A few minutes ago, I almost passed out in my driveway. Not because it’s 97 degrees and muggy, but because I happened to open my electric bill before I made it inside.
And that’s while keeping my A/C at 80 degrees, keeping the house dark when not home, and waiting until I have enough laundry to warrant using the washer. It’s not like I live in a large house—it’s quite small, actually (2 bedrooms, 1 bath). Right now I rent—so I can’t go tearing all of the window seals apart, jam new insulation into the attic, and install a more cost-effective air conditioner.
There’s been a heatwave sweeping the East Coast this week, so I’m not the only one out there with an insanely high bill. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s coming.
This is the Black & Decker AutoSwitch. While it is no solution to my problem, it’s a step in the right direction. The AutoSwitch is a device that goes over an existing light switch and converts it into a motion sensor so that you never leave the light on in an empty room by mistake. All it takes is a screwdriver, and you’re set—no wiring necessary.
Once installed, it requires 3 AA batteries to operate. It can be set to turn the lights off at 1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes after activation. A manual override is available (in the form of a switch) as well.
Stay tuned for more energy saving tips here at FIY. And don’t worry. I don’t mind sitting here in the dark. Really. Not at all. It’s cooler and cheaper.
by John Barker