Sounds easy enough but often times is simply overlooked for whatever reason so try incorporating these actions to improve your home energy efficiency.
1. Unplug when not in use or use power strips/surge protectors. To declutter cords and wires and improve efficiency, place strategically for maximum benefit in these key areas of the home:
- Kitchen for the microwave, toaster and any other kitchen appliances you may have grouped together. I know – you don’t want to lose the time on the microwave and constantly reset, but after a while you’ll get used to it.
- TV area where the TV, DVD, sound system and game stations may be combined.
- Computer space for the monitor, printer, desktop or laptop.
- What about the cell phones, iPods and hand held game devices you may have in the house? Get a charging station to not only organize all those wires, but again keep everything plugged into one outlet – and charge at night for more efficient use of energy and take off charger once fully charged.
Whether you decide to use a strip or not, if it’s not in use, unplug the item or turn off the strip to avoid the phantom load or vampire power menace. Even though something is not is use, even if still plugged in can draw power from the outlet and it’s been estimated that 5% or so household energy consumption is from this alone adding up to more than 3 billion in costs. Read this explanation from Wikipedia and this article from Green Options for more ideas.
2. Reminders. If necessary and especially if you have children, consider placing helpful reminder stickers in those high traffic areas.
- Light switches and remote controls.
- On those appliances/electronics or power strips we just talked about above.
- By the door as you leave is also especially helpful so you don’t run off with something still on. Eco-minders offers removable stickers for home, school and office use. Or get crafty with the kids and make your own.
By incorporating these easy actions, you may find that improving your home’s energy efficiency is not such a turn off after all.