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Chasing Watts

September 4, 2014 Leave a comment
Replacing AC Doorbell transformer with 9V battery.

Replacing AC Doorbell transformer with 9V battery.

 

I’ve been using eGauge and Kill A Watt energy monitors to chase down “phantom” energy loads in our home. The latest improvements include elimination of 16W of vampire loads:

7W for a doorbell transformer, replaced with 9V battery – savings: ~61kWh per year. Bonus: It makes the doorbell sound better which makes even Leslie happy about this efficiency improvement. (Translation: High Spouse Acceptance Factor)

6W for our irrigation system controller. Savings: ~52kWh per year. We water manually and infrequently, so the controller doesn’t need to be plugged in 24 hours a day. It’s easy to plug it in when I actually set the controller to water.

These two items bring our home’s “idle” energy use down well under 100W. The remaining loads are things we want on 24 Hours a day, the Internet modem and router for example (~20W), and things I don’t want to spend gobs of money to replace with higher efficiency appliances. (Garage door opener, 5W and Microwave, 10W – Newer models draw <1W each)

These savings are relatively minor but also pretty painless. To put it a different way, these two minor efficiency improvements will save enough energy each year to drive my car 450 miles in EV mode or ride my E Bike over 6500 miles. Yay, efficiency!

For those interested, you can check out a Kill A Watt energy monitor from the Seattle Public Library.

Categories: Energy Tags: , ,
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