Get Rid of Energy Vampires! Simple Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill

Get Rid of Energy Vampires! Simple Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill

If you’re looking to lower your electric bill, consider using some electricity saving tips that can not only reduce your monthly bill but help you save money year-round. By getting rid of energy “vampires,” just about anyone can cuta large chunk off their energy expenses.

Lowering electricity usage adds up over time and many consumers are surprised at how much they save just by unplugging a few items, using power strips, and paying attention to which appliances are energy vampires.

What is “Vampire” Energy?

So-called vampireappliances get their name because they constantly drain energy from your grid, a practice that ends up costing you money even when you’re not using things like computers, cell phones, televisions, and similar vampire appliances. The key characteristic of vampire appliances is that they constantly drain power from your outlets and run up your electric bill.

Some vampireappliancesonly use a tiny amount of electricity per hour, but they’re like leaky faucets. The “drip, drip, drip” of electrical energy adds up from day to day, week to week, and month to month. When you finally review your electric expenditures at the end of the year, you’re surprised at how much you spent.

What are the Biggest Vampire Appliances in Your Home?

You probably don’t have more than a dozen or so vampire appliances in your home. However, some consume much more energy than others, so it’s best to know the biggest culprits. For example, TVs are, by far, the major vampire appliances for most homeowners, and that’s even without add-ons like cable boxes and DVRs. On the low end of the vampire appliance spectrum are smaller items like phone chargers, modems, and printers. The following list describes all the common vampire appliances, in order from least costly (at the top) to most costly (at the bottom):

  • Computer modems
  • Computer-connected printers
  • Chargers for phones, laptops, and tablets
  • Blu-ray and DVD players
  • Satellite and cable television units
  • Common kitchen appliances
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Consoles for video gaming
  • Televisions
  • Televisions with attached cable boxes and/or DVRs

It’s not necessary to unplug everything on the above list in order to save money. But try to do as many as you can, based on your individual situation, the number of vampire appliances you have, and your technical capabilities. Above all, check every item in your living space that is plugged into a wall and decide how you can stop the constant flow of electricity.

What’s the Cost?

Everyone has different habits, living spaces of different sizes, and varying costs for each kilowatt-hour of electricity based on where they live. But on average, a U.S. household can save several hundred dollars per year simply by eliminating vampire energy loss. Note that you don’t have to get rid of any appliances, devices, or equipment in order to save. You merely need to unplug certain things, use power strips, and take some other precautions. If you’re careful and make a comprehensive plan, the time is well spent. You’ll be on your way to reducing your annual energy bill by a significant amount.

What Can You Do to Prevent Energy Vampire Waste?

You have the power to reduce the vampire energy. Here are some tried-and-true suggestions that will get you started off on the right foot:

  • Use power strips: It’s a hassle to go around your house unplugging dozens of things every night or whenever you leave home. Using power strips can solve that problem. You can plug multiple devices into each strip. Then, when you decide to retire for the evening, simply click the “off” switch on all your power strips to prevent electrical vampire energy from flowing out during the night.
  • Decide what you can unplug: For practical purposes, you won’t be able to plug everything into a strip, so make some decisions about what appliances and devices you can leave plugged in and which ones you want to unplug. A good example of something to leave plugged in is a refrigerator. However, if you don’t use your microwave oven very often, go ahead and unplug it until you need it.
  • Be careful with chargers: If you regularly charge up your phone or laptop on a wall outlet in your home, remember to unplug the charger when the device is full. If you leave it plugged in, it will continue to drain electricity. That’s why it makes sense to avoid leaving phones, laptops, and tablets plugged into a charger overnight or while you’re away from home. These small, extremely convenient device chargers can cost you more money than you think, so use them wisely.

Power strips are inexpensive and you can purchase them in any retail or hardware store. Even some convenience stores sell them. The point to remember with strips is to use one or two for each room, preferably two in the kitchen, two in the living room, and one in each bedroom. Most consumers find that arrangement works well. If you use the list above as a guide, it’s obvious that TVs, gaming consoles, and all kinds of computers are the biggest vampire appliances of all, so make sure to get those items plugged into your power strip.

In the kitchen, make some judgment calls about whether you want to unplug the microwave. Don’t put the refrigerator plug into a power strip. You want the fridge to stay on at all times and it’s not designed to plug into a strip.

Monitor your electric bill after you get your strips set up and you’ll be able to see how much money you save annually just by getting rid of vampire energy.

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