Put all your electronics on a surge protector. All your little (and big) electronics suck energy constantly, even when they are powered "off". They are made this way to provide instant on capability in a nanosecond, and also to power their little red, green or blue "resting" lights. This is the ghost energy appliances use, something that electronics manuals don't really talk about.
Ghost energy sucks a big chunk out of your electric bill every month. A little bit each day adds up over the years. This is electricity that is always draining away - always sipping away at your money. You can easily put a stop to that right now.
It's not really feasible to manually unplug everything from the wall if you have a lot of electronics, but hitting the Off switch on a multi-plug surge protector is super easy. Switch - DONE!
Suggestions on How to use Power Strips
- Some items are easy to unplug by themselves: a toaster or coffeepot, for example. My family uses those each morning, and then unplugs them individually when done. The outlet is right there at counter height, so that one is a no brainer. People generally do not leave in their vacuum cleaners, either. Most occasional-use electronics are fine to plug and unplug manually.
- Some things are more difficult to actually unplug from the wall. A microwave or other kitchen appliance might be inconvenient. Or you may use a large variety of kitchen appliances every time you cook. In that case, add a surge protector to the wall in an easy spot for tuning on and off. Unless you are a gourmet chef with a kitchen straight out of The Jetsens, one good surge protector should suffice. You can put everything on it except the fridge. :)
- In an entertainment center, or home office, one or several multi-plug surge protectors are crucial. Not only can that save you data in case of a power surge or brown out, but it can save you a ton of money over time. Usually we load up these hard-to-reach plugs with a TV, DVD player, Xbox or other game system, cable box, modem, hubs, and other doo dads in one entertainment area. A computer area can have even more intermingled component cables in hard to reach wall outlets. Have a surge protector in each area! Turn off your entire wall when leaving the house. You will probably need several surge protectors in these sensitive areas, and these are not the ones to skimp on.
- Bedroom - with an alarm clock, that is something you will legitimately want to leave running. Things like a bedside lamp, a stereo or iPod docking unit, and a charge center for your cell phone - these are all excellent candidates for plugging into a surge protector. One usually suffices in the bedroom, and make it near enough to the bed to use while in it.
- One very important area to consider running off surge protectors is your workshop or sewing/craft room. In a workshop, in particular, there is no reason to leave heavy duty power tools or chargers plugged in and sucking away at your electric bill. Putting these on a heavy duty power strip with an Off button could also prevent household fires and all manner of power tool accidents. You might need a few power strips in these areas.
- Don't forget to keep a power strip or two in your holiday decoration boxes for use each year. All your flashy and glowy holiday decor work very well with a power strip. Just hit the Off button as you head to sleep each night, instead of running around looking for each outlet to unplug. Simple!
Amazon sells both lightweight and heavy duty power strip surge protectors. For example, look at the differences between the 6-Outlet Surge Protector (720 Joules) and Surge Protector/Suppressor 8-outlet (3240 Joules). Remember that you want ones with easy ON/OFF switches right on the face plate.