Did you know the average home wastes $200 per year powering electronic devices that are not in use? Remembering to turn off and unplug devices can be difficult, especially if you have hard to reach devices and outlets. But there is a simple and automatic way to do it and avoid wasting electricity in the process: use an advanced power strip.
Advanced power strips come in many varieties, but they all reduce the amount of electricity consumed by devices that are not in use. You probably have a few traditional power strips in your home. If you have several devices in a single area like an entertainment system or your home office, a power strip will allow you to plug in multiple devices even though you only have one or two outlets nearby. Along with the protective properties of a surge protector, this is usually the extent of what traditional power strips can do. Advanced power strips, sometimes called smart power strips, allow you to plug in multiple items, and they help you optimize your power consumption. Below are some of the different types of advanced power strips and some tips for where to use them in your home:
Timer Power Strips turn off all of the devices plugged into them on a predetermined schedule. Some timer power strips are digital and some of the older versions have a dial you turn. Both allow you to turn off certain devices without being there or being awake when it happens. These are great for setting your holiday lights to turn on and off automatically. If you try to stick to the same sleeping schedule and you like to watch TV in bed, you could set your timer to turn off the TV each night so that you can fall asleep and not worry that your TV will be on all night.
Activity Monitor Power Strips are more advanced and usually more expensive than the other power strips, because they have sensors that recognize when nobody is in the room. When the activity monitor doesn’t sense anyone, it will automatically cut power to all of the devices that are connected to it. These are great for entertainment centers and can be perfect for video game consoles that are often left on or plugged in by children.
Master Controlled Power Strips will turn off all devices plugged into it when the master device is turned off. For example, if you are using a master controlled power strip for your entertainment center, you would likely plug the TV into the “master” receptacle and then all other devices into the other receptacles. When you turn your TV off, the speakers, video game system, and anything else you may have plugged into the strip will also all turn off automatically.
Masterless Power Strips cut power to all devices if all devices are turned off. Masterless power strips eliminate vampire load, which is the nickname for energy consumed by appliances when they are turned off. Even though they are turned off, many electronics still consume a small amount of energy. But this can add up to a lot of money over time. If a masterless power strip senses that none of the devices are being used, then it will cut power to all devices so that they can’t consume any electricity.