The typical U.S. household already contains about 25 gadgets. These gadgets or devices consume 10 to 15 percent of your annual electricity bill.
So choosing the most efficient models is better. It will substantially reduce home energy costs. The impact can be national too. Impacts in lowering energy bills by several billion dollars per year. All while preventing the release of millions of tons of carbon dioxide.
Also the main pollutant responsible for climate change.
As a result all of the emissions are from the power plants that run these devices.
But there are three easy steps everyone can take. Steps to minimize their electric bills. As well as the environmental impacts of our gadgets.
So before that please note:
Read Labels & BuyENERGY STAR: Since your TV will probably last around 10 years, make sure you buy an efficient one. All TVs now carry a yellow Energy Guide label showing how much they cost to operate and how their energy use. In addition that compares to similar-sized models. If the TV also has the ENERGY STAR® logo, it meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency energy efficiency criteria and uses less energy than similar-sized models. Therefore saving money and protecting the environment. For the absolutely most energy-efficient models on the market, see ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2019 and the list at Top Ten USA.
1. First of all, buy an energy efficient model;
2. Pick the right settings. All to ensure the device uses little to no power when not in use. Also…
Ready TV for streaming video So if you might be streaming videos and accessing “Apps” like Netflix on your TV, stop! Please purchase one that is “Internet-ready.” Or purchase a little black box that uses very low amounts of power. I got one. It’s got a Roku Box but some are just also for Apple TV. So also avoid streaming video through game consoles like the PlayStation® 3 or Xbox 360. Those require up to 30 times more energy to play the same movie.
Pick the Right Settings: A TV’s energy use can vary by as much as 20 percent. All due to the screen brightness setting selected. When you are setting up your TV, make sure to select the “home” or “standard” setting, and not the “retail” or “vivid” setting that will be overly bright and power consumptive. Also disable settings such as Quick Start that can greatly increase a TV’s standby power. You’ll hardly notice the difference.
Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, Scanners, and Printers
Lighter & Smaller is Better: Unlike desktop computers and monitors that are sometimes viewed by manufacturers as having endless supplies of electricity, laptops/notebooks, and tablets are designed to be energy-efficient in order to make the battery last as long as possible, which is great for consumers and the environment. A tablet such as an iPad or Kindle Fire will use 35 times less energy annually than a decent desktop with 20-inch monitor, and 5 to 10 times less than a laptop. So consider buying a tablet or laptop instead of another desktop.
Smart Labels: Always buy desktops, laptops, printers, and scanners (and all-in-one devices), with the ENERGY STAR® logo because they meet EPA’s energy efficiency criteria and use less energy in on, sleep, and off modes than similar models.
Smart Settings: For desktops and laptops, take full advantage of power-management settings to also reduce energy use. That’s including avoiding screensavers. Screensavers which actually use more energy by making the computer work harder. Instead set the screen to switch off after 15 minutes or less of inactivity, and the computer to go to sleep after 30 minutes or less of inactivity.
Other inexpensive “Green Gadgets” that make good holiday gifts:
Kill-a-Watt Meter – A really nifty device is the Kill-a-Watt meter that enables you to measure how much energy each device in your home uses, both when on and when “turned off.” The meter only costs about $20 and will provide many “ah ha!” moments like: our game console uses 70 watts continuously when our kid forgets to turn it off, which can add up to $100 a year in wasted electricity, or that the “turned off” DVR set top box from your cable or satellite company still draws around 20 watts all night long.
Rechargeable Batteries – Even if you’re not planning big-ticket electronics purchases this holiday season, a battery charger and a set of rechargeable AA batteries can help save lots of money and keep the billions of single use batteries out of the landfill.
Smart Power Strip
First of all, I have these all over my house. It can power many devices. They will continue to draw some level of power when inactive or even when turned off. So the foolproof solution is to plug all the devices in the room into a smart power strip. These next generation power strips can sense when the TV or computer is turned off. Furthermore and will automatically power down all the peripheral devices that are plugged in. For example, consider one for your TV’s ecosystem to ensure not only your TV is really off, but also the DVD player, game console and surround sound speaker system that are connected to it.
Many of the models include a few “hot sockets” that allow devices like cell phone chargers to continue to charge. All the while other devices are turned off. Also make sure to plug your DVR into one of the strip’s hot sockets as they need to remain on to record your shows.
LED Light Bulbs – Treat your friend or relative to one of the new hi-tech LED light bulbs. A good LED light bulb now costs as little as $10 at stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart and due to its efficiency and long life, will save over $100 over its lifetime. Also, don’t forget the book Green Lighting!!
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Published by greenlivingguy
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from:
# Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions)
# Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman
# Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel
# Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky
# Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley
# Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke
# Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley
# Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea
# and more green living books to follow.
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