GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ) — Here’s an ¬†easy way to make an extra $250 in 2014: take common household electronic devices off standby mode, and instead shut them off entirely.

Nate Abbott of the Grand Rapids construction firm Falcon Custom Homes says taking just nine common household electronic devices off standby mode can result in noticeable savings — ranging from $160 for a plasma TV to $1.35 for an electric toothbrush.

Other electronics that can be taken off standby mode, generally by unplugging them or their charger, include computer monitors, desktop computers, laptop computers, printers, DVD players and other audio components, game consoles, and microwave and convection ovens.

The savings figures are calculated on the electric rates of Consumers Power Co. and an Energy Department list of the wattage used by devices on standby.

Other tips from Abbott and Falcon include:
* Invest in energy technology like a programmable thermostat, power timer for lamps, and smart chargers that shut down when a device is charged.
* Caulk or weather-strip air leaks around doors and windows to keep the warm or cool air in, depending on the time of year.
* Replace your furnace filter at least every three months for high air quality.
* Turn off water when brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.

Abbott noted that by putting these home-oriented resolutions into place, you will begin to find yourself with extra spending money to accomplish your other resolutions.

Falcon Custom Homes was founded in 2003 by Michigan State University construction management graduates Abbott and Dustin Carpenter. The company conducts careful energy analysis of every home it builds, making sure windows, insulation and appliances exceed Michigan energy efficiency standards. During construction, Falcon places a huge emphasis on insulation, uses Energy Star partner Jeld-Wen premium aluminum and Tyvek house wrap, and tests all its homes for airtightness.

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