Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Earth Day Special: Vampire Appliances

Have you heard of Vampire Appliances? Me neither. Despite my Ford Explorer, I like to think myself green-'ish'. I probably have a lot of work to do before I meet Bio-diesel burning folks standards. So, since I am not now or ever getting rid of my SUV, I am going to try to look at other things I can do better. I was surprised to find out about all the little Vampirish machines we have in our homes constantly sucking energy ala Strahd when we aren't looking.
"Vampire" Appliances -- They Suck Electricity Even When Switched Off -- Cost Consumers $3 Billion A Year, Says Cornell Energy Expert According to the article, standby electricity can consume anywhere from 10-25% of home's total electricity bill. A satellite receiver or DVD player can consume 9$ per year. When you start thinking about all the things in your house that have 'standby' or clocks/timers it adds up. I have 2 DVR's, 1 DVD, a Wii, clocks, radios, microwave, oven and other appliaces that all have standby modes. Since most of our electricity comes from fossil fuel, this contributes to greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

So, what can we do? Here's tips from the article:
o If timers and other features aren't being used, consumers can turn off their most wasteful appliances by plugging them into fuse-protected power strips (also known as surge protectors) that, when turned off, can disrupt the flow of electricity when the appliances aren't being used.

o Consumers can encourage their U.S. representatives to support legislation that would require labeling of appliances with their standby energy requirements.

o When choosing a new appliance, consumers can research if it uses less than 1 watt of standby power by accessing web sites such as http://standby.lbl.gov/data/1wproducts.html at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap: On a completely unrelated side note, they are now making caffeinated soap. Mmmmmm.


cyberninja said...

Preach it brother! I investigated my wall wart use long ago with my buddies' "Kill-a-watt" meter. The easiest way to guarantee minimizing your wallwart use is to plug everything into a power strip that's connected to an outlet turned on and off by the wall switch. Then when you walk into a room you flip on the switch and you're good to go. Also makes it easier to turn that stuff off when you leave the room too instead of having to bend down behind the entertainment center and find the power strip.

Only our VCR is plugged in constantly, because we use the timer to tape the shows we watch (Drive, Heroes, and 24).

Travis said...

I've got my big stuff all plugged into power strips already, so it will be pretty easy. Gotta leave the DVR plugged in for me too, however.

Matt-ho said...

You greenies make me sick. Ok, just kidding. I have been doing a better job of recycling this year. I am not asking for applause for that though. I feel like that is simply a responsibility, not an overachievment. Yeah Earth Day!

Tony said...

I leave my TV and lights on all day so my furniture doesn't get bored. It's not very "green" but it's important. Although my electric bills are really high. I guess that could have something to do with my hobby of collecting old refrigerators and air conditioners and running them on high. I like to keep things cool in school.

P.S. Cory, this season of 24 sucks. Heroes is the best show on television.

cyberninja said...

Cory, this season of 24 sucks. Heroes is the best show on television.

Agreed. What the hell happened to Jack Bauer being the main character?
This show should be called "The Milo and fun at CTU hour."

Travis said...

I'm still digging Lost, it was a down year initially, but the last few weeks have really made up for it. House is my other show.