When it comes to condo living, space and functionality are key. So why let energy phantoms take up space? Energy phantoms are electronic devices and appliances that draw power even when they’re not in use; you may have heard it referred to as “phantom power.”
The biggest culprits are electronics and appliances that are in standby mode while they’re plugged in but not in use — think your gaming console or coffee maker.
The good news is it’s easy to keep phantom energy from occurring. The simplest solution is to unplug electronics and other devices when you don’t need them. For large electronics like your television or PVR, use a programmable or smart power bar to do the job for you.
Programmable power bars have timers that allow you to schedule when you’d like your electronics to be on and when you’d rather they be off. Smart power bars work a little differently – they shut down power to plugged-in items that are in standby mode. They also have the ability to power items on and off individually or as a group. Whatever option you choose, you can be certain you'll be saving energy.
We all know that cleaning the dryer’s lint trap is important to ensure safety at home. But did you know that cleaning your lint trap also helps improve the efficiency of your dryer? Continue to clean your lint trap before you dry to help you save.
Yes, your condo may have a second lint trap. The trap is part of the dryer’s exhaust system and collects any lint that makes its way through the exhaust. Make sure to clean the lint trap regularly to help your dryer work more efficiently.
If your condo has the space, purchase a drying rack to avoid using your dryer altogether. Drying racks come in various shapes and sizes so you can find one that is right for your space and needs. Besides helping you save on drying costs, a drying rack is handy to have for clothing that is too delicate for the machine or should be laid flat to dry. An added bonus is that drying clothes on a rack will fill your home with the smell of clean laundry, and who doesn’t love that?
If you have a balcony or outdoor space, you can take advantage of the warmer seasons to help dry your clothes outside. But before you do so, make sure to check with your condo’s rules on clothes lines and clothing racks on balconies.
When was the last time that you changed your condo’s HVAC filter? Set a reminder on your phone or with your home automation system to change the filter every three months. A clean filter means a more efficient system. It also means cleaner air for your home.
A watched pot never boils – but if you add some energy efficiency, you can speed up the process. When cooking on the stove, always make sure that the pot or pan you’re using matches the size of the stove’s element. If the element is too small or too large, you’re not cooking as efficiently as you could be, and it may take longer to complete your meal. And don’t forget the pot lid. By covering your pot or pan, you’re speeding up the cooking process, which means you get to eat sooner while using less energy.