Tips for making your electronics more efficient

It's safe to say that most people would jump at the chance to save money and help the environment. Read on for tips about how to make your electronics work more efficiently.

Tips for making your electronics more efficient

1. Home entertainment

When it comes to home entertainment, what you buy and how you use it goes a long way towards reducing the impact on the earth.

  • Limit the number of appliances you have in living areas. Get rid of items you seldom use. (Be sure you bring them to a proper e-waste facility where they can be dismantled and recycled.)
  • Consider purchasing combination units such as video-DVD, TV-DVD or CD-DVD players. These can help limit energy use and electromagnetic fields.
  • Choose products made by companies that have agreed to eliminate toxic chemicals from production. Check manufacturers' web sites and environmental labelling programs for information.
  • When buying equipment, look for energy-efficient models, preferably bearing the ENERGY STAR logo.
  • Switch appliances off when not in use, rather than leaving them on standby. You'll save energy — and money, too.

2. Certified efficiency

  • In Canada, the ENERGY STAR logo is awarded to energy-efficient home electronics and office equipment.
  • ENERGY STAR products switch to sleep mode when not in use, and/or use less energy in sleep mode.
  • With this designation, home electronics, for example, use about 75 per cent less energy than standard products when in sleep mode.
  • Typically, these products are in the top 15 to 30 per cent of their class for energy performance.

3. The truth about standby mode

  • When an appliance is turned on but not playing, or appears to be off but can be switched on by a remote control, it is in standby mode.
  • Equipment such as televisions, DVD players, stereos and computers are in standby mode for 60 per cent of their life span, and standby can account for more than 10 per cent of household energy use.
  • By switching off your appliances at the wall or using ENERGY STAR products, you can make substantial savings.
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