Categories
General

Use Less, Spend Less

So lately I’ve been looking for a cause. Something I can do to make a difference, even if it is a small one.

So my first goal is to reduce energy use.

While the electric bill is not that high, I want it to be as small as I can get it. So I took a look around to see what I can do to make a difference.

First, the A/C. Yeah, it gets hot in Florida but why cool the entire house when I spend most of my free time in front of the computer? So I knocked the temperature setting up a couple of degrees and purchased a small, four inch fan to blow on me while I’m at my desk. The fan is quiet so it doesn’t bother me, plus I usually have my headphones on anyway so I never hear it. I also keep all the blinds closed during the day, which keeps out the heat from the sun.

Second, I saw that the chargers for my cell phone, mini DVD player and other small gadgets were always plugged in and running, even when I’m not home or in the room. I also noticed that the outlet attached to the light switch is not used. So I plugged in a power strip, attached all those chargers, and plugged the strip into that outlet. Now, when I leave the room, I turn that switch off thus reducing the amount of wasted electricity. The only thing using energy in that room all the time is my alarm clock.

Third, my PC settings. After 15 minutes of non-use my monitors “turn off”. I don’t mess with screensavers, as they still use power, but when the screen goes black the amount of energy it uses is reduced. While this setting is great, if I know I’m leaving my desk for awhile, I will just turn off the monitors myself, completely eliminating energy use.

I do run my PC 24/7, never turning it off, never putting it into sleep mode. I have several virus and settings checks that take place at different times usually when I’m asleep. Turning the computer off will prevent those checks from taking place. So what is my goal to reduce energy use? Solid State Drives (SSD).

Solid State Drives are the next generation hard drives for your computer. Almost all of the computers in use today having spinning hard drives. Every time your system needs to read or write data, the hard drive has to spin. And depending on your application, that can lead to a lot of spinning. SSDs are like flash memory (thumb drives) in which they have no moving parts. They simply read and write data. The cost of SSDs are still a little on the high side but they are slowly coming down. SSDs also produce less heat, which means that your fans don’t have to work as hard.

Finally, general light use. I rarely use lights. I do my best to use them for as little as possible. But even I can do better. It appears that compact fluorescent light bulbs are the best alternative to incandescent bulbs. I have yet to make the switch, only because I rarely use lights in the first place. I do plan on buying a few and switching out light bulbs as others burn out.

Also, I’ve considered replacing the switch in my bathroom from a flip switch to a motion detector switch. That way, if I do leave the light in my bathroom on it will shut off automatically in a few minutes. These motion detector switches also work great for laundry rooms, walk in closets, or other rooms that you don’t spend a lot of time in, but frequently forget to turn off the light.

So these are a few things that I’m going to do to use less so I spend less.

Thanks for reading and feel free to make comments below.

Chimp

3 replies on “Use Less, Spend Less”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.