Earth Day Technology
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Have you heard the term “Phantom Power”? It’s the energy your devices and appliances use while plugged in, even if they’re turned off.

According to Hydro One, phantom power could contribute up to 10 percent to your home’s energy use.

So, here’s our Earth Day challenge for you:

Try one of our six ideas to fight phantom energy.

You’re going to reduce your home’s carbon footprint AND save some money on the energy bill. It sounds like a win-win to us!

1. PLUG ELECTRONIC DEVICES INTO POWER STRIPS WITH TIMERS

Plug electronic devices into power strips with timers to shut them off automatically. You can also use timers for small kitchen appliances like your coffee machine and kettle, so they are only on when you typically use them.

2. GROUP APPLIANCES AND ELECTRONICS

Group appliances and electronics that are used together by plugging them into the same power bar (i.e., coffee maker, microwave and toaster; TV and game console; computer, monitor and printer, etc.). This allows you to easily turn them off and stop them from drawing energy when not in use – like the microwave that draws power just to keep the clock ticking.

3. PULL THE PLUG

Unplug laptops, desktops, cell-phone, and tablet chargers once devices have finished charging. Up to 50% of the electricity they draw is lost as heat. Laptops and computers left on standby overnight draw power, so you can save up to $50 a year just by turning off your laptop or computer overnight. You can do the same for power tools, vacuums, hairdryers, curling irons or any other appliance that is drawing power.

4. USE YOUR COMPUTER WISELY

Disable computer screen savers, as they can use up to twice as much energy. Instead, activate “sleep” mode or shutdown. According to Marketwatch, adjusting your computer to ‘sleep’ mode after 30 minutes or less, disabling screensavers, and setting the monitor to shut down after 10 to 15 minutes can save up to $40 per year.

5. USE ENERGY STAR® PRODUCTS

When purchasing new appliances or electronics, use ENERGY STAR products as they have built-in power-saving features that save energy such as low standby energy usage.

6. RENOVATING OR BUILDING A NEW HOUSE?

Make sure you install switch outlets that allow you to turn off a group of electronics with the simple flick of a switch.

For more energy-saving tips and all the heating and cooling advice you could ever need, download our free guide, A Home Comfort Overhaul for a New Normal.

Sources:

https://www.hydroone.com/saving-money-and-energy/residential/tips-and-tools/phantom-power

https://sciencing.com/turning-off-monitor-save-energy-2847.html

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-11-vampire-appliances-may-waste-250-a-year-2014-11-04