This Christmas my family is doing a homemade gift exchange. I am knitting everyone scarves, hand warmers, and ear muffs. Although I will probably develop carpal tunnel syndrome before this endeavor is complete, I have really enjoyed skipping the hustle and bustle of malls or frantically searching for the best deals online. (I mean how much can I really save on that coveted toy my niece has asked for by going to an additional 13 websites??)
And then I realized I still need stocking stuffers…. (My knitting skills do not extend beyond scarves, hand warmers, and ear muffs just yet.) This is going to require at least one trip to Target where I will have to fight the masses for a parking spot within a half mile of the store. So much for my retail free Christmas.
So I started thinking…. Since I have been working with Duke Energy my thoughts have been much more attuned to energy efficiency. I figure that so far my homemade Christmas has been pretty energy efficient. No trips to the mall, just a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. How could I extend the energy efficiency to stocking stuffers? A quick search on the internet and I found tons of ideas!
Now I will admit that many of the ideas I found (and will use) are more on the “green” side than the “energy efficient” side. (For example, fill stockings with fruit rather than candy.) And although “green” is a good thing (at least I think so) this website is about saving energy, so I am going to focus there. Here is what I found:
- Programmable thermostat (Energy Star)– I know it sounds like a boring gift, but in my book there is nothing worse than getting out of my warm, cozy bed on a cold winter morning before the heat has been turned on. I have programmed my thermostat to kick up the heat about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off. This ensures the bathroom is not an ice box as I get ready for work. I promise the cold natured person in your life will LOVE this gift!
- Solar chargers – “Plugged in” is the phrase of our times, but maybe we can find a way to be “plugged in” without physically plugging in. Invest in a solar charger for your smart phones, tablets, music players, etc. This will allow you to skip the plug and use the energy provided by Mother Nature.
- Smart Power Strip – Everything in my house is on a power strip. My dad swears by them – “just in case there is a power surge.” And of course it allows me to plug way more in than the 2 allotted outlets that are built into my wall. A smart power strip gives you these benefits with the added benefit of cutting power when it’s not in use. This is the equivalent of crawling behind the cabinet (and through the inevitable dust) that holds all my electronics and unplugging everything every time I turn off the TV or stereo!
- Ecobutton – This one is new to me, but it looks pretty cool! It is a device that you connect to your computer via a USB cable. It sits right on your desk top and is lit up to help grab your attention. Each time you hit the button it puts your computer in energy saving mode AND it tracks how much energy you save to help encourage a change in behavior. Considering the fact that my computer is on almost ALL the time, I think I’m going to ask for this stocking stuffer myself!
- CFLs – I know! We always talk about CFLs. But they fit so perfectly in a stocking! I just couldn’t leave them off the list. Maybe break down and replace some of those decorative bulbs you hadn’t gotten to with a specialty CFL bulb.
What other energy efficient stocking stuffers have you seen?
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Now that the holidays are here, exactly how much free time do you find yourself with…? If you’re like me, there’s a long list of things to do and buy, punctuated by weeknight parties, school recitals and end of year reports at the office.
With the rush, the bustle and the outright fatigue, people can fall into one of two camps. The first group, after doing a beautiful job decorating, can’t even manage to get home before 9pm to turn their lights on. The second group, inundated by cleaning or wrapping or writing out cards, collapses into bed and forgets to turn their lights off, wasting energy and irritating neighbors.
You can save time, energy and hassle while maximizing enjoyment of your outdoor masterpiece by picking up a few holiday light timers. These handy little gadgets cost only a few dollars and can last for years. There are multiple styles that can range in price based on their features. Below is a guide to some popular models.
Single Device / Single Time Timer
This most basic model allows you to set one predetermined on/off time for just one device, like a strand of lights.
Multiple Device / Dual Time Timer
A dual time timer allows you to set two distinct on/off times for two or more devices. These are especially handy for decorations that include audio. Your neighbors don’t need to hear ‘Frosty the Snowman’ for five consecutive hours each night for the next month.
Digital timers can accommodate multiple devices and very specific settings, since they rely on digital technology rather than pins. Some units can be programmed to turn a single device on and off at different times, depending on the day of the week. These models are more costly, but can be effective if you wish to leave decorations lit longer on special evenings or during the weekend.
Photo-sensitive timers are some of the easiest to use because they require no programming at all! The unit senses when the sun goes down and turns decorations on automatically. The potential downside is that these timers only shut decorations off when the sun rises in the morning, meaning whatever is plugged in remains on all night. Consider photo sensitive timers for hard to reach accent decorations, like an over-the-garage wreath.
In addition to saving time, energy and money, automatic timers pack an added benefit: home security. Putting exterior and interior lighting on timers can give would-be burglars the impression that someone is home, even if your family is over the river and through the woods this holiday season.
Have a timer tip you’d like to share? Post it in the comments!
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How much can a new cooling system save?
Here at Youtility we’ve been talking a lot about new energy-efficient air conditioning units the past few weeks. So, how much energy can you really save by installing a new unit? If only there was app for that. Oh yeah, there is – Duke Energy’s own Cooling Calc or Cooling System Calculator, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
After entering your zip code, type of home and details regarding square-footage, current air conditioner age and furnace type, our Cooling Calc provides an estimated lifetime savings based on the installation of a new energy-efficient cooling system.
The calculator also provides savings estimates broken down into annual dollar, lifetime dollars, kWh and CO2. New unit estimates are broken down by system type, size, replacement cost and annual energy cost.
If you’re considering a new unit, you can find more information about purchase incentives and a list of participating contractors, who can provide you with further details on costs and estimated savings, at duke-energy.com/smartsaver.
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No one, with perhaps the exception of skydivers, likes cords, do they? Phones – those pesky landlines, not the smart phone that accompanies us just about everywhere – stopped relying on cords long ago. Your computer mouse, printers, and networks are all going cordless. Even babies can’t wait to lose their umbilical cord – we’re ready to go wireless minutes after birth.
Electronic Vehicle drivers are ready to experience the same freedom, and technology is emerging that will help them free themselves of their vehicular tethers. This emerging technology has the potential to expedite the mainstream adoption of PEVs, with the expectation that PEVs with wireless charging systems could reach consumer markets within this decade.
Carolina-based Clemson and Duke Energy are both participants in the Apollo Program, an initiative of Evatran™, which has developed the Plugless Power™ wireless recharging technology. The system would offer greater convenience, allowing drivers to avoid the repetitive plug-in process. We’re testing an early version to help answer fundamental questions about use and performance. Will it charge an electric car (in this case, a Nissan Leaf) in the same time as a wired charging station? How does the installation compare when looking at wired versus wireless charging stations in terms of time and cost? How does going wireless affect the overall customer experience of owning a PEV? These answers will help Duke Energy better understand how this type of technology will impact our customers as more and more PEV’s become part of life at work and at home.
Does the promise of wireless charging stations increase your interest in owning an electric vehicle? Tell us why in the comment section below.
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Have you ever hooked a pedometer to your waistband and monitored your daily steps? Some people do it out of curiosity. Others might do it because a doctor recommend they see how much they are (or aren’t) moving around during the day. Whatever the reason, how close do you think you could come to accurately guessing your daily mileage? More than likely the number of steps you take would surprise you.
The same likely holds true with your home’s energy consumption. Sure, you can probably guess within a couple of dollars, depending on the time of year, how much your monthly electric bill is going to be. But, if you could take a closer look and see which devices or appliances that money was spent powering, and, as a result, take steps to curb or quell that usage, wouldn’t you? Take a look at the following types of energy monitoring devices – from simple to complex – and see which system works best for you.
Outlet Monitor: Outlet monitors are a great way to spot-check certain appliances or electronic devices. Monitors cost about $30 and serve as an intermediary between the appliance and the outlet, providing a reading of the amount of energy consumed, including customized monthly or annual costs. These are good for smaller homes, as the monitor can be periodically shared among a variety of the home’s electronic devices – from a single lamp to a 42-inch LCD TV – to provide regular updates.
Whole House Monitoring: These systems are much more complex, but also offer greater monitoring capabilities (obviously). Current transformers monitor incoming power levels as they enter the home at the main circuit breaker. These transformers then monitor and log the home’s energy throughout the day and night. Depending on the monitoring configuration, systems can be designed and installed to monitor individual circuits or the entire system as a whole. Additional detail allows greater flexibility in efforts to lower your home’s energy bill by pinpointing areas that cause energy spikes or use during higher system loads.
There are even wireless devices that allow you to walk around your house with a wireless monitoring device that shows how much power you’re using in real time – shut off a light and watch the meter change in real time or see how your dishwasher affects your power draw. These monitoring devices can be found for as little as a $100.
Smart Homes – Smart homes take circuit-monitoring systems and add a control factor, allowing homeowners to systematically track energy use throughout the house and control and adjust appliance and device use as a result, creating an optimized system. Many smart home systems feature an integrated control panel that provides the ability to turn lights, televisions and other electronic devices on and off remotely, maximizing efficiency. There are even apps available that allow you to control your lights and other electronic devices from your smart phone. For the serious gadget hound, or control freak, this is the way to go.
What are you doing to monitor energy use in your home? Tell us in the comment section below.
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It’s the end of yet another school year—and that means a new crop of freshly minted graduates are packing off to college or hunting down their first real job. Tuition, rent, pizza and beer are costing more these days, so if you’re looking for a more creative gift idea than cash, you might want to consider an energy (and money!) saving gift to help your grad save now and for years to come.
Portable Gadget Solar Charger
Having a dead phone is just plain annoying, but who has the time to sit around and wait? Portable solar chargers make it easy to charge smart phones, tablets and MP3 players on the go. Ranging from $30 – $80 and about the size of a standard cell phone, these handy accessories can charge gadgets while students lounge in a sunny spot in the quad or relax in the park during lunch. Talk about multi tasking!
Smart Power Strip
We extol the virtues of smart power strips on this blog regularly, and for good reason: plugged in electronics and devices, even those that are shut off, continue to drain power from the grid and run up the monthly bill. No matter where your grad is headed next, they’re probably heading there with a half dozen or more gadgets, electronics and appliances, making a smart power strip a great gift idea.
Okay, so this isn’t a gift, per se—but what could be more helpful than helping your grad get better organized for the fast pace of the real world? Kids these days don’t carry around check books and stamps and run to the post office. Since so much of what they do takes place online, helping set your grad up with Paperless Billing from Duke Energy is a great way to make their lives just a little bit easier. You can sign up here: www.duke-energy.com/paperless
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Appliances Are Getting SMARTer
Attention aspiring television producers: here’s a great new idea for a show that could be a big hit with viewers in the coming years – Are you Smarter Than a Washing Machine? Even if you can spin and agitate with the best of them, sadly, save for the few bold Mensa members, the answer is likely “not even close.”
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it won’t be long before our appliances are the smartest things in the room. Continual advances have helped make life easier, more efficient, more connected.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, manufacturers unveiled the latest round of appliances that will soon organize our household tasks. Appliances are being equipped with the brainpower to accept commands from smart phones, tablets and PCs via integrated management programs that do more than provide users with assistance in making the most efficient use of time and energy. Users can remotely monitor and control cycle times for washers and dryers. Robotic disc vacuums can hunt down unsuspecting dust bunnies on their own. Your refrigerator can let you know when that applesauce in the back is about to expire.
Integrated LCD control panels also allow users to view real-time Twitter feeds, check the weather, and even stream the ball game or TV show they were watching in another room.
Fans of Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near, know it may not be long before artificial intelligence begins to outpace human intelligence at an exponential pace. But did you really suspect it could be refrigerator that would zoom by you in the passing lane? If only your refrigerator could offer a gentle reminder that the post-dinner snack you’re planning isn’t a good idea – oh wait they can do that too.
What new feature will your favorite appliance have in the future? Share with us in the comments.
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What’s a slice of pizza worth to you? Calories? Carbs? Fat? Sodium? What about a couple of watts?
While there’s little debate in what makes your favorite slice (or two, or three) of pizza taste good, simple physics says fuel in, as food, equals energy out. Science.
It’s time to sweat the details. What if you could burn off the day’s one guilty pleasure (or two) and get in a workout that also provided some energy atonement. Connecting a stationary bike with a generator is an easy way to pedal off the pounds while powering the PC.
Oregon State University harnesses power generated from 22 elliptical machines to help power the recreation center in which they are located. FOX employed a team of cyclists to ride 42 stationary bikes, for 12 hours a day for four straight days, generating enough energy to power its Super Bowl Pre-Game Show for 30 minutes in 2008. This is a far cry from the digital clock powered by a potato.
Now, find your ride. It should have multiple gears to make the most efficient use of your workload. And, you’ll want a comfortable seat. If the bike is strictly for indoor purposes, something that isn’t roadworthy will work. You’re not likely to plow into any walls, ideally.
Find a suitable rear-wheel bike stand, one that holds the bike securely upright, elevating the back tire off the floor as directed. Motor kits can be easily purchased for a nominal cost, though some purists would likely condemn anything other than a converted washing machine motor that is equipped with a voltmeter to help power small electronic DC devices. Typical appliances draw anywhere from five watts to charge a cell phone, to 10 watts for a laptop, all the way to 200 watts for a large TV. Watt ratings are typically included on the back of an appliance, near the power cord. By most accounts, a rider can generate about 200 watts with steady pedal power.
Oh, and the calories burned running a 100 watt television for one hour is about the equivalent to one piece of pizza, so you might want to watch The Godfather and stay in it for the long haul.
*The information in this blog is for informational use only; no products or websites referenced are endorsed by Duke Energy.
*FOX is a registered trademark of Fox Broadcasting Company.
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How your lawn looks defines you. Dandelions are your nemesis. Crabgrass? Not on your watch. You don’t just care for your lawn. You baby it. You fertilize, aerate, seed, prevent, water and mow. You edge and you weed whack. Your perfect blocks of dark green are expertly manicured, cut in perfectly parallel 45-degree rows.
If this describes you, then you know the horsepower of your mower’s engine, the precise blade height for every month of the growing season and the advantages to both bagging and mulching. And, if you know all this, then maybe this article isn’t for you.
But, if you’ve never had a sign in your yard that reads, “Yard of the Month,” then you may be interested in the variety of lawn mower technologies at your disposal this spring.
We took a quick test drive with three different lawn mower styles – the gasoline engine mower, the electric mower and the reel mower. Mostly, it was for fun, but we did learn some things along the way.
Let’s look at the gas-powered mower first.
The keywords here are horsepower and range. If you have a big lawn filled with lush fescue, a gas-powered mower is going to be hard to beat. You may even need a sweet tractor – who doesn’t want one of those? The main reasons to use a gas-powered mower are:
- Your long, thick grass requires a powerful engine.
- You don’t have any local noise restrictions to consider (our mower ran at 96 dB according to the Decibel 10 app on our smartphone – that’s just shy of a jet coming in for a landing.)
- You don’t mind doing a little light maintenance, such as oil changes.
- Your 100-ft. extension cord won’t reach to that far corner of your yard.
The next option to consider is an electric lawn mower.
Quiet, light and easily maneuvered, my first time behind one of these silent assassins was just short of life changing. The specific model I tested didn’t have the same cutting power as our gas mower, so it struggled a bit with our long, thick fescue lawn. But for sheer ease of use and the ability to hear yourself think during operation, you may want to seriously consider making a switch. There have been big advancements in electric mowers, including self-propelled models, so power isn’t the issue it used to be.
There is also a new crop of battery-powered electric mowers that eliminate the cord hassle, but make sure you check that the battery power is adequate for cutting your lawn. Most battery-powered lawn mowers will list the size of lots that a fully charged battery can handle.
Here are the main criteria for considering an electric-powered lawn mower:
- Your yard is small and flat with a low number of trees and playgrounds to mow around.
- You want to save some money. (Electric mowers are generally less expensive than their gas-powered rivals to both purchase and operate, especially when considering the fact that gas is nearing or exceeding $4 a gallon and that you can power your whole house for about $4 a day.)
- You like to hear yourself think (the model we tested ran at 86 dB).
- Your gas-powered mower is getting a little too heavy to push around.
- You’re not very handy with a screwdriver.
- You’re tired of pulling a cord to start the engine.
- You’re not scared by the term “cord management.”
And, that brings us to the human-powered reel mower. Before last week, I hadn’t used one of these in probably 20 years. The nostalgia factor was high. I enjoyed watching the clippings fly through the air with the rhythmic clatter of the turning blades. That is where the fun stopped. Our test grass was just too long for this mower type. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
So, why should you consider a reel mower?
- You’re looking for a very engaging workout.
- You like sharpening blades on a regular basis.
- You have a very small, flat yard and like to mow it multiple times a week.
- You think mowing the lawn should be no louder than a soft golf clap.
- You’re a traditionalist.
There is a wealth of information online to pour through before making a decision on a new lawn mower. We found outdoorpowerbuddy.com and lawnmowersworld.com to be great resources.
Let us know what type of lawn mower you use and why in the comment section below.
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If you’ve ever paid an energy bill before, you probably noticed the word ‘kilowatt hour’ somewhere on your monthly statement (sometimes abbreviated as kW·h, kW h or kWh). If you’ve ever been confused by what this means, you’re in good company—it’s not as straightforward as a gallon or a degree or a day. And that’s because a kilowatt hour is actually measuring two different things at once: energy (in watts) and time (in hours).
So if you have a 1000 watt microwave, and you decided to pop a bag of popcorn for an hour, it would use one kilowatt hour, or 1 kWh. It would also smell really bad.
Many appliances and gadgets are labeled with the maximum wattage they draw to operate, but the best way to know exactly how much energy your stuff uses is to measure it with a watt-hour meter, like the wonderfully named Kill-a-Watt, which you can buy here.
Once you know the watt usage, it’s time to closely estimate two additional figures: the number of hours per day and the number of days per month the device or appliance is used. The final equation will look like this:
Watt Usage X Hours/Day X Days/Month, divided by 1000 = Kilowatt Hours used that month
For my hair dryer, this would look like:
2000 watts X .5 hours X 15 days = 15,000 watts, divided by 1000 = 15 kWh per month.
At a rate of 9.6 cents per kWh, it costs about $1.44 a month to have dry hair.
Now, consider larger appliances like air conditioners given the above information. Hopefully it’s a little easier to understand just how much your personal preferences can impact your bill—and how much control you truly have over your energy use.
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It’s the middle of a cold, dark night. You wake up, thirsty, and decide to tip toe to the kitchen for a glass of water. As you walk past the den, you see them: sinister, glowing in the dark. A dozen tiny flashing lights. Each one is an energy vampire, slowly draining your wallet.
So maybe it’s not quite as creepy as a scene out of Paranormal Activity, but energy vampires are no laughing matter, either. Even when you turn off your television, computer or coffee maker, they’re still drawing current. The good news is that you can easily and affordably stop energy vampires cold by installing smart power strips in key areas of your home.
Smart power strips look a lot like the regular power strips we all know and love, but they boast some extra technology. On an average smart power strip, you’ll find a handful of different outlets. Some stay on all the time—perfect for a cordless telephone or a home security system. Other outlets are monitored, which means that your smart power strip can tell when a device goes into standby mode.
There are several styles of smart power strips available at local electronics and home improvement stores with unique features, and all aim to cut power to devices that aren’t in use, automatically preventing waste:
- One style groups appliances to a “master” device. These versions are great for home entertainment centers, where turning on the TV can trigger ancillary devices like game consoles, DVD players and home stereos.
- Another style of smart power strip features an infrared motion sensor that turns devices off once a room has been empty for whichever amount of time you determine. And when you come home from work, voila! Everything is ready to use.
- A third type of smart power strip comes with a remote control that uses radio frequencies to communicate through walls. No more running around, jamming your arm behind the sofa. Set your remote on your nightstand and power down your entire house from bed. (Now, if only it could bring you a glass of water in the middle of the night!)
Do you have a smart power strip in your home? Share what style and where in the comments.
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It’s January—and the crisp air of the New Year brings a renewed sense of enthusiasm. You wake up, excited about a project you’re planning at home or the office. After a quick shower, you grab a favorite outfit. The outfit you always get compliments on. You are so going to own 2012.
And then you realize: your pants won’t close.
Silently cursing the cheese dip, you scramble to find a roomier pair of slacks to slip on—and decide that getting healthier is a goal you need to add to your list.
Sound familiar? It’s my story every year. But I’m not the type of person who can get excited about walking in silence for 45 minutes on a treadmill. Finding the willpower to take on the challenge requires some new gear to get excited about. And this year, there are a number of neat gadgets that can help power a great workout with no power from the grid. The best of both worlds, these gadgets can help you can get in shape with no extra energy vampires adding to your utility bills.
Portable Solar Cell
Especially convenient for hiking and camping enthusiasts, you can harness the power of the sun to charge any MP3 player, personal fan or other device. Fits on a standard keychain. $80 at solio.com.
A special pair of workout bottoms under prototype at designboom.com lets you personally generate all the energy you’ll need to rock your tunes. Just plug your MP3 player into a small cell in the pocket, and become your own human battery.
A small, mascara-sized tube that you pop into your purse generates enough kinetic energy to charge your MP3 player for a jog after work. One minute of walking equals one minute of play. $160 at NPowerPeg.com.
Do you have a favorite energy saving workout secret? Please share it in the comments.
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If you’ve turned on your TV recently, then you know that the content provider wars are almost as dramatic as the shows they broadcast! Traditional staples like cable and satellite are going up against new services like Hulu and Netflix. While it’s each provider’s job to talk up the unique benefits they offer, there is a hidden cost beyond the subscription price that I hadn’t considered until recently: the amount of energy each proprietary device requires to operate.
Beyond your actual TV, there’s always some form of additional hardware that you’ll need in order to watch the programming you’re paying for. I happen to subscribe to both cable and streaming services, so I decided to put my DVR and streaming consoles head-to-head in an energy match with my trusty Kill-A-Watt measurement tool.
The first contender was my IP streaming device. Built by a 3rd party manufacturer called Roku, this particular box centralizes all of my IP streaming content into an easy to navigate format. The device itself is only 1” by 3” by 3”—much smaller than a DVR or gaming console—and it also came with a tiny remote control.
On standby, the device pulled .06 amps.
When streaming or buffering content, it pulled .09 amps.
The next contender was my DVR console, issued by my cable company. I couldn’t locate a manufacturer name, but the device is roughly 3” by 9” by 12”. I suspected this device would probably use more energy due to an internal cooling fan I could hear blowing on the inside. It also features a back-lit clock and digital channel display.
On standby, the device pulled .46 amps.
When recording new content or playing saved programming, the device pulled .94 amps.
The results were more shocking than I’d thought. With two DVRs in my house, I realized that they draw nearly 1 amp collectively all day long, even when I’m not home! After an entire month, that’s really impacting my bill.
Take a look around your own house tonight and see what’s plugged into your entertainment center. If you’re like most people, you likely have multiple broadcast and gaming consoles. You can talk to your family about unplugging these electronics when not in use, or consider a smart power strip to help you manage the flow of power to hungry electronics!
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I’m always thinking about ways to save energy—but how do you know what you’re spending or saving when you can’t see it? I know the price a gallon of milk, but it’s hard to put a number on something that’s invisible. Heck, just one device could be screwing up all of the other energy saving steps that I take.
So I was feeling pretty clueless until one of my teammates here mentioned the ‘Kill-A-Watt’ energy monitoring tool. And this thing is SO cool. It costs around $20 online, and it’s super easy to use. The Kill-A-Watt gets plugged directly into any outlet, and then you plug your appliance or device into it. This tool even measures electrical flow like 8 different ways if you feel you need to get that specific.
Armed with my new toy, I looked around the house to see what would be fun to measure first. My friend suggested that I try a hair styling tool showdown, which was brilliant. How many of you have blown a fuse when you turn on your clothes iron and your hairdryer at the same time? Exactly. These suckers must take a lot of juice.
For my first-ever energy match, I picked two seemingly similar tools: my curling iron and my flat iron. Since both of these heats up to about the same temperature, my guess was that they’d draw about the same amount of power.
Wrong. The flat iron drew .08 amps while the curling iron drew .88 amps: exactly eleven times more power. I’m probably not going to change my hairstyle anytime soon, because the difference isn’t likely to break the bank. But it makes me think twice about unplugging all of my styling tools before I leave in the morning. Ever come home to a semi-fried countertop? Sigh. That’s probably another blog post.
Which appliances or gadgets should go head to head next week? Leave your vote in on our Facebook page!
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When I started replacing old incandescent bulbs around my home with my free CFLs, I had mixed feelings. I knew the CFLs were more energy efficient, but their shape and wattage didn’t necessarily work with my lamps or my decor. I replaced 15 bulbs in my home with the free CFLs, but I wanted more options to suit my needs. Recently, I needed to buy a bulb for a specialty lamp, and I just knew a CFL was not an option. But I was wrong!
While looking over the bulbs selection at my local home improvement store, I was delighted to see that I had so many CFL options. I was very surprised to learn that:
- CFLs are now available in many different shapes, such as spirals, torpedoes, candles and globes.
- They’re designed for all types of fixtures and to suit most decorative needs.
- They’re available with three-way and dimmer switch options.
- CFLs offer bright daylight options, as well as yellow and pink bulbs to provide a softer lighting effect.
- There are more wattage and threading choices, as well as CFL bug lights for my patio.
I was so excited about all these options that I ended up replacing five more incandescent bulbs that day. Admittedly, if I had not received my free CFLs I may not have changed my bulbs – or attitude – as quickly. I like using about 75 percent less energy, saving on my energy costs, and knowing that my specialty bulbs will also last about 10 times longer. If you haven’t received your free CFLs, visit www.duke-energy.com/freecfls. If you have, then visit your local store and check out all the new CFL options.
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