Are “Energy Vampires” Draining Your Bank Account?

The term “vampire appliances” refers to appliances that continue to draw energy passively, even when they are not in use. These appliances are not just a seasonal concern – items like computers, small kitchen appliances, and cable boxes will draw energy all year long. This can add up to hundreds of dollars each year on your energy bills, and wasted energy. Learn how to identify these “energy vampires” below and prevent them from draining your bank account.

In the Kitchen

Most of us have small appliances in our kitchens. Toasters, coffee makers, blenders, and counter-top ovens (like pizza or toaster ovens) are common. Since you use these appliances on a daily or regular basis, you might not think of unplugging them. On their own, each appliance probably only uses a watt or two of energy while they’re on standby, but collectively they can add up over time. Unplug these appliances when they’re not in use, or consider plugging them all in to a power strip that can be turned off with one switch. There are also smart power strips that can cut off energy to individual items that are plugged in when it detects they are not in use.

In the Bathroom

If you’re in the habit of leaving hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, or other hair tools plugged in when you’re not using them, it’s costing you energy. It’s also a safety and fire hazard if you accidentally forget to turn them off. Keep these appliances unplugged and out of the way when they’re not being used. The same goes for electric toothbrushes and other small appliances that charge items. Use them only when they need to be charging, otherwise keep them unplugged and out of the way.

In Your Home Office

Computers, printers, and other home office equipment are big culprits when it comes to passive energy drain. Unplug these items, or keep them plugged into a single power strip that can be turned off when you’re done working for the day. Smart power strips are an excellent choice for home offices since they can divert and route energy to appliances based on current energy usage. They could save you money throughout the day, even when you’re working.

In the Living Room

Most newer tv’s are energy star rated (meaning they meet requirements for being an energy efficient appliance). The accessories we hook up to them though, can be a different story. Cable boxes, DVR’s, sound bars and speakers, gaming consoles, etc are all sources of wasted energy if they are left on when not in use. The living room is another area where compounded energy use can really add up quickly. Keep these items off when not in use and consider unplugging them during extended periods of non-use (like overnight). This is another area where a power strip, or smart power strip can be especially useful.

Excess energy use is not only expensive, it is wasteful. Once study found that almost 11 million homes could be powered each year with the estimated “vampire” energy consumption of the average household. So, take an “energy audit” of your home. Identify what vampire appliances you currently have, and put a plan in place to stop their energy drain on your home and bank account!