The zombie house apocalypse
Zombies are interesting horror film monsters: Slow, dumb, and easy to spot, you wonder how anyone actually gets killed, yet by the end of the film everyone’s dead. In terms of power consumption, your house is like a horror movie zombie. Ask anyone if they want to save power or be more energy efficient, and the answer is yes, of course! The problem is no one really knows what to do about it. It’s a global problem. How can one person make any difference in a world of billions?
How to Save Power: Know Thyself
The answer is, you probably don’t even realise just how much a part of the problem you are. If you own a home and live a modern lifestyle, chances are your house is using more power than you realise – most of it being wasted on unnecessary standby power and features you don’t use. You might think that when you shut off the porch light and go to bed at night, your house is silent and dark and not draining the world of its energy – but you’re wrong. Your house is a power zombie: Even when you’re asleep, your home’s power consumption is ticking along, adding up, costing you money and the world resources.
The Victorian government has set up a useful web site – it’s Victoria specific but anyone can use it as a rough guide. You can find it here. It asks you some simple questions about your house and then reports back to you how your home compares to other homes in terms of power consumption. But even this doesn’t go far enough, because these days, in the name of convenience, almost everything in your home pulls power even when you’ve turned it off. Your house is a zombie, and the only way to stop it is a bullet to the head – eliminating standby power by turning things off at the wall, setting your heating and cooling systems to lower settings, and sacrificing a little convenience in exchange for more energy efficiency.
The Power of ‘Turn it Off at the Wall’
Zombie Houses are never really asleep. In the dead of night, dark and silent, everything in them, from the coffee maker to the television to the refrigerator, are lurching along, sucking electricity from the wall, sometimes for no reason beyond simple convenience. On the one hand, some of these zombie services are necessary – your fridge, for example, has to run all the time to keep your food fresh. On the other, many of your appliances and devices don’t need to run all the time – things like your coffee maker and television, for example, don’t need to be plugged in twenty-four hours a day no matter what their manufacturers say. Adding a standby power switch like the EcoSwitch can make it a simple process to turn everything off at night, putting your zombie house out of its misery and knowing that you’re not wasting resources while you sleep.
It all starts with education. Knowing what parts of your house are shambling through the night mindlessly seeking brains – um, electricity – and making sure you eliminate standby power to those devices is step one. A straightforward approach is to simply ask yourself whether the device performs any useful function when you’re not actively using it. These days your television may be designed to connect to the Internet, but is it necessary for your TV to browse the web while you’re asleep? Your coffee maker may have the capability to be programmed so coffee is ready when you get up – but do you really need to be able to pour a cup the second you’re out of bed? Once you realise that everything in your house is constantly draining energy, you’ll start seeing the pulsing power being poured into a black hole by nearly every single thing in the place!
In the movies, when a loved one becomes a zombie someone always hesitates to take action, and as a result: Mayhem. Once you realise your house is a zombie, don’t hesitate. Take steps today!