Energy vampires are devices and appliances that consume energy even when they are not being used or are turned off. And unlike the vampires from horror movies, energy vampires are not deterred by garlic.
While these energy won’t suck your blood, they can lead to higher energy rates each month. Ready to learn more? Read on for five important tips to slay your energy vampires this Halloween.
1. Beware of chargers and plugs. Energy vampires can lurk in almost every room of your home. To locate them, look for chargers, remotes, and devices that you keep plugged in, even when they aren’t in use. Following are some of the most common energy vampires that you can find:
- Coffee makers
- Hair dryers
- Desktops & laptops
- Game consoles
- DVD players and cable boxes
2. Americans spend about $19 billion annually on energy vampires. These devices might seem small, but the amount of energy they consume can add up when calculated together. The top five energy-draining culprits are as follows:
- Cable box
3. A recent study shows that energy vampires can account for up to 10 percent of residential electricity bills and can make up 1 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions.
4. There are a few ways to curb the energy consumption these devices use. To fight your energy vampires, you could invest in any of the following:
- Power strips. These are great options for turning off several appliances or devices at once.
- Smart plugs. You may not want or be able to turn off some of your energy vampires as frequently as others. For instance, your cable box will need to stay on in order to record any shows or movies. Use a smart plug so you can easily switch these devices into their “off” mode when you don’t need them
- Unplug or sleep mode. The most economical approach is to simply unplug energy vampires when they’re not in use. This approach is easiest for devices such as hair dryers or coffee makers, which you don’t need 24/7. Alternatively, for devices such as game consoles or desktop computers, be sure to put them into sleep mode when you don’t need them.
5. Investing in energy-efficient appliances and devices can help you cut down your energy consumption. No matter how diligent you are, some devices simply consume more energy than others. Opting for an energy-efficient choice can help you save energy and slim down your electric bill. Look for appliances that have been Energy Star-certified.
Halloween can be a spooky time of year, but there’s no reason to let energy vampires – or your electricity bill – frighten you! Take the time to identify your home’s vampires and pinpoint the best way to handle them. And with any luck, your vampires could even help you save energy.
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.