October 10th, 2019
On Halloween, it’s likely you have vampires lurking around your home. Not only the kind that ask for treats, but “energy vampires” that suck the money from your wallet. Our home’s appliances and electronics — from coffee makers to TV’s and gaming consoles — often suck up power even when they are not being used. Some products can even consume as much as 25% of their full power when turned off. This wasted energy can contribute to high electric bills.
Be aware of the most common energy vampires:
Most kids keep their video game consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox, always plugged in, making them easily accessible for quick gaming. The scary part is that these consoles are still draining power, even while sleeping.
Toaster & Coffee Maker
Most of us only use our toaster or coffee maker for a few minutes each morning, but we keep it plugged in at all times. Toasters, microwaves, and other small kitchen appliances can quickly add unused energy to your bill and become costly. When you add up all the time your microwave spends in “standby” mode, it actually consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food.
The cable box and DVR are some of the most well-known energy vampires. These boxes are always on to record shows and still operate at nearly full capacity, without providing any benefit. It’s like leaving the lights on in a totally empty house.
Remember, anything with a LED display is a vampire! Alarm clocks, cell phone chargers, as well as space heaters and air conditioning units are still costing you money when unused.
Unused energy can account for 10 percent or more of your electricity bill. Stop energy vampires from taking a bite out of your wallet by taking these steps:
1. Unplug devices you don’t use daily. For instance, check electronics in the guest bedroom or a second fridge in the garage that is rarely used.
2. Unplug devices that are fully charged, such as electric razors and power tools.
3. Unplugging everything is unrealistic. Instead, use smart power strips with on/off switches to easily turn groups of electronics off when not in use, effectively reducing unnecessary electricity consumption and saving money. This is an inexpensive and easy solution. When you’re ready, turn the power strip on and all your appliances are ready to go!
4. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics, which are vampire-proof. ENERGY STAR has made it their mission to cut standby power consumption in its products and use less energy all around.
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