Energy is something we take for granted in our everyday life. Yet we rely on it for nearly everything we do – we need electricity to power our laptops for work, charge our phones, run our appliances, keep our entertainment center live, and more. While we may be aware of the energy we’re using when we’re using these items, many of us don’t realize these household necessities are also draining power when they’re switched off. That is where implementing an Advanced Power Strip comes in handy. Here is a handy guide to how they work and how to best use them!
What is an Advanced Power Strip?
An Advanced Power Strip (commonly known as an “APS” or “smart power strip”) looks like any other power strip but has features that help us save energy and money by reducing the amount of standby power wasted by our electronics.
What is Standby Power?
Standby power is the energy that is continuously drawn by electronics when they are plugged in but turned off. Some common culprits include computers, TVs, speakers, DVD players, and gaming systems. For this reason, Advanced Power Strips are commonly used in home office and entertainment system setups.
How Does an APS Work?
Advanced Power Strips work by automatically cutting power from selected outlets when the master outlet is not in use. An APS is available with varying numbers of outlets, but all share the following:
Master Outlet - the device plugged into this outlet must be on for the controlled outlets to be on
Controlled/Switched Outlets - outlets controlled by the master outlet
Always-On Outlets - for electronics you do not want to turn off automatically
Take an entertainment system as an example. When the TV is plugged into the master outlet and turned on, the controlled outlets will turn on and electronics plugged into them can be used. When the TV is turned off, the controlled outlets and the electronics plugged into them turn off as well.How Does an APS Help Save?
By replacing our old power strips with an APS, we can significantly reduce standby power and lower our electric bill - but that’s not all! An APS also prolongs the life of electronics and protects them from power surges.
How Much Does an APS Save?
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wasted standby power adds up to approximately $200 a year for the average home.
Tier I and Tier II - What’s the Difference?
There are two major types of APSs on the market, Tier I and Tier II:
Tier I (The Basic) - This simple APS works on a basic master/switched outlet principle using current sensing technology. When the master outlet device is on, the controlled/switched outlets are on as well.
Tier II (The Upgrade) - In addition to basic master/switched functionality, Tier II advanced power strips are able to use motion and remote control sensors to control the master outlet (typically a TV). Within a set time frame, if no motion or remote control signals are sensed, the TV and subsequently the controlled outlet devices (DVD player, gaming system) are automatically powered off.
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