There’s a lot of big ideas for how to make an office greener, from uploading your office onto the cloud to biking your way to work. With all the outlets you have for making a greener office, there may be a (literal) outlet you’re overlooking.
Your surge protector.
It’s probably better known as that hunk of plastic you plug any of a thousand devices into. You may look at it as a necessary evil, but, with a little know-how, it can save energy in surprising ways.
Keep in mind, a surge protector is a little different than a power strip. Chances are, if it looks like a flimsy hunk of plastic, it probably is. While they give you extra places to plug in, they’re more likely to act as fire hazards than power-savers. It only takes one misstep to know – that burnt power strip smell never goes away. If you’re wondering what a real surge protector looks like, here’s a few suggestions.
Here’s how they help you stay in the green.
1. Protects against surges
It may seem obvious, but a catastrophic surge is just that: catastrophic. Everything plugged in, from your computer to your lamp, becomes hunks of plastic and metal in the garbage. And, burning through tech isn’t green.
2. Keeps power stable
The power that comes from your outlets isn’t always stable. It varies between acceptable high and low amounts. While this is fine, most electronics prefer a stable medium. Line conditioners on most top rated surge protectors help keep power in the happy medium range, reducing strain and wear on your devices.
3. Avoids “no-save” sorrow
If you’ve ever been working along to have it all wiped out because of a power outage, you’ve experienced ‘no-save’ sorrow. A built-in battery backup can help. While it won’t keep you going indefinitely, the extra few minutes of power is usually enough to hit the save button and power down your equipment.
4. Eliminates power vampires
It’s not quite Nosferatu, but your equipment is always drawing power — even when it’s off. This power draw, known as vampire power, can be eliminated with the use of switched outlets on a surge protector. By completely turning off the surge protector, you eliminate the small power draw that can become a big expense.
5. Triggered outlets keep power in check
Some surge protectors allow for outlets that automatically switch on or off depending on whether a master outlet is drawing power. For example, If your computer is switched off in the master outlet, the surge protector automatically turns off your printer, desk lamp, and computer speakers. It’s also one less thing to remember at the end of the day.
It’s easy to see how a piece of equipment can keep you in the green and save you some headache. Whether it’s keeping your office equipment out of the dumpster or preventing unwanted power draw, a good surge protector is a welcome addition to any office.
Adam Melton is a consumer electronics blogger and staff-writer at Vann’s Electronics, a Montana-based home electronics store which has been delighting users with top rated electronics and appliances at the best prices and providing outstanding customer service for over 50 years.