When talking about energy efficiency at home, appliances like refrigerators, washers and ovens are usually the main suspects, with electronics always passing under the radar. However, some figures related to habits of Australians are alarming. By 2012, there were 18.7 million TV sets in Australia, and 99% of households owned at least one.
An average owner spent two hours and 55 minutes watching TV every day. On a larger scale, that sums up to 18 hours a week or 39 days a year. After five years, those figures could have only multiplied. With such a statistics, it’s clear that changing the TV watching habits towards energy efficiency can do a lot to reduce energy consumption and the electricity bills.
Who the size fit…
If anything has changed in the world of TV sets, it’s the size. According to TV company Telescope, in 2013, more than two-thirds of purchased TVs were classified as big: from 26 to 36”, and about 16% were sized as jumbo, from 43” and upwards. The equation is straightforward, bigger screens need more juice to power it. Consider this when buying your next TV set. Bear in mind that the optimum watching distance for a 40” screen is two metres and three metres for a 50” TV. When choosing a TV, keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. A screen too large in a small room doesn’t justify the price.
Labelled for efficiency
All electronics manufacturers are required by law to stamp all new TVs with the energy label. While A- and B-rated sets were once a pinnacle of efficiency, the technology has advanced much since then. The present energy label system for TVs begins with A+++ and ends with D, the least efficient. That considering, TVs rated A and B are barely above the average by today’s energy efficiency standards. If possible, always choose a set with A+ or A++ label.
Plasma replaced by LED
These days, LED-based TVs are the most efficient commercial technology. In many ways, they are similar to liquid crystal displays (LCD), but their backlight is provided by light-emitting diodes that are extremely energy-efficient. By today’s standards, plasma screens consume a lot of energy, although they were once praised for excellent performance in reproducing fast moving pictures and rendition of black. An average plasma TV needs two to three times more energy than a LED screen. On the other hand, whichever technology your TV uses, there are tricks that can help you save energy.
Use energy-saving settings
When you unwrap and power a new TV, it usually comes with pre-set factory settings that are often much brighter than what you need at home. If you reduce the level of brightness, you’ll be able to reduce your energy consumption significantly. Many new TVs also come with an eco-mode, so their ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the backlight depending on your room brightness. So if you watch TV with the lights off, you can save 30 to 50% of energy.
If you decide on getting a custom home theatre system, certain professional will not only provide you with answers to the logistical challenges of the very installation but also give you valuable pieces of advice on how to set your TV for maximum energy-efficiency.
According to an Australian Government report from 2012, television sets account for 19% of total energy consumption in households. What is more, TVs in standby cost Australians $860 million a year. Translated into fuel burned in power plants, it equals 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The good news is that modern smart TVs have a ‘power-saving’ sleep mode, but they still suck the juice when not in use. The only way you can prevent passive energy losses is by turning the TV completely by the power strip switch or at the socket.
New TV technologies are much more energy-efficient than the previous generations. Choose a TV screen that suits your room size and keep in mind to turn the power off completely when no one is watching. If your TV features smart power-saving settings, learn how to use them and the result will soon be visible on your electricity bill.