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Monday, March 6, 2017

Shutting Off Power Strips to Save Energy


As with many of my blog posts, I'm writing this for my own reference, but if someone finds it helpful for their situation, great!

To save energy and therefore money, I plugged in some energy hogs into power strips. It took about two hours of initial reconfiguring and some careful planning, but now that work is done, and there's nothing more to do than switch off and on a few power strips each day.

Based on some research, we estimate that we're saving between $100 and $150 per year, so we think it's worth a few extra seconds of thought each day. In concrete terms, this savings more than pays for our Netflix bill.

Power Strip 1: Office Computer Center 

Here's what's in the power strip, which Mike turns off at night:
  1. Chromecast
  2. Roku device
  3. Computer
  4. Double external display

Power Strip 2: Media Center 

In one power strip I have plugged in these devices. Before going to bed, I shut off the entire power strip.

  1. The big screen tv
  2. The Amazon Fire stick
  3. The Roku stick
  4. The Chromecast stick
  5. The ethernet switch

Power Strip 3: Phone Charging Station

I now have a power strip (it's actually a circle) just for charging phones, tablets, and power banks. I turn this on and off as needed.  

Power Strip 4: Miscellaneous Station

I leave this power strip off until I need it for one of its devices. I then leave it on the rest of the day, and shut if off at night.
  1. Printer
  2. Shredder
  3. Lamp

Power Strip 5: Bedroom

The clock's not plugged intot the power strip. This power strip gets turned on at night, and off in the morning.
  1. Lamp
  2. Whitenoise Machine

Power Strip 6: Kitchen Counter

I keep this power strip off until I need it. 
  1. Vitamix
  2. Large food processor
  3. Small food processor
  4. Jar opener

Pluggedd directly into the wall

These things are plugged directly into the wall or into an extension in the wall, and are never shut off
  1. The Buffalo NAS device. It puts too much wear on the inner workings to power off and on.
  2. The PLEX server (which is a Windows laptop that serves as our media server). This goes to sleep after fifteen minutes, saving power. To wake it up, we don't need to press the power button (which is inaccessible). Instead we can just left click its mouse which we've placed within reach. (The wake-on-usb setting needed to be enabled in Bios.)
  3. Mike's printer is conveniently near his office door, so Mike just powers it down at night
  4. Linda's laptop is plugged in all the time, and gets turned off at night. During the day, it goes to sleep after 15 minutes of disuse to save power.

Final Note

Homes have other power hogs as well, but they're not worth unplugging, such as washers and dryers. Even coffeemakers can be power hogs, but mine has settings for making coffee on a schedule in the morning, so I prefer to keep it always plugged in. 

Here's a link with a list of some of the biggest energy hogs.


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