While it may sound like a tall tale best reserved for Halloween, there are vampires in your home – energy vampires. These vampires, if left unchecked, will suck the energy from your home while you sleep. Their result: they drive up your energy costs and drain your discretionary spending in the blink of an eye. Learning to recognize and eliminate these energy vampires can save your family hundreds of dollars over the course of the year.
How Big is the Energy Vampire Problem?
Katie Hill from MarketWatch reports that these energy vampires can account for up to ten percent of your total electric bill. Hill warns that while most of these energy vampires are relatively small, averaging about $5 per year each, it’s the collective sums (mobile phone and tablet chargers, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, etc.) that add up quickly.
She does go on to say that there are two big deals that many households have multiples of that can really drive up the costs – simply for being plugged in.
What are they?
One is your LCD television. Each LCD television in a home can add up to $160 per year to your home’s electricity bill. With many homes having multiple televisions the costs are even more substantial. The key here is that vampires are the things that suck energy while your devices and appliances are powered down so this number is only about the costs while your televisions are off.
The second big cost item (another that many homes have multiples of) is your video game system. This includes things like Wiis, Xbox One, PS 4, and older models that can cost up to $75 per year per system.
The U.S. Department of Energy reminds us that it’s not just televisions and gaming systems that can cause problem. Look for the ancillary devices such as DVRs, DVD players, cable boxes, audio equipment, surround sound, etc.
How Do You Eliminate these Detestable Vampires?
While most people aren’t willing to do a nightly run throughout the house unplugging everything but the refrigerator, there are things you can do that will help you curb the appetites of these vampires, including:
● Invest in advanced power strips that limit the “leakage” of electricity through devices plugged into them.
● Unplug devices you don’t use often.
● Set sleep mode on your video game consoles and computers.
● Upgrade to Energy Star devices and appliances when possible.
● Place multiple devices, such as mobile phone and tablet chargers on a single power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
Want to know another big way to save on your energy bills? Consider using a whole house fan to draw cool air into your home during the summer while pushing hot air out. This will help you save big on air conditioning costs throughout the summer when used judiciously.