Friday, January 16, 2009

The Secret Drain

When I was growing up, my father was always telling us to turn off the lights. "If you're not in the room, turn off the lights!" As a result, I'm pretty good about flipping the light switch when I leave a room. But I notice that it never occurs to some people. Dad was right. All those extra lights were drawing electricity for no reason.

Times have changed and the average household now has a lot more appliances eating up electricity. Do you leave your cell phone charger or iPod plugged in even after they have charged? How about the computer? Is it on all day while no one is home? At least make sure it goes into sleep mode so it will use less energy.

Here's a clue, any electrical appliance that has a glowing light or shows the time is drawing electricity -- even when you're not using it. TVs and DVD players suck a lot of juice. How often is the TV on when no one is watching? Too much trouble to unplug everything? Put them on a power strip so you can turn them all off with one switch.

Now, it's not practical to unplug all the clocks every day. But chances are you have a few appliances that could be unplugged. Some people think you'll save $15 to $20 on your electric bill each month if you unplug them. Doesn't sound like much but multiply by twelve months and you might think twice. There's an easy way to find all those pesky appliances that are eating your money -- take a walk through your house at night with the lights off. If it's glowing, it's eating kilowatts.

The propane gas guy was at my house recently and was surprised to find that I turn off the pilot light on my gas logs because most people leave them on all the time. Have one of those nifty remote controls to turn on your gas logs? That means your pilot light is on. He said that pilot lights can easily eat up three to six gallons per month. Depending on your gas rate, that can add up. Even worse, there are some pilot lights that burn through as much as twelve gallons of gas a month. Yikes! If you use the logs a lot, leave the pilot light on in the winter months, but turn it off when spring arrives.


Anonymous said...

I have just awarded The Diva Dishes the Butterfly Award. To find out more, please check out my blog:

(Saturday's Entry)

Krista said...

Thanks, Lorraine! I'm honored. What a fun idea. I'll be passing on the award to some other great sites.


template by