Saturday, April 05, 2008

Pull That Plug!

My husband got a hold of this nifty tool that reads when a wire is alive (electricity is running through it). I went around the house and tried it on the many appliances I thought were off. Turns out that many appliances actually do keep using electricity even when they're off. Of course, the obvious ones are any appliance that has a digital clock. I was surprised that my non-digital, plain ol' toaster oven still used electricity even when it was fully off! I unplug that now after each use, as well as my coffee maker. I don't need several clocks going in one room.

Also, anything that uses an adapter, so long as the adapter is plugged in, it is wasting electricity. Unplug those adapters, or put them on a surge protector power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.

Keep in mind, as well, that anything that's programmed, like the TV, DVR, VCR, DVD player, sterio systems keep using electricity when plugged in, but off. The problem is, unplugging them usually deprograms them. I'd love to unplug my TV when not in use, but then when I turn it back on, I'd have to go through the reprogramming ritual just to get it to do anything. (We only have rabbit ears and only get Fox really fuzzy, so we don't watch much TV. But we do enjoy videos.)

Then, we all know the energy and money wasting habits we may have. I know people who just have to have the TV on, even if they're not watching it. Not good for many reasons. Turn it off! I've gotten into the habit over the last few years to turn on lights in rooms I'm not using. I'm re-training myself to shut them off.

Oh, and for your outdoor light, get a motion detector rather than just leaving lights on all night long.

They are improving the quality of light that emerges from Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFB). The ones I have in my house really save energy and they cast a similar glow to incandescent bulbs. I don't think I could go all florescent, but I notice very little lighting difference if I mix it up. Also, it's nice to get a brighter bulb that uses very little energy. Otherwise, I'd be living in the dim just to afford the cost of using incandescent bulbs all the time. If you truly can't stand florescent, consider using them in the garage, outdoors, basement, attic and closets. Also, remember that florescent bulbs often contain mercury, so they have to be disposed of carefully. Check your local municipality for rules and regs and be very careful not to break them!!

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