With Halloween approaching, thoughts turn to ghouls and goblins and other scary creatures. But one of your biggest fears – if you are concerned about your electric bill – is probably already in your home. Your appliances, if left plugged in 24/7, may be conspiring to send your electricity costs to a terrifying level – even when they are turned off! The reason is that when left plugged in constantly, some appliances still continue to draw energy at relatively high levels. Energy efficiency experts estimate these “vampire” appliances can cost the average household around $200 per year.
Here are some ways to avoid getting sucked dry:
Regularly unplug the worst offenders
Audio equipment, computers, DVD players, gaming systems, modems, printers, scanners and TVs can use power while turned off and as such, are good candidates to be unplugged when not in use.
Use a power strip
Plugging in and unplugging several different appliances each and every day can be a hassle, so to make it easier consolidate as many electronics as possible on power strips with on/off switches.
Familiarize yourself with how long it takes your laptop, cell phone, tablet or portable music players to charge. Once they are fully charged, unplug them and turn them off so you avoid unnecessary transmission of electricity. Try to charge these devices in the evening, before you go to bed, so you don’t have to leave them plugged in all night while you sleep.
Get smarter electronics
More and more gadgets are being made to realize when they don’t need to be pulling power anymore. When buying electronics, chargers or power strips, look for ones that shut off automatically after a certain amount of time not in use.