ExposingtheVampire I have the perfect win-win situation for you. There’s a very simple way to save hundreds of dollars every year and help save the planet. The catch? You have to unplug your unused electronics and make good use of the ones that are plugged in. Vampire electrical items are everyday household appliances that are not in use but remain plugged in. Some of the most common are the home computer, the toaster and the cable box. Although these items may remain in “off” mode, they still suck energy from your home, making you and the environment pay in the end. These items may seem like insignificant sources of energy, but they still raise your electric bill while you’re on vacation, sleeping or at work. It’s a common misunderstanding that just because a device is turned off it isn’t using too much electricity. Unfortunately, many people believe this. They are constantly using energy for no purpose, and the amount of energy they’re using is significant. According to the Department of Energy, “Standby energy accounts for anywhere from 5 to 10% of an average home’s annual power usage. Convert that percentage into dollars, and you’ve got around $4 billion in wasted spending across America every year.” This is a staggering amount of wasted energy, considering that much of the world’s hunger problem could be solved with U.S. vampire energy cost. You’re probably wondering which appliances and other electronics are the worst culprits. Let’s take a look. The number one culprit in your home is most likely your television and everything hooked up to it. A plasma TV, if left off for an entire year, would cost you about $165. Your cable box would cost around $10 and your VCR/DVD player would cost you around $3 a year in “off” mode. Here’s a list from PCWorld.com of common household vampire appliances:
  • Desktop computer: $6.20
  • Laptop (fully charged): $2.06
  • LCD computer monitor: $1.03
  • Wireless router: $4.13
  • DSL modem: $5.16
  • External USB hard drive: $2.06
  • Computer speaker system: $5.16
  • Inkjet printer: $4.28
  • DVD player: $3.60
  • Powered subwoofer: $15.50
  • Microwave oven: $2.48
The most obvious way to kill the vampire in your house is to simply unplug electronics when they’re not in use. It is important to unplug virtually every appliance in your house to save on wasted energy, especially if you’re going on vacation or a short business trip. Getting in the habit of unplugging a device after you use it can have a huge impact on your wallet and the planet. If you don’t want to be bothered with unplugging and plugging everything around the house, you can purchase vampire-smart power strips. These power strips monitor the amount of phantom power the plugged-in appliances are using, and if they remain idle, the power strip will cut off power to them. These power strips cost around $30-$50 depending on the model. You could also purchase a cheap power strip and simply plug it in and switch it on whenever you want to use your devices. Another way you can put an end to phantom power is to purchase eco-friendly appliances. There are many companies that are manufacturing common household items with the built-in ability to shut themselves off or limit the amount of energy they use when idle. You may want to check out www.lowimpactliving.com for more detailed information on eco-friendly appliances. No matter which way you look at, it’s a no-brainer to start unplugging your inactive appliances. You will save tons of money every year on your electric bill and you’ll save pointless greenhouse gases from being created. Confront the vampire in your house and put an end to its electric-sucking evil today.