Ten best ways to save energy (part 2)

3. Use smart power strips

Phantom loads, which means the electricity used by electronics when they are in standby mode or even turned off, are one of major sources of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75 percent of the energy used to power electronics is consumed when they are switched off. You can eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power to electronics whenever they are not used. You can set to turn off smart power strips at an assigned time, during a period of inactivity, based on the status of a “master” device, or through remote switches.

4. Install a programmable or smart thermostat

A programmable or smart thermostat can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling when you are sleeping or getting out. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you to eliminate wasteful energy use from heating and cooling without having to upgrade your HVAC system.

On average, a programmable or smart thermostat can save you $180 each year. Programmable thermostats come in various models that can fit well your weekly schedule. Additional features of programmable thermostats may include indicators to replace air filters or HVAC system problems, which also help to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

5. Choose to use energy efficient appliances

On average, appliances are responsible for about 13 percent of your total household energy use. When choosing an appliance, you should pay attention to two figures, including the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. Although  they usually have higher purchase prices, their operating costs are 9-25 percent lower than conventional models.

When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should choose the appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliances will consume less energy both when being used and on standby than standard non-energy efficient models.

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