Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gadgets that save energy

Saving energy in small and large ways can add up to less expensive utility bills and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Flipping out the lights when you leave a room, turning off your computer when you're not using it, and other habit changes are definitely part of the solution. But, there are also plenty of devices on the market that can do the work for you.

Here's a round-up of easy-to-find gadgets. They may seem a bit mundane, but some have new twists and others are old standbys that help you save energy without much effort.

* Light dimmer. Dimming your lights saves energy, although how much depends on how much you dim them and what kind of dimmer you have. Older dimmers don't save energy, but newer models do, says Christina Kielich of the U.S. Department of Energy.
* Motion-sensor light. People can use them in places where there's infrequent traffic (like the laundry room) and then they don't have to remember to turn the lights out, says Kielich. They're also great for outside use too because they activate only when motion is detected and don't operate during the daytime. (Another outside lighting idea is solar powered LEDs. Solar power is converted into electrical energy and stored in the rechargeable battery).
* Power Strip. They range from basic to high-tech. Some have the ability to know when your computer goes into sleep mode or is turned off and can then shut down power to peripherals that are plugged into the same strip. You can find one with an occupancy sensor that turns off after a designated time period or even a system with a remote control.
* Programmable thermostat. If you program it properly you can save as much as 15% a year on your heating bill.
* Solar-powered charger. You can power your handheld electronics with power from the sun, rather than, or in addition to the grid. An added benefit: It comes in handy when you're on the go and you run out of juice.


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1 comment:

Francis Bell said...

REALLY GREAT NEWS!!! Now you can not only heat and cool your home the clean , earth-friendly renewable geothermal way-but also your POOL!This is information well worth looking into-Francis