Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vampire Electronics

Vampire electronics are electronic devices that continue to draw power even when switched to "off." Really they are more in "stand-by" mode. However even your cell phone charger continues to draw power even when your phone is not connected. Obviously it will make a difference to both your wallet and the environment to unplug everything when not in use. But, let's be realistic, that can be annoying and is not an easy habit to sustain.

An easy solution is to buy a "smart power strip." It senses when power is no longer flowing into devices and shuts off the power flow to the outlets. Of course, there are certain devices that are not convenient to shut off. Your cable box will "deactivate" itself after long periods of inactivity. Your TiVo will not record your favorite show if it's not on stand-by. The smart power strips have a built-in answer; "constant" outlets that do not shut off. Good Magazine has this graph to illustrate how much energy different electronics use.

You can rest easy knowing you're not paying for unused electricity or sucking the planet dry, all with minimal effort.

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