Tips to Creating a Green Home Theater

by Michal on November 3, 2009

Home Theatre

Perform an Energy Audit
One of the first steps you should take in “greening” your home theater is to perform an energy audit. By doing this you can locate the inefficiencies that are costing you money. These inefficiencies can come form electronic devices that use more energy than needed, inefficient lighting, and even drafty windows and outlets. Performing an audit will help you pinpoint the exact locations that are using excessive energy and from there you can make repairs or replace devices with ones that are better qualified for saving energy. There are many products available that will get you started with your audit and start saving you money. Some items that have been featured on ESG that can help you with your audit are: The Thermal Leak Detector, P4320 Kill-A-Watt Power Strip, and the Watts Up Internet Enabled Power Meter.

energy star logo

Use Energy Efficient Products
The typical home-theater setup includes a TV set with cable or satellite hookup, a DVD/CD player, a receiver, and two to eight speakers. It is reported that home electronic products such as the ones used in home theaters make up about 15% of a household’s annual electricity bill and many of these products are using energy even when they are in the off position.

Energy Star products use up to 30% less energy than products that don’t meet the government standards. Setting up your home theater system involves choosing between a vast array of components from different manufacturers. Purchasing an integrated system is sometimes the most green approach because each individual item in the package is designed to work together and save the most energy. Here are some quick links to Energy Star components:

One eco-friendly option is to consider buying refurbished components, this can save resources and money while not sacrificing performance. If you are upgrading your current system remember to recycle the old components. Consider several eco-friendly options for getting rid of your old equipment. If all the items are still operational, donate them to a church or school, post an on-line ad, or sell them at a garage sale. If the equipment is beyond repair, visit earth 911 to find the closest recycling drop-off centers nearest you.

Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
LED light bulbs have been around for years, but it has only been recently that their quality has been improved enough for them to be used as a primary light source. Like with many products we use, not all are created equal which is why it is recommended to choose LED lighting that meets the Energy Star requirements. You know when your buying an Energy Star product it has been tested and meets strict efficiency and performance criteria. Energy Star qualified LED lighting uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting which means you can expect to reduce your energy bill just by changing out your light bulbs. All Energy Star LED lighting comes with a minimum three year warranty which exceeds the industry standards. LED bulbs are not nearly as fragile and they won’t break like a typical bulb.

Use A Programmable Thermostat
One sure way to lower your heating and cooling bill is to use a programmable thermostat. These thermostat is designed to help you save money and conserve energy all while reducing your impact on the environment. They are typically easy to use and allow you to program your settings five to seven days at a time. The average household spends $2,200 a year on energy bills and half of that goes towards heating and cooling. By properly setting a programmable thermostat you could save about $180 a year on your energy bill.

Don’t Waste Energy
Even if you don’t own Energy Star or your just not ready to upgrade, you can still take steps to control power usage around your home. The most obvious one is to turn off equipment and lights when you aren’t using them. Many electronics aren’t really off when they’re in the off position and since unplugging all your electronics when they aren’t in use is a bit impractical you should consider using a product like the Niles’ APC-2 current-sensing switcher. As the name suggests, this product senses when you turn on the receiver and switches on the rest of the equipment or turns the equipment off when not in use.

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