Electric and electronic devices consume electricity to generate desired output (i.e., light, heat, motion, etc.). During operation, some of the energy—depending on the electrical efficiency—is consumed in unintended output, such as waste heat. You will always lose some electrical energy because no device is 100% efficient. However, some of the electricity you lose in your home can actually be saved.
Tracking consumption using meter
Checking your meter regularly can help you understand how much electricity you are using. Some people might take it for granted but it is a really good habit. I would recommend having a prepaid meter because it will let you know when you have consumed all your power by switching off. Unlike the other meters that will surprise you at the end of the month & take a huge chunk of you hardly earned salary. However the prepaid meter will not help you save power it is just an indicator. Changing some of your habits is what will help you save & that is what we are going to discuss.
Whenever you buy an electric or electronic device, there is certain information provided by the manufacturer you should check. If you have ever looked at your microwave or any other gadget closely, you probably came across this:
Remember we said no device is 100% efficient, so some energy would be lost anyway, that’s exactly what the manufacturer is telling you by saying “Input power 1200W & Output power 700W. Your power utility company uses the units kilowatt-hours(kWh) when charging you.
The kWh is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one thousand watts for one hour.
If the Microwave Oven above was to run for 2 hours, it would consume: (1200W×2h) =2400Wh. Since the power company uses kWh, the amount becomes 2.4kWh. Assuming a kWh costs $0.25 . Using the microwave for 2 hours just cost you (2.4×0.25)= $0.60. It’s a good thing to check all your devices power rating & try to figure out which ones demand high input power or which ones stay on for long periods of time. This will give you a rough idea of which device(s) is consuming too much electricity.
Adjustments to your lifestyle
Get rid of old electronics
Gadgets like old refrigerators, computer, etc are not energy friendly. You really need to upgrade because companies are building more efficient systems now compared to years back. Purchase devices with good energy ratings whenever possible.
A power-strip is an electrical device that is used to expand the capacity of a wall outlet in terms of the number of devices it can accommodate. Devices draw vampire power even when turned off. You can save money and prevent energy waste by unplugging small appliances, electronics and chargers when they are not in use. Advanced power strips can sense when your electronics are idle and cut off the power flow to them.
Start Using Led Lights
Led-lights are replacing the old traditional lights we know. Led-lights are energy friendly. Their power ratings can go as low as 8W (0.008kW) whereas traditional light can have a rating of even 100W (0.1kW). Going back to the math, if both bulbs are allowed to be on for 6 hours The Led uses 0.048kWh & the traditional one uses 0.6kWh. Assuming each unit kWh costs $0.25. The Led-light cost you $0.012 & the traditional one cost you $0.15. Already you can see the difference. Imagine how much you can save in a period of one month!
Thaw frozen foods (except vegetables) before cooking unless otherwise specified in the recipe. Pressure-cooker saves energy. Using a fast-cooking new generation pressure cooker saves energy due to its much shorter cooking times. The higher the pressure, the shorter the cooking time. Select pots and pans that fit the heating units. Also make use of residual heat wherever possible. Set the refrigerator temperature between 36 and 40 degrees, the freezer no colder than zero. Keep freezer full. The fuller the freezer, the less cold air you loose when you open the door. Avoid using a dryer for your dishes whenever possible.
Heating & cooling
Most households are now switching to solar geysers. I highly recommend those too. Solar installation cost is discouraging but once you have it, it’s really worth it. You might want to automate your air conditioning system. The smart thermostat is a great investment. It can learn your schedules & program itself. Having to control temperature of a an empty room is usually unnecessary unless it is a special room for example, one that stores chemicals, perishables and so on. You can lose a lot of heat through your doors & windows, If you want to retain heat shut them. If you want to cool your room sometimes all you need to do is open your windows.
Implement these methods & tell us if there is any significant change in your home after three months. Don’t forget to subscribe below & do follow me on Linked-in
My next article is on Bio-metric systems & their various applications!