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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Make Your Home Office More Energy Efficient

Measure your home office energy consumption by plugging the Kill A Watt meter into a power outlet. The Kill A Watt meter has an outlet to plug your power strips into. Plug all of your devices into the power strips and plug your power strips into the Kill A Watt meter. You can daisy chain your power strips. The device will display power consumed over time in kilowatt / hrs and also displays power drawn in watts.
If you haven't already done this, you should replace your CRT monitor with an Energy Star compliant LCD monitor. This will probably be your biggest savings.
Some equipment continues to pull a small amount of power even when turned off. Put as much equipment as you can on a power strip, and turn it off at the end of the day. Some surge protectors have certain outlets that are designated as always on, which allow you to keep power flowing to some devices even after turning off the power strip.
Enabling power management on your desktop or laptop can save power consumption. Start timeouts at 15 minutes for the display and disk spin-down, 30 minutes for standby and 45 minutes for hibernate mode. Then try more aggressive settings for the display and disk. It is recommended to try and get down to 2 to 3 minutes for each.
Replace your separate broadband modem and router with a single, integrated gateway device. You will not see an instant return on your investment with this, but over the long term it will save. Best to buy your own and not rent from your broadband provider.
You should turn off any peripherals that you are not using. For example your printer, if you only use your printer once or twice a day why have it on drawing power all the time?
When you are finished using your home office equipment for the day, reach down and shut off the power strips.
Replace desk lamps with incandescent bulbs to those with LED bulbs, this will also reduce the heat.

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