It’s spooky season, which means the weather is getting colder and days are getting shorter, leading you to spend more time at home, increasing your energy usage. There are the obvious things you can do to better manage your energy use during this time, like seal your windows, set your thermostats and pile on the blankets. But what about the not-so-obvious ways to combat high energy consumption, like combating vampire energy lurking within your home?
Vampire energy is energy leaking in the background that’s wasted from appliances and electronics when they are not in use. These appliances and electronics can take up about 5-10% of the total energy used in your home. In light of it being energy efficiency month, here are some tips to keep your appliances from creating a bill that might shock you:
Be aware of phantom appliances. For example, night lights, lamps and other plug-in light figures are great at setting the mood for bedtime routines. Often used at night but plugged in during the day, night lights are the utility monsters underneath your bed. Unplug them when not in use.
Invest in power strips when unplugging is an issue or frankly a hassle. Smart power strips allow for multiple devices to be plugged in at once, so you only have one switch to turn off. For example, as much as we love a good cup of coffee, coffee makers when plugged in are in a standby state running up your utility bill. Same with toasters. Make it easy on yourself by plugging those counter appliances into a single power strip and turning it off after fixing yourself a cup of joe.
Look for Energy Star certified appliances. They usually carry the Energy Star label and are designed to be more energy efficient. Energy Star qualified appliances use less energy and help protect the environment. The Energy Star logo can be found on everything from light bulbs to refrigerators.
Use energy saver mode on those appliances or devices that offer it. It helps turn off or put your device at rest while you are away. Some appliances such as refrigerators, washer and dryers, and dishwashers have energy saving modes that will consume less energy.
Consider upgrading your appliances. Today’s appliances offer more technology, which often leads to better energy usage. If your appliances are significantly old, then it may be time to consider purchasing new ones instead of paying for repairs. The investment now could potentially save you much more later.
Unplugging a few devices probably won’t make too much of an impact. But, if you have a house full of vampire appliances, doing these simple things could pack a big punch in helping you save on your energy bill.