Every year, there’s a handy new electronic device to catch your interest — and your outlets. No matter how diligent you are with your power-saving habits, your bill is going to keep rising as long as you add more electronics to your home. That second laptop, new game console and home entertainment system all contribute to rising energy costs within the home. You can’t return your electricity bill to the electronics store, but you can lower the impact the new shiny toys have on your energy costs.
Replace Power Strips With Smart Strips
The difference between a smart strip and a regular power strip is that the smart strip powers down all other outlets when it senses the computer has been shut down. The computer goes on a primary outlet, and either part or all of the other outlets are connected to that main outlet. This is a great option if you have many peripherals, such as a sound system, scanner, router, modem or other devices connected to your computer. Smart power strips eliminate idle power draw from peripherals and other devices.
Set your display to go into sleep mode within 20 minutes of you leaving the computer idle. If you don’t want to boot up your computer every time you want to use it, use hibernate to enter the computer into a no-power draw mode. It takes some time to come back up, but not as much as it takes to boot back up entirely.
Measure Energy Usage
If your bill keeps getting higher and higher for no real reason, a voltmeter could save the day. This device measures the power draw on a circuit, so you know exactly what areas are using the most energy. If something is off with the way the current is flowing, the electricity system might need to be repaired. This also helps you to determine how much additional you might end up saving on your bill after comparing electric companies.
Energy Star rated devices use up to 65 percent less electricity than their non-Energy Star counterparts and can save a third of your electric bill. Not to mention they reduce greenhouse emissions at the power plants and save the earth. Start with switching out your light bulbs with LED. Then move on to replacing larger electronics and appliances with the Energy Star qualified tag.
Smart thermostats, such as Nest, end up learning your heating and cooling patterns. They recognize when you leave for the day, give you a wireless method to control the thermostat, and provide a number of other features that are tailor-made for getting the most out of your heating and cooling system. It’s a larger up-front cost, but you can adjust the thermostat to the higher and lower tolerances of everyone in the house, as well as what times these temperatures are adhered to.