Thursday, April 7, 2011

Earth Month: Save Some Energy

Today was parent conference day at school, and seven of my students had a fabulous time forcing pretty much every person to walk in the school to take a "save energy" doortag (four designs! available in English or Spanish!) or other flier. They were nothing if not enthusiastic, and they reached a ton of people.

Their basic message was turn it off or unplug it and save money. They've been prepping for this for awhile, since we were originally supposed to do it on the day of the blizzard. It's funny how much people don't realize how much small moves can let's figure it out!

Through my club, I have a Kill-a-watt
You plug it in to the socket like normal, and then plug your appliance etc into it as you usually would, and it measures how much energy it uses. Fun! (For me at least.) You can see how many watts it has used over time, and can also see other data about various electrical measurements I do not understand.

I've measured various things over the years (my humidifier=really really bad...I now use pans of water under the radiators. Christmas lights are also bad, which was very depressing. On the other hand LED lights are ugly, so I'm not sure what the answer is there). And I thought it would be fun to measure more things now, so...
What do you want me to measure?

If it has a plug (and I have/use one) I can find out how much energy it uses. I'll also do something with phantom load, which is the amount of energy things use when they are plugged in but off. I'm hoping as part of Earth Month to finally get around to installing my Smart Strip as well.

Let me know in the comments what you're curious about, and I'll start collecting some data!

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