Thursday, July 17, 2014

Identify Home Energy Hogs

Why Do This?

You can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill by targeting your energy hogs and unplugging them when you aren't using them regularly! While refrigerators and air conditioners consume the most energy, there are many small appliances that consume large amounts of unnecessary energy, too. These ‘vampire’ products cannot be turned off without being unplugged, and draw power 24 hours a day.
How long should this take? About 15 minutes.

How To:

  1. If you want to know what current energy hogs you’re using, buy a low-cost wattmeter to measure the devices in your home. Home Depot has one for about $20
  2. Identify the vampire appliances in your house. If you don't use the following appliances regularly, unplug them!
  3. Computers. Whether you have a desktop or a laptop (or both), your computer is a Dracula-level energy vampire. By turning your computer off instead of letting it idle or sleep, you can reduce its energy usage by as much as 250 percent.
  4. Toaster. Once your crispy toast is on your plate, there’s no need to leave your toaster on. Unplug it until it’s time for your next snack.
  5. Cell phones. Even when your phone is plugged-in and fully charged, it’s sapping energy from your outlet. Make a point to unplug your cell phone once the battery is full. Same goes for the charger.
  6. DVR and Cable Box. Even when your cable setup isn’t recording and is turned off by remote control it uses a whopping 43.46 watts an hour. When you’re going to sleep or leaving the house for a while, unplug your setup completely.
  7. Coffee machine. You may take your cup of java to go in the morning, but your coffee machine hangs out all day draining power. Unplug it once you have your brew, or go classy and switch to a French press!
  8. Televisions and video game systems. These will chip away at your bank account every minute the are plugged in. Standby mode is expensive!
  9. To make unplugging appliances and other electrical devices easier, consider using a switchable power strip to easily unplug a cluster of cords all at once. If there are energy hogs you aren't use regularly, plug them into the power strip and get in the habit of switching it off. You can pick one up at Home Depot for less than $4.00
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