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Can You Save Money Just by Turnings Things Off?

By on May 12, 2017
Can You Save Money Just by Turnings Things Off?

If your parents ever scolded you about turning off your video games, stereos or computers when they weren’t in use, it turns out they were right. Although most modern electronics take advantage of a standby or sleep mode feature, which can have a significant impact on its energy consumption, these power-saving modes are no substitute for the off switch.

Electronics

There are a lot of myths surrounding the energy consumption of your favorite consumer electronics. Many are under the presumption that turning your computer off every night and on again in the morning could result in premature damage, or that a computer uses more energy to power down and back up again than simply entering sleep mode. This might have been true with the electronics of 10 or 20 years ago, but today’s models are far more energy-efficient.

On average, a computer plus all the connected peripherals, such as a mouse and keyboard, consumes approximately 130 watts when turned on and closer to 15 in standby mode. Laptops are even more efficient at only 2 watts in standby mode. For comparison, today’s smartphone charges consume approximately 5 watts during regular usage and 2 watts in standby. Turning off your electronics at night will result in the best savings, but even standby mode can lower your utility bills significantly.

These tips apply to other electronics, too. Stereo systems and Blu-ray players should be put into standby mode or shut down entirely when not in use. Instead of leaving your living room lights on overnight to ward off any potential burglars, try using nightlights instead. You might also consider connecting lamps to automatic timers that can turn them on or off depending on the time of day.

Hardware

Consumers use different hardware for a variety of purposes. Power tools are commonly seen in home workshops and garages, many of which take advantage of compressed air or gas. In this case, you’ll need to shut down the tool as well as the compressor it uses to have the greatest effect on your monthly bills. Doing this at the end of each day is a great way to save money and preserve the condition of your hardware.

Appliances

Many household appliances are known energy hogs. Air conditioners, washing machines, dryers and refrigerator-freezer combos all have bad reputations among the energy-conscious crowd. To counteract this, organizations like Energy Star are stepping forth to introduce standards and guidelines regarding energy consumption in consumer appliances.

Some appliances can be connected to a timer to control energy usage throughout the home. Traditional, tank-style water heaters make great candidates for electronic timers. According to some estimates, homeowners who spend $20 per month on hot water can save an average of $2 monthly by utilizing a timer.

A Few Dollars a Month Really Adds Up

Although most of the tips mentioned here will only save you a couple of bucks per month, these savings can add up over the course of time. Even if you’re only saving $1 per month on the electronics or appliances you have, those who have multiple devices can save a lot of money by the end of the year.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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