Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Reducing Energy Costs: Electrical

Let's take a break from grocery shopping shall we? Another area I'd like to reduce costs in are my energy costs. Here are a few ideas.

I love the idea of daylighting. Good daylighting. And I'm intrigued with SolaTubes. I think they would be fabulous to have in my closets, bathrooms, and well basically any of my upstairs rooms. They can also act as night lights reflecting the moon into the room or you can shut them for complete darkness. I have actually seen these at the Utah House on a cloudy and rainy day and they still provided plenty of light.

Solar lighting is also an idea that can be brought indoors. You can purchase these easily at home improvement type stores. If you buy the hanging ones you can use them as decorative wall sconces. Place them by the windows to charge during the day then you can take them wherever you need to by night. If you placed them in your hallways and bathrooms, then you wouldn't need to turn any lights on during middle of the night bathroom breaks. You could also hang them outside instead of flipping on your porch lights.

CFL's .
Unless you've been living under a rock you probably know the benefits of CFL's and how they can save you money on energy costs so I won't go into that really other than its something to use in areas where you need lights that maybe daylighting or solar lighting won't work for.

Motion sensors.
This is another thought I came up with to use in areas where people tend to forget to flip the switches off, like my walk-in closet, bathrooms or the hallway. Just don't install them in bedrooms or you'll be awake all night!

Smart Power Strips.
This is something new I've just learned about recently. These aren't your ordinary power strips! These automatically switch on and off based on what one device on the strip is doing. Which is important because even if something is turned off, but still plugged in, it is using electricity (just not as much). But these smart power strips somehow cut them all off, even though the power strip is still plugged in. Don't ask me how that works, but somehow they say it does!

So for instance, a smart power strip on a desktop computer setup would be tied to the main unit, and when the main unit is off, it cuts power to the monitor, speakers, printer, or whatever else is hooked up. This would cut down tremendously on electrical usage, particularly on computer setups and home entertainment centers.

There are plenty of options out there like the SmartStrip LCG4, and most larger home improvement stores should have at least one option of power strips that are smarter than the others!

Green Switch is another product option that can power things off for you

Rechargeable batteries and charger
So if you have a lot of electronics or things that use batteries then by all means save yourself some money with rechargeable batteries and a charger! They can add up to some serious savings over time.

There are plenty of other ideas to reduce energy costs that I haven't even begun to cover yet, but we'll stop here for now.

No comments: