Low Power Devices for Your
Home are Good for the Environment and Your Finances
Imagine if you could greatly
reduce the amount of electricity the "stuff" in you home uses.
It would be good for the environment, and for your finances.
Well, you can. By picking the right "stuff", you can switch to
electrical devices that use a lot less electricity the what
the average person uses.
There's a few common items that
many people buy that are available in much lower wattage
versions. Here's anew that stand out.
TVs - Here, smaller is
better. In fact it's a good idea for us to think small on many
of the products we use. To give you an idea, according to
LN-R3228W (32 inch), uses about 117 watts in typical use.
One 37 inch model on the market uses about 220 watts, and a 47
inch model from one of the major brands uses about 301 watts.
So, the biggest one if these three uses about 2.5 times the
electricity of the Samsung. And 32 inches is a perfectly
Also, it's now pretty easy to
watch TV on your PC. For under $100, you can add a TV tuner to
a PC. You can usually record shows on your PC, too. So instead
of buying an extra TV for the room where you use your
computer, you can watch TV using just the power your PC would
use anyway. You can even add this capability to a laptop, with
a USB TV tuner.
audio equipment The main
culprit in a stereo system is the amplifier section, which
in an AM-FM receiver, or a separate power amplifier.
It's not uncommon for this part of the stereo to draw 350
watts. Forget about watts per channel; here we're concerned
with how much electricity is been consumed. The fact that
amplifiers can get quite hot shows how much power they use.
A good alternative is a
good quality table radio. One that's well thought of is the Tivoli. It was designed by Henry Kloss, a legend in the audio
For computers, the magic word is laptop. Laptops use much less
electricity than desktop computers. A typical desktop PC and
monitor might use 200 watts. A laptop might use about 35 to 50
mini split systems Instead of air
conditioning your whole house, you can cool just certain rooms
with a mini split system. These have two parts, a unit outside
like a regular whole house AC unit (but smaller), and a panel
in the room where it's used. Some systems can cool up to four
rooms. These are new on the market, so they are very
high in efficiency. And they are so almost completely silent.
So, if you are cooling your whole house just to sleep
comfortably, a mini split system might be a good choice.
fans. Fans make it feel a
little cooler than the actual temperature, so you can set your
thermostat a couple of degrees higher in the summer.
Now would be a great time to begin getting acquainted with LED
lighting. These type of light s are even more efficient than a
compact fluorescent light. And they generate less heat, so
they make the room more comfortable and reduce air
conditioning costs. And while fluorescent bulbs, contain
mercury, LEDs don't. The downside... they're expensive. Prices
will come down in the future. But one application where LED
lights are especially good is on desk lamps. Because you are
very close to the light source, a LED desk lamp with modest
light output can be of value, yet not cost too much.
Gone are the
bigger, and more
powerful. It's a good time to start thinking small.