How to save electricity automatically by using a built in timer. The green industry pundits are always complaining that we should turn off our electrical appliances when we are not using them. That is just plain common sense but where the real problem lies is in remembering to turn off whatever it was you are no longer using. That is easier said than done as self remembering is about the most difficult thing there is to actually do. The problem is similar to going on a diet to lose unwanted weight. The latest wrinkle on the green guilt agenda is to go around and turn off your appliances that have a standby feature. Those options on our electrical devices were just installed a couple of years ago to help us save energy but they are no longer adequate and now these standby power savers are a problem. For some items like TVs the standbys not only make the devices come on more quickly when you turn them ON but also they help save the components from the shock of going from an OFF condition to an ON condition. The electrical shock of being turned on shortens their life expectancy.
There is a simple solution to those problems in this modern electronic age and that is to have the clock timer which is already built right into many of the various devices we already use to have the additional ability of noting down what time of day we turn the device ON and when we turn it OFF. This slightly smarter device could then totally turn OFF the device if you typically do not turn it on again for several hours. So if you typically turned off your TV at 11:30 PM the device would power down your set completely but if you watched intermittently between 6 PM and 11:30 it would only power down to the standby setting during those hours. That way the TV would be ready for a quick turn ON during your normal viewing hours but would automatically turn totally OFF over night. The user wouldn’t actually have to remember to do anything since everything would be automatic. If you decided to turn on your TV at an unusual time, say 10 AM it would have to power up from the full off position but the next couple of days it would automatically warm up five minutes before you turned it on today. It would do that for a few minutes after that time and then power back to full off. It would have at least a week of programmable memory so your weekend schedule would be different from week days. Possibly you watch some particular program once a week and it would soon learn that and warm up the TV before you came to watch the show.
A quality which could also be built into this type of OFF/ON operation is that it could be designed to power slowly. Normally a person wants the TV to come on instantly and the device’s engineered trade-offs are built to satisfy that want without causing unnecessary stress on the components. However, with an automatically slower power up feature built into your electronic system it could come on slowly a few minutes before you were expected to turn it on. The build up of electrical power to normal operating condition would heat and stress the components less and cause fewer failures of the parts.
This system could and should be built into the electricity consuming devices by their manufacturers but a home built timing device could get you half way there. Purchase an electrical timing device, available at any hardware store, and plug it into the circuit between your power outlet and your electrical devices or your power bar. Set the timer to turn OFF at a time that you normally go to bed and turn ON again at a time before you normally use the device. That way even if you use stuff all day and evening it will still be off for eight hours per day and save a lot of electricity which is wasted in the standby condition.