It sounds ominous, but there are vampires lurking in your home. Instead of being the ‘undead’ though, they’re electronics. They don’t drink blood, they steal electricity, even when not in use.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, the idle load of electricity used in the average US home is almost 23 percent of total household electricity consumption. If all homes in the US reduced the number of devices that were “always on,” even when idle, consumers could save $8 billion on their annual electric bill.
Especially in the summer, vampire devices can put a strain on your utility budget. Your AC is already working overtime to keep your home cool, and your electric bill has most likely shot up as a result. So, to keep costs down, don’t let these vampire devices steal from you. Simply unplugging them or putting them to sleep when not in use can make a difference.
Here are the devices you should be wary of.
In your office
There are more than 25 devices throughout your home that draw power when sitting idle, and a lot of them live in your office. Especially if you have a full home office set-up, leaving everything plugged in all the time is a great way to use up more electricity than you need.
Devices like printers, computers, cell phone, and computer chargers all use energy even when they’re not in use or put into sleep mode. Even the energy-saving mode some devices offer is still using energy they don’t necessarily need to use.
A great way to remember to control these devices from the idle funneling of electricity is to connect them all to the same power strip. Then, at the end of the day, or when they’re not in use, flip off the power strip. This saves you the time of having to unplug or turn off every device in your office.
In the living room
Living rooms today are full of electronics, and just about all of them continue using power even after you turn them off. This includes your TV, stereo, and all those video game consoles.
Since most of these devices are often in use during the day, it’s hard to constantly unplug and plug them back in over and over, but you still have options.
Instead of worrying about them during the day, unplug them all as a part of your nighttime routine. Right before you go to bed, cut any power strips off or physically unplug the major electronics in your living room. Keeping them off all night can save money and energy.
In the kitchen
Not all electronics in the kitchen are worth messing with. You should always leave your dishwasher, oven, stove, and refrigerator on, no matter how much energy they use, but there are other devices you can address.
Big energy stealers in the kitchen include coffee makers and microwaves. Any appliance with a digital clock or programmable settings is going to use energy even when it’s not in use, so when you’re not using it, consider unplugging it. And, if you can’t unplug, make sure you’ve got Energy Star appliances to make the most efficient use of the electricity they do need.
Saving more than just electricity
When you aren’t letting vampire devices steal your electricity, you’re doing more than just lowering your utility bill — you’re also helping the environment. Reducing the amount of electricity you use also lowers the amount of carbon dioxide emissions coming from your home. In fact, the same adjustments that prevent idle electronics across the US from stealing power can help keep 44 million metric tons of CO2 out of the air.
The ability to reduce your carbon footprint by stopping vampire devices is a great way to get involved at home, but that’s not the only place where you can make a difference. You can also offset your carbon footprint by being conscientious about where you fill up your car with gas.
At Twice Daily, through the Thrive program, up to 30 percent of your car’s tailpipe emissions are offset every time you fuel up with Twice Daily fuel. This is done by investing in certified carbon reduction projects around the world. It’s not the same as unplugging your vampire devices at home, but Twice Daily Thrive has the same goal, making our environment cleaner and safer for a long, long time.