Today, every home now enjoys the benefits of electronic tools that were once only available to an exclusive group of homeowners, and at a reasonable price. The proliferation of connected devices in our homes has created a new standard for internet wiring and has opened new doors for our homes to become even smarter than we are.
Modern life has given us a house full of home electronics that turn on and off at the push of a button. Electric dishwashers, stove tops, ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers, refrigerators, televisions, sound systems, hot water heaters and air conditioners are standard in many homes, and smaller electronics like microwaves, toasters, cameras, coffee machines, tablets, iron and electric kettles provide effortless convenience as well.
In addition to looking for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing new home electronic products, there are several steps you can take to minimise the energy used by the electronics in your home now.
• Unplug It. The simplest and most obvious way to eliminate power losses is to unplug products when not in use. For example, unplug chargers for your portable devices when the products aren't being charged.
• Use a Power Strip. Plug home electronics and office equipment into a power strip with an on/off switch. This will allow you to turn off all power to the devices in one easy step. Look for power strips with a remote switch and you no longer need to have the power strip and the clutter of cords in an easy-to-reach and visible location. Once the power strip is turned off, no power will be delivered to the outlets, thereby eliminating power wasted by power supplies. For home entertainment equipment such as TVs, cable and satellite boxes, and DVRs use power strips equipped with two or three ´always on´ outlets to maintain power to devices you do not want to power off completely.
• Use a Power Meter. Inexpensive power metres are now available that can accurately gauge power consumption even at very low power levels (see “Understanding Energy Use in Your Home”). These devices can help you root out the main culprits in your home’s electronics collection and identify opportunities for savings.