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Energy Efficient Home: Start with the Electronics

By HHI Staff

Your home, the indoor environment, and the outside environment are similar in that you live in both. However, your home may be harming the overall environment in which you live. In our contemporary, more environmentally-aware world, more people are taking steps to "go green" and improve the livability and lifespan of our world. Some people make small investments such as cutting the lights off when not in use, while others make large investments such as ditching their gas-guzzling SUVs for a hybrid vehicle.


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Another way to "go green" is to take a look at your electronics. Electronics, whether a small alarm clock or a much larger television, use electricity. The worst part is most electronics consume electricity even when not in use. This consumption of energy has gained the infamous identity of “phantom energy load,” or “vampire load,” mainly because it occurs without you knowing. Moreover, these phantom energy-sucking electronics are lurking in the most prominent rooms of your home.

Let’s start with the living room. The most obvious contender for unnecessary energy use here is the television. Naturally, if you are the average person, you have a large television proudly mounted on the wall. However, logically, the larger the television the more energy it is going to need. Luckily, the newer LCD televisions are more efficient. Older, CRT televisions are most likely to cause the biggest impact in energy usage, followed by plasma-screen televisions.

If you have a washer and dryer, you have two more culprits for wasteful energy consumption. Simply looking at their sheer size will tell you they are not going to run lightly; they need power. Plus, the average household in the U.S. typically washes between 375 and 400 loads of clothes per year. Therefore, an efficient laundry room will provide environmental, as well as fiscal benefits. You should consider replacing your washer and dryer if they are more than ten years old. Doing so could knock a third off your energy bill and use much less water.

Now, the most “energy-inefficient” room in the house…the kitchen. Here, you will typically find the most appliances and electronics, and in turn, the greatest usage of electricity. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, and small appliances consume electricity, even when you are not using them. Sometimes, energy can be saved by replacing older, worn out parts with newer, more efficient ones. Electrolux, Cuisinart, Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire parts (to name a few) are all readily available at most hardware and plumbing stores, and online. If your budget allows, you might consider simply replacing your older appliances with newer, Energy Star rated models. This could save you a lot on your monthly utilities bill.

Your home can be one of the most efficient homes on the block if you take the above into account. However, it can be expensive to replace your electronics with newer, more efficient appliances. If your budget is limited, look into buying surge protectors with convenient on/off swtiches that prevent energy vampires from sucking your electricity.




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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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Energy Efficient Home: Start with the Electronics:  Created on December 30th, 2011.  Last Modified on May 21st, 2012


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