Resources for the Washington DC area

 

 

                                                             

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 CNET, the  Samsung 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 reasonable size.

 

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 might be 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 industry.

 

 computer 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 watts.

 

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.

LED lights 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 days of more, bigger, and more powerful. It's a good time to start thinking small.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 





2002 - 2005 David Walls. All rights reserved.