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Most modern electronics draw power even when in “standby” mode — turned off but still plugged in.  The Smart Strip helps you reclaim those expensive wasted watts by automatically killing power to accessories when you turn off the “main” device.  For example, when you turn off your computer, it powers down your speakers, printer, etc.

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Here’s another Toolmonger item from way back that’s a good deal right now: Meritline has the Kill-A-Watt listed for $20 right now — about $2-$3 cheaper than normal — and while we did find it for $18 from one other mail-order-only shop, Meritline beats ’em out on shipping. 

The Kill-A-Watt not only shows you the voltage and frequency that the power company is delivering to you, it also shows you how much power the appliance it’s connected to is drawing.  It’s a kick-ass (and inexpensive) way to “energy audit” your home, and I’ll bet we all have older power tools around that draw power just from being left plugged in or left in standby mode.  With the Kill-A-Watt we can know.  

The Kill-A-Watt [P3 International]
Kill-A-Watt Model P4400 for $20 [Meritline]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]

 
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Myself writes: “So, you’ve sealed all the gaps in your home’s skin, added insulation in all the right places, and maybe taken the plunge on some new windows.  An energy audit is the next step to efficiency, and the Kill-A-Watt is an affordable way to get started.

“It shows you the voltage and frequency that the power company is delivering, and measures the amount that your appliance draws.  It tells you amps, watts, Volt-amps, and power factor.  (At DC, watts and VA are the same thing, but in AC, a phase lag between the voltage curve and the current curve causes non-unity power factor, which is why your computer’s UPS might be rated to drive 700VA but only 450 watts.)  Having this information is essential for UPS sizing, energy planning, and circuit troubleshooting.”

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