5 Ways to Save on Energy Costs with Your Home Electronics

By making smart choices with your home electronics, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also be helping the environment.  A great article from eHow.com lists 5 things you can do to save energy with home electronics.  Here they are:

  1. Use Power Strips. If your electronic devices have “instant on” mode like televisions or cable boxes, plug them into power strips and turn them off if you plan to leave home for any length of time.To verify that the chargers for your electronic devices like cell phones and personal digital assistants consume when they are not being used, perform this simple test. Touch your AC to DC transformer. If the wall wart is warm while plugged in even while your powered device is unattached, the transformer is eating power. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that these so called vampire devices consume the output of 17 coal-fired power plants annually. You can do your bit to save energy by simply plugging transformers, and remote control activated devices into a power strips which you turn off when not in use
  2. Make the smart big screen TV choice. If you’re in the market for a flat screen TV, choose a Liquid Crystal Diode display over plasma. With a plasma screen, each pixel element is an individual light source that is illuminated as needed. LCD works more efficiently by blocking a constant backlight.Plasmas used to have the clear edge in refresh rate, but LCD’s are catching up. Another advantage of LCD sets is that they are more rugged and the screens last longer.
  3. Use your computer efficiently. With personal computers, screen savers save no energy over regular use. Personal computers use about the same amount of energy to start up as they use when they are on for a few seconds. As a guideline, it’s a good idea to turn off the monitor if you don’t plan to use your computer for than 20 minutes and both the central procession unit, CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.Another option is to put a computer into sleep mode which can cut the energy consumption by 85 percent. You’ll also save energy by replacing your the Cathode Ray Tube monitor (CRT) with an LCD flat screen. The power required to run an LCD is about one-third of that required for a CRT.
  4. Switch to a laptop. Since laptops are often battery powered, they are designed for more energy efficiency over desktops, so if it’s time to upgrade, consider buying a laptop for its miserly energy consumption. Plus, with most models you’ll now have a portable DVD player, so that you can avoid watching the most insipid in-flight movies.
  5. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances. When you go out to replace an appliance or home electronics unit, choose one that is Energy Star rated. You’ll find these labels on devices that meet strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The range of units that qualify for Energy Star certification runs the gamut from televisions to washing machines. They might cost more initially but will save you money over the unit’s use.

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