EnergyUpgradeCA put together a list of tips to help prevent energy vampires in their tracks, while saving you energy and money.
Energy vampires are electronic devices or appliances that slowly draw power from electrical outlets, even when turned off or idle. These “phantom” devices aren’t roaming your house looking for a tasty treat, but are rather part of the large and growing number of electrical products that cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products —including TVs, laptops, microwave ovens and cable boxes— draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer.
So what can you do to get rid of these energy sucking vampires?
- Unplug devices you don’t use often.
While you may not be able to unplug all of your standby devices (alarm clock, cable box, etc.), complete a walk-through of your home to see what you haven’t used for some time and unplug it. Even daily-use items like your cell phone charger don’t need to be plugged into the outlet all day if it’s not being used. The greatest savings will come from old electronic equipment like an extra TV, desktop computer or stereo that you only use from time to time.
- Use an advanced power strip.
Advanced Power Strips (APS) look just like ordinary power strips, except that they have built-in features that are designed to reduce the amount of energy used by many consumer electronics. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end.
- Limit idle time in devices such as computers and video game consoles.
Adjusting the internal device power management settings on your computer to enable sleep mode or saving a game and powering down instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period of time can save a lot of energy and money. Other options are to use timers.
- Make smart upgrades.
When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR® certified products. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions – a savings you should take into account when comparing similar products.
None of these strategies will eliminate your electric bill entirely, but together these tricks can help you slay energy vampires while saving money, a treat you can appreciate long after Halloween has passed.
Visit EnergyUpgradeCA to learn more!