Become a Vampire (Power) Hunter
From that flat-screen TV and cable box in the living room, to the computer, monitor and printer on your desk, many of the electronics in your home continue to draw power from the wall, even when they’re turned off. It’s called “vampire power” but instead of blood, these devices suck up your money in wasted energy costs.
You can’t always unplug these devices, but you can use a “smart” power strip that will do the job for you and automatically turn off several outlets when one device powers down. Look for one that’s timer-equipped to automatically turn off or on at designated times of day or night. Other models are great for a home office when the computer switches to “Sleep” mode and then the power strip shuts off the monitor and printer, too. Or choose a “smart” power strip that uses a motion detector to switch-off within minutes after someone leaves the room.
Never Light An Empty Room Again
Speaking of motion detection, you don’t have to nag the kids to, “Turn off the light when you leave the room!” when technology can do it for you. Your local home improvement store has wall switches and fixtures with built-in motion detectors that will turn off the lights after someone leaves, so you don’t pay to brighten an empty room.
Pick The Right Light Bulb
When it’s time to buy light bulbs, don’t just look at the price tag. Believe it or not, when you spend more now, you’ll save lots more later. For example, an LED bulb might be 10 times the cost of a similar incandescent bulb, but it uses 80-percent less energy for the same amount of light and can last up to 20 years. That’s a tremendous savings on electric bills and replacement costs for years to come. And the good news is that prices on LED bulbs are dropping.
Keep Your Cool The Wireless Way
The latest programmable thermostats use a WiFi connection to your home router so you can make adjustments to temperature settings from anywhere. Working late and don’t plan to be home at your regular time? Reset the air conditioning to save energy. Likewise, if you’re heading out of the office early and want things to be comfy soon, you can turn up the cool air quickly with just a few swipes on your smart phone. And it’s more than just convenience; studies show that a programmable thermostat can save you up to 15% on home energy costs and pay for itself in less than one year.