This article discusses what is known as vampire electronics, or electronics that consume power even in their off state. Finding and eliminating them is one of the key means of getting the utility bill even lower. Watts add up over time, and can drive up the cost of your utility bill substantially. Remember to unplug anything that charges over time, once the charge is done, including cell phones, razors and laptops. Switch off the power strip at night for your entertainment center, and turn off the old desktop and monitor. Heaven forbid we may have to wait an additional 15 seconds or so to use the computer or turn on the television.
The first thing you can do is monitor your climate. There is no need to keep the a/c or the heater running at all times. Use the windows, ceiling fans, even blankets to help moderate your indoor temp. When you aren't at home, set the thermostat accordingly. Don't keep your house at a cool 68° during the day, or when out of town on trips. As a nation we are too pampered and complain the minute the temperature is outside our comfort zone. Now, when the time does come to turn on the A/C, shut the windows and doors. This will help cool the house faster.
Next big waste of energy is lights. If you aren't in the room, turn them off. Turn off the porch light as well, or install a motion sensor to turn it on automatically when movement is detected. When a light bulb burns out, replace it with a newer more efficient bulb. These last longer and consume less power. Don't go out and buy up all new lights, it will be expensive, just when the time to replace them comes, cycle them out then.
The final place we will look at is the dishwasher, washer, and dryer. Here are some simple do's and don'ts.
- Don't wash small loads unless needed. Wait till there are enough clothes to make a full load.
- Don't over dry. The clothes don't have to come out steaming out, just dry.
- Do pre-rinse your dishes. Don't keep piling stuff in the dishwasher dirty, and letting it sit. This leads to multiple loads of dishes.
- Do wash single plates and cups by hand. Just had a sandwich and coke? Wash it by hand; don't waste the dishwasher by doing this.
Hopefully these small tips will help save a few more pennies in this time of economic uncertainty.