By Victoria Figueiredo
Every day, you invite vampires into the shadowy recesses of your home. They’re sucking the life out of you and leeching from the scariest place of all…YOUR WALLET.
Fine, I’m not talking about actual blood-sucking creatures of the night. But I caught your attention, didn’t I? While I have you here, let’s discuss the real-life monster you should be worrying about: energy vampires. All throughout your home things are plugged into your outlets and power strips, using up power ferociously and racking up your energy bill despite the fact that you’re not even using them. Want to know how to de-vamp your home? Read on, my Helsings…
The first thing you’ve got to do is identify your areas of vampire activity. Common energy suckers? Let’s go room by room:
- The Bedroom: alarm clocks, air conditioning units, DVD or Blu-Ray players, TVs, computers, alarm clocks, chargers (phone, computer, or otherwise), gaming consoles, etc.
- The Living Room: not shockingly, the same culprits as your bedroom!
- The Office: printers, desktop computers, laptop chargers.
- The Bathroom: chargers for toothbrushes or electric razors, hair tools, and water heaters.
- The Kitchen: microwaves, ovens, coffee makers, or anything with a digital display.
- The Garage: power tools and their chargers.
Essentially, anything that you keep plugged in when not in use (with the exception of lamps and fans that are turned off – they don’t do much damage) and anything that has a digital display is an energy vampire. Think of keeping appliances plugged in while not in use as keeping your computer on standby or sleep mode – you’re not using it and it may look like it’s off, but it’s still using up power. If we monitor how much power each appliance is using when not in use, the figure might not seem so bad, but you have to consider the fact that even low power usage really adds up over time when something is plugged in 24/7.
What can you do to rid your home of energy vampires for good? We have solutions for you and, thankfully, none of them involve wooden stakes or garlic. Kill off your Nosferatus by investing in some power strips that can handle high energy loads. Plug in things like your microwave, oven, desktop, etc. and make sure to turn the strip off when you’re not home or not using the appliance in question.
If you like, you can pick your battles. Would you forget to plug your alarm clock back in every night before going to bed? Do you check the time on your oven’s display habitually? Is the thought of having to power down your desktop every day annoying? Decide where you can comfortably cut back on power suckage and focus your efforts there. Even staking a couple vampires will make a difference when you get your energy bill at the end of the month.
Some other no-brainers include investing in a timer switch for your bathroom, using cold water to wash your hands and do laundry so your water heater isn’t working overtime, and unplugging your chargers when your devices have a full battery.
Taking little steps here and there will make your home less of a horror show over time – soon your appliances will seem a little more Twilight, a little less Bram Stoker. What more could you ask for?