Are Energy Vampires Draining Your Wallet?

Posted On: September 09, 2012

Energy vampires in your home are plug-in electronics and devices that recharge with those box-style charging cords or have small lights that remain on even when the device is turned off. They are considered vampires because they continue to use energy whether charging or operating. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that American consumers spend about $10 billion annually on vampire (or standby) power, which is a lot of money buying nothing in return.

If you’re like the average household, your contribution can be as much as $100 a year. Putting a stop to this energy sucking in your home puts money back in your pocket. It’s easy to do with a bit of planning and organization and may even help you simplify your life.

Gather all your chargers for devices and electronics in your home and label them according to what they charge. Digital cameras, cell phones and smart phones are all examples of energy vampires. Use a power strip for charging and turn the power switch off when a device has charged.

Larger devices that are considered energy vampires include HD televisions, especially plasma-screen models. If your television keeps its settings after you unplug it, put the TV into a power strip and turn the power off when you’re not watching it. If you use a DVR or satellite box in conjunction with a television, use a smart power strip. These have several outlets that stay live, even after you shut the strip off. Plugging the peripherals into the live outlet will keep the settings and programming active, while the TV won’t be consuming energy as it stands by.

Another way to cut your consumption of power when products aren’t being used is to buy Energy Star certified products. Manufacturers of these products have to demonstrate that they use less power in the off or standby-mode than others in their classification.

Although not classified as energy vampires, HVAC systems can use half the power consumed in your home annually. Keeping cooling and heating equipment maintained and serviced professionally once a year lowers your utility bills, too. If you’d like more information, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Metro-East area since 1951.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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