Many home electronics are not as simple as ‘on’ and ‘off’ when it comes to drawing power. Have you heard of sleep, hibernate or standby power modes? Some home electronics can have three to four different power modes! Ambit Energy explains the basics of these settings so you can have a better understanding of how your home appliances consume energy.
“On” also known as “active” mode is when the appliance or electronic device is performing its primary function. A TV is on when it displays video and sound, and a laundry machine is on when it’s washing clothes. “Off” mode is when the device or appliance is completely turned off, nothing is being performed, and no energy is being consumed.
There are other power modes between on and off called “standby” and “sleep.” Standby mode is when the appliance is not doing its primary function but is still using energy – like a printer that is powered on but not printing, or a microwave not in use but which still has the clock running. On the other hand, sleep mode is specifically a low power mode where parts of the device, or the device itself, is turned off until activated. This mode is primarily available on computers, TVs, laptops and other remote-controlled electronics. Compared to devices that are active, sleep mode saves a lot of energy despite still being plugged in.
Today, the average American household uses many different types of electronics, causing more energy to be consumed on a daily basis. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), electronic devices account for around 10 to 15 percent of all electricity used in the home. Home entertainment and home office electronics like TVs, game consoles, speaker systems, laptops, desktop computers and printers make up most of that electricity consumption. Portable devices such as phones, cameras, tablets and power tools are smaller in size compared to other home electronics. However, the amount of energy they use can add up quickly because of the vast number of them in use.
Energy Star and Energy Guide labels are a good indicator of how energy efficient and eco-friendly your home electronics are. The Energy Star label is only on products that have exceeded the minimum federal standards for energy efficiency. The Energy Guide label shows annual energy consumption of the product, as well as the operating cost compared to other models. These labels make it a lot easier for you to find home appliances and devices that are energy efficient and eco-friendly.
Now that you’ve learned about different power modes, here are a couple easy ways to save energy with your home electronics. Just like you would turn off your lights after you leave the room, or turn off the water after washing your hands, do the same with your electronics. By unplugging them after each use or recharge you’ll be able to eliminate power losses. Another way to save energy is by using a power strip. This makes it a lot easier to turn off all the power for multiple devices. You can even group similar appliances together onto one power strip. You may even consider buying a smart power strip that can sense when computers are in sleep mode or when the TV is off.
By understanding power modes and following these energy saving tips you’ll be able to have a more energy-efficient home in no time! Check out more everyday energy saving tips on the Ambit Energy Spark blog.