Saving Energy Series: Power Outlets

Your air conditioner and water heater – which we have already discussed – are utilities, and they are hard-wired into your electrical system. Most everything else, including the smaller appliances we discussed, operates using power outlets. This is great news because that means you have direct control and can use these tips to help reduce your consumption:

Upgrade Lightbulbs

Artificial light is one of the most inefficient uses of electricity. It involves the conversion of valuable electricity into worthless heat waste used to produce light. Switching from incandescent bulbs, which convert 90% of energy into heat, with more energy-efficient LED bulbs or CFLs can help you reduce your energy consumption. These newer bulbs also last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which can be another way to help you save money.

Another easy way to increase your lighting and reduce your consumption at the same time? Natural light … it’s free. Open up the curtains and blinds and let more natural light into your space.

Get Rid of Old Power Strips

A lot of energy is sent to devices that are plugged in but not in use. There’s even a colorful term for this: vampire loads. Televisions, computers, stereos, microwaves and coffee makers are all types of small appliances that use this type of “standby” power.

A cell phone charger plugged into the wall while not in use is draining energy, even when your phone is not plugged in. Computers and electronic devices should be shut down completely when not in use so that they are not in standby mode.

Traditional power strips house many different devices and use only one outlet, yet if devices are plugged in they continue to use energy. The easiest way to conserve energy with these strips is to use the included power button to turn off the entire strip.

Newer technology allows for smart power strips, which can actually cut power off and save energy since they are able to detect when a device is in standby mode.  This can allow you to better control appliances that are on standby mode.

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