Beware of vampires!

Did you think that vampires were pure myth? We’ve got some scary news. You may have one or two in the room with you right now…

Energy vampires, that is!

Ok, ok, enough with the corny jokes. The fact is, most of us live with electronics, like cell phone chargers, coffee makers, microwaves, and video game consoles, that suck up electricity even when they’re switched off. The Department of Energy estimates that these may add as much as an extra 10% to your monthly utility bill. And think about that tax the environment is paying for energy that isn’t doing much for us.

How can you identify the energy vampires in your house and what can you do to slay them? Electrical company Duke Energy suggests you turn off your overhead lights at night and look around for little standby lights. Any appliance that has one is likely a vampire.

Lucky for us, energy vampires are pretty easy to put to rest. The Department of Energy suggests these four tips:

  • Unplug. Try unplugging toaster ovens, coffee makers, chargers, and even computers or TVs when they’re not in use.
  • Plug appliances into power strips. This makes it easy to switch off a whole group of devices at once. Some more advanced power strips can also turn devices off for you when they detect that they are not being used.
  • Use sleep mode. If you’re not using a computer or video game, why not take a couple of extra seconds to shut it down or put it in sleep mode?
  • Upgrade your devices. When you’re ready to replace an old appliance, look for the Energy Star logo. These devices are designed to use minimal standby energy.

Interested in calculating how much vampire energy you might be using? Try this handy calculator.

Now go slay those vampires!

P.S. Big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan? Check out this sweet tribute to the show on its 20th anniversary.