puncturing while you rest.
Oh, finally, you may think “well, what about lamps? They are always plugged in!” Fortunately, lamps practically don’t use energy while idle, so you won’t have to worry about them at all.
You’re missing the bathroom!
The bathroom doesn’t usually have things that are plugged in all the time. But some people like to leave their curling irons, straighteners and hair dryers plugged in and ready to use all the time. Don’t be like them! They don’t drain you that much energy but they pose a serious safety hazard for your home and family.
In case you have an electric hot water heater, be mindful about its use. They suck down a lot of energy! So, use hot water only when you must and learn to do with cold water when washing your hands. If you combine that with short showers, the impact of that electric heater will be heavily reduced.
Done? Aren’t you forgetting something?
Yes, you are – the garage! That’s a fair mistake since the garage is easily overlooked when looking for places with energy vampires. Yet there are some things that need your attention in there. Power tools are probably there and if you leave them plugged in, your bills will grow fatter and uglier. Are you concerned about the environment? Then perhaps you have an electric car. And if you do, then you should know that you should leave it on no matter what. (This is probably one of the few things that’s actually OK to keep plugged in).
We aren’t saying that these tips will make your home reach a zero energy status but they certainly are good advices that will dramatically reduce your consumption. Being careful with what you use (and what you don’t use) is key to save energy. Finally, consider having an energy audit in your home. They can help you detect problems with your energy efficiency and make deeper changes in your home that will lead you to a more comfortable and eco-friendlier lifestyle.