Did you know that you’re sharing your home with “energy vampires”—electronic and electrical devices that continue to suck electricity even when turned off? On average, these items are responsible for an estimated 10 percent of the electricity you use every month. Here are tips that can help you drive a stake through the heart of these vampires, saving energy and money.
Unplug. Unplug. Unplug. This probably won’t work for your cable box or wireless router, but if you have an extra TV or some other electronic device or appliance you don’t switch on often, you should consider unplugging it completely until the next time you actually use it.
Plug your appliances into 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 are 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.
Curb idle time. Simply setting your computer to sleep mode or stopping a game and powering down your video game console instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period, could lead to bigger savings.
Make smart upgrades. When it comes time to send your old electronics and appliances to the graveyard, consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR devices. The average household owns 24 electronic products, which account for roughly 12 percent of home energy use. When shopping for electronics, consider purchasing ENERGY STAR-certified products, which can be 70 percent more efficient than conventional models.