According to the US Department of Energy, phantom energy vampires can add 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill. Read on to find out how you can kill these blood suckers for good (and you don’t even need any garlic)...
I don’t want to alarm you, but right now as you read this…there are vampires in your home.
No, I don’t mean 400-year old Transylvanian men with a cape fetish. The vampires I am talking about are much more discreet. You may be sitting next to one right now as it sucks power from your home and money from your pocket.
The vampires I’m referring to are the everyday appliances, gadgets, and electronic equipment right in your own home that quietly suck energy even when they’re turned off. This phantom energy loss is a result of the standby modes common in modern equipment. Even when turned off, these devices are ready to respond to commands from a remote control. This state of readiness requires power.
And the problem is only getting worse and worse as we welcome new electronics into our home. Just think about all the smart phones, pads, and other gadgets in your home that need to be charged. If you leave those charge cables in all the time you’re constantly wasting energy because they are using power even when there is no device plugged into it. Those are some pretty sneaky energy vampires!
Designing devices that are ready to operate or receive signals at all times is convenient, but it’s certainly not energy or cost efficient. Phantom energy loss can add hundreds of dollars per year to the average electric bill, not to mention the added strain it causes on the Earth’s energy reserves. Eliminating energy vampires will not only help you save money, it will help sustain the environment too.
Which devices use the most phantom energy?
Basically any device that has a standby mode, a remote control, or a display. Chief culprits include computers, cable boxes, cell phone chargers, and any appliance that has a built in clock. Yes, you’re paying for the phantom energy used to power that clock in your microwave or coffee pot.
How to Stop Energy Vampires
The first step to eliminating energy vampires is identifying which devices are causing the most phantom energy loss and unplug them when they’re not in use. To save yourself some hassle, plug all of your home entertainment and computer components into a power strip so you can turn off everything with just one switch. Just don’t forget to flip the switch off when it’s not in use!
To track down the energy vampires in your home you can use a power usage meter like the Belkin Energy Use Monitor. Simply connect your various electronics and appliances to the energy monitor and it will tell you exactly how much electricity it is using.
You can even enter your own actual cost per KwH as taken from your utility bill and it will calculate energy usage by day, week, month, or even over the whole year. And once you identify the vampires that are sucking up all of your energy you can unplug them when not in use.
If you have older, inefficient air conditioners or refrigerators you might me shocked to discover how much you can save by trading them in for newer models that are more energy efficient. The upfront cost may seem steep at first but you’ll be saving money every month going forward.
An energy monitor has been on my wishlist for awhile but I haven’t had the extra cash to pick one up. When I do buy one finally I’ll post my findings here on this blog. I’m dying to find out how much I can save by killing all those phantom energy vampires!Last updated on