Beware the Phantom in Your Home!

LED lightsIf it seems like your energy bills keep going up and up while you’ve been doing everything you can to reduce your usage, read on! There’s a “phantom menace” that’s at work here and it’s all the rage in consumer electronics.

While increased energy costs are certainly playing a part, long gone are the days when shouting at the kids to “turn off the light!” was a sure way to save on electricity (though installing reduced-energy bulbs is a good move, too).  75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while products are turned off, according to the The U.S. Department of Energy.  The term to describe this is known as “phantom load.”

Home entertainment systems with remote controls, wireless routers, appliances with clocks, electronics that use a power adaptor (i.e. a wall cube) and computer printers are all good targets for reducing phantom loads. If you can feasibly eliminate these loads, you can save a lot of money over the course of the year.

So how do you eliminate phantom load? Unplugging devices every day is a hassle, but one sound alternative is the use of power strips which allow you to kill the connection to the main outlet without having to unplug devices.Check out Staples or your favorite office supply store to find a variety of options for allowing certain devices to “pass through” while others are shut off. This can be useful when you have certain devices which do need to be “on standby” while others do not.

While going green is a perfectly good reason to reduce your power consumption, the money you save on power can go to other household expenses, family vacations, and perhaps even the down payment on your next (or first!) home.

Keep an eye out for those energy vampires! Usually you can tell who they are by their LED lights glowing in the night.

I love to help my clients get the most out of their home. If you’re thinking of selling or searching for a home soon, please get in touch today by calling my office at 484-893-1234 or by email at joe@debandjoe.com.

Why Would You Use a Ceiling Fan in the Winter?

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Are you using your ceiling fans the right way?

We all know that In the summer a fan can provide cooling breezes, but during winter they can also assist in circulating warm air through your home.  The trick is understanding the switch on the fan which controls the direction of the fan blades:

During the SUMMER months, the standard setting of COUNTERCLOCKWISE provides cooling down drafts.  During the WINTER months, the reverse setting of CLOCKWISE creates an opposing updraft, which redistributes the warm air which rises to the top of the room. By pulling cooler air up from the ground, the warm air is more efficiently distributed throughout the home.

Some fans have a wall switch or remote to control the fans direction, but most ceiling fans have a simple toggle-switch which flips to change the direction of the fan’s motor.

We like to help people with their questions about their homes and hope you find these tips helpful  Remember, if anyone you know is thinking about buying or selling a home in the Lehigh Valley to give us a call at 484-893-1234 or email us at homes@debandjoe.com!