Saving Energy on Home Gadgets

Technology 2While there are a few ways to reduce your energy consumption on your home entertainment needs, it’s often a bit tricky. However, there are a few basic rules, which can help identify the “energy hogs” among home entertainment appliances. According to Tara Energy, in cases where there may be an energy efficient alternative, getting one with the Energy Star label ensures that you’re choosing smartly when looking at home entertainment options.

Bigger and Bulkier Always Wastes Energy (AKA “Why There Should Not Be a CRT Still in Your Home”)

It’s a simple rule that the larger a piece of technology is, the more power it will use. For this reason—and the fact that they’re incredibly heavy items that usually weigh as much as flat screens LCD’s twice their size—keeping that old Cathode Ray Tube—whether you’re using it as an entertainment monitor, an extra computer monitor, or your TV—is an absolutely terrible idea. To give you an idea as to how much more energy you waste using a CRT, this handy chart will demonstrate the wattage: a CRT wastes anywhere from 2 to 5 times more energy than a comparable LCD. You lose nothing on the picture size, get a better quality picture most of the time, and cut your energy costs by up to 80%.

Of course, you could get an even bigger picture and save maximum energy with a home projector.

Disco Never Died: Here’s Looking at the Stereo

The “bigger machinery generally wastes more energy” concept is also true with virtually every element of your entertainment system, not just your TV. Do you have a big stereo with turntable and massive woofers from when you were sure vinyl was back? Well, it isn’t, and your whole stereo system could be a giant energy waster. Find more energy-efficient speakers if you can’t bring yourself to part with your turntable, and a modern stereo system uses a lot less energy than a new one. Even if that means finally moving your vinyl collection to Mp3′s. Besides, those things break.

Gaming Consoles and Computers: Energy Vampirism

There’s little one can do to make their game consoles energy efficient. You can’t buy an alternative console, for one thing. Games are programmed for specific devices. So, nothing you can do, right? Wrong. It turns out that gaming consoles become silent energy vampires, with standby mode taking up as much energy as when you are actually playing games. It’s the equivalent of someone playing games, 24 hours a day. Standby mode is very commonly used, and it’s even convenient to a degree. But if you want to save energy when gaming, the solution is simple: turn the game system off.

Computers are the same. While you can make a number of energy-efficient upgrades to your machine, standby mode is often an energy drain as well. Simply getting into the habit of shutting down your computer when you aren’t using it can substantially reduce your costs and headaches as well. Once again, computing is an excellent example of the “bigger machinery wastes more energy” rule: from mainframes to the cloud, the larger your machine, the larger the drain.

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