Dealing with Your Home’s Energy Vampires
When you hear the word “vampire,” you easily conjure images of blood-sucking undead who are terrorizing pretty ladies when they’re sleeping (or else being busy sparkling under the sun). But some might already be lurking in your home, posing a threat far greater than imaginary infection or immortality. These are energy vampires—not the psychic kind—and they’re in your home, right now, sucking money and consuming power even while they’re turned off. Their villainy involves adding up to 5–10% to your energy bills, month after month.
This is why being aware of the devices that cause a hike in your energy bills can help you manage your expenses. Some of these gadgets might be small, but they can cost you a lot in the long run. Here’s how to deal with (and slay, once for and all) these energy vampires in your home.
Modern computers have a sleep function, which puts your computer to a state of minimal power consumption when it’s idle. Putting your computer to sleep is an excellent way to minimize their power consumption, but mind that a plugged-in computer still consumes up to 21 watts even when in sleep mode. Instead, it’s advisable to use the hibernate option, which is a hybrid between sleep and shut down modes. In this state, the computer uses zero power, and though it might take a bit more time to “wake,” it’s still faster than a complete shutdown. Otherwise, unplug the computer and call it a day.
Do you have the habit of leaving your charger plugged even if you’re not charging your phone? Chargers still consume small amounts of energy if they are left connected. You can invest in power cords that automatically shut down when the device is fully charged. Better yet, unplug every after use.
Video Game Consoles
Gaming consoles are one of the biggest culprits here, but you don’t have to stop playing with them. That said, always remember to turn off and unplug the device after playing. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an individual can add at least $100 to their energy bills every year by forgetting to turn them off or leaving the game paused for extended periods. When you need to do something else, just shut it down; your wallet will thank you for it.
The Appliance Standards Awareness Project says that furnace fans make up around 12 percent of a household’s yearly electricity bill. Investing in the energy-efficient HVAC system with a variable-speed air handler will benefit you in the long run. This device can run at various speeds and uses just the right amount of electricity to power the fan. When it’s time for an air conditioner repair or replacement, your trusted plumber in Millcreek got you covered.
TVs are also one of the biggest energy drains in any home, especially modern ones with a bit more juice. A rule of thumb is that the bigger (and more high-resolution) the screen, the higher the energy consumption. A 40-inch 4K TV, for example, can consume more energy than a Full HD one of the same size. If in doubt, unplug the TV when you’re not using it.
Ancient appliances in your home use electricity even when they’re not on. For instance, an old microwave that has a digital display might not be used all the time but consumes energy throughout the day. Replace these appliances with ENERGY STAR-rated ones for more energy-efficient consumption.
Slaying energy vampires means finding where they are first. Now that you know what they are, are you still going to ignore them as they suck your wallet dry?