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Guide: Manually eliminate parasitic loads

Steps to get it done:

Check out this guide, and get motivated
Trying to remember to turn off everything each time you leave the house can be annoying, but there is an easy way to make it easier on yourself. Rather than turning off or unplugging each device individually, you can group devices together onto power strips to be able to quickly turn off groups of devices.
Step 1: Identify Potential Parasitic Loads
Look around your house/ apartment for devices that might have parasitic loads. Keys to look for to identify these:

  • It has a wall wart (AC->DC power supply that looks like a block and plugs into the wall)
  • Soft button (if you don't feel a click when you turn the device on, it probably has a parasitic load)
  • No power button (If there isn't a power button the device will probably always be on)
  • LEDs/LCD displays (If there are LEDs on or an LCD display when you aren't using it)
Gotchas:Unless you know what you are doing don't put any natural gas appliances (eg stove) on a power strip
Step 2: Group Loads together
You now need to figure out which loads go together. This is both based off of physical location and usage of the devices. Any devices that are all used at the same time in the same area can go together onto a single power strip. Examples of groupings include:

  • Computer setup (Computer, monitor, printer, router, modem, speakers etc)
  • Home entertainment (TV, VCR, DVD, speakers, game consoles etc)
Gotchas:Don't put a device that will need to be on all the time onto one of these strips.

If you have a battery backup for your computer, put the power strip after the battery backup (otherwise it will draw from the battery when you turn it off)

If you have a set of rarely used devices you can chain them off of a more common power strip (say you only use your printer once a month). That way they will turn off with the other devices, but you don't need to turn them on with them.
Step 3: Install Power strips
The key to installing the power strips is to put them somewhere where you can easily reach the button to turn them on or off. If you bury them under your desk, you won't remember/bother to turn them off, but if they are easily reachable, it adds almost no effort once you establish the habit. Gotchas:Don't make it too easy for the switch to get accidentally pushed (either by you or your feline friends)
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