Halloween is just around the corner. There could be a hidden terror lurking in your home. We’re talking about energy vampires — evil ghouls that suck electrical power from your appliances when you aren’t using them, taking a big bite out of your wallet.
Slay energy vampires with these four simple strategies:
1. Unplug devices
Unplug devices or appliances you don’t use often and those that are easy to reach as you’re heading out the door. Mobile phone chargers that are left plugged in after your phone is disconnected still consume energy. If you start factoring in all the other appliances and electronics that are plugged in and not in use, it’s easy to see why these energy vampires could add an extra 10 percent to your monthly utility bill.
2. Use power strips
Power strips let you toggle the power flow on and off. This means you can control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not at home. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off, if you have one, accomplishes the same end with even less effort.
An advanced power strip makes it even easier by turning off idle electronics without any additional steps from you.
One of the easiest places to use a power strip is your entertainment center. Older set-top cable boxes and DVRs in your living room are some of the most frightening energy vampires, as they’re less efficient than newer models. Some of these devices are constantly draining 25-45 watts of energy when off.
3. Curb idle time
Set your computer to sleep mode or power it down when you’re not using it. Do the same with your video game console instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period of time.
4. Make smart upgrades
When it comes time to send your old electronics and appliances to the graveyard, consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and use less energy all around.
Energy vampires throughout your home could add an extra 10 percent to your monthly electricity bill. Take a few minutes to find them and banish them for good!
Visit EnergySaver.gov for more tricks to save energy and money.
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