How to use your gadgets more efficiently

In an age where gadgets play a major role in our everyday lives, it can be easy to forget just how much energy they consume. Whether you're playing games on a laptop or sending messages from a smartphone, there's no end to the amount of energy we use.

However, the good news is that there are some steps you can take to reduce the electricity needed to feed our obsession with technology. Follow these top tips and your energy bills could thank you for it!

Switch to a laptop

If you usually play games, send emails and perform other tasks using a desktop computer, then it could be time to upgrade to a laptop.

They will use far less energy over their lifetime than a desktop and with technology becoming increasingly more efficient, there's no reason not to make the change. Figures published by Forbes suggest a laptop costs an average of $10 a year to operate, which compares to $45 for a desktop.

Look for products that come with an Energy star rating for extra assurance that they're not going to end up costing over the odds.

Be smart when charging your phone

Although modern day smartphones might seem like the answer to all our problems, they do come with one difficulty - a rapidly depleting battery. This inevitably means you end up spending long than you'd like charging them, which also runs up your electricity bill over time.

There are some ways to make sure your smartphone is being charged up more efficiently. For example, switching it to flight mode will ensure the battery is back in operation much faster than if you leave connectivity running. Bear in mind, however, that this will disable all messaging, call and internet functions.

Remember to uplung your charger once you've finished with it, or at the very least, turn it off at the socket.

Don't use standby mode

Games consoles and TV sets are among the worst offenders when it comes to using standby mode. Instead of reaching for the standby button, why not switch them off entirely? It's a task that will take matter of seconds, but could shave several dollars off your energy bills over time.

Data from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that switching off a TV using the remote will save around 5.15 watts of electricity. This compares to 5.99 watts simply by switching it off fully.

Posted by Richard West