Beware of energy vampires this Halloween

October 26, 2020   By Caitlin Cosper

Beware of energy vampires this Halloween

Many people enjoy the spookier parts of Halloween. And whether those parts include witches, ghosts, or an ongoing global pandemic, this year’s spooky season is sure to frighten. But there’s one threat that can impact your home year-round: energy vampires.

Energy vampires might not be able to suck your blood, but they can certainly drain your wallet and impact your electricity consumption. Ready to learn more about how to fight energy vampires? Hint: your stash of garlic will have little effect on these guys.

What are energy vampires?

An energy vampire is a device or appliance that consumes energy and drains power even when you aren’t using it or have turned it off. You probably have one or two of these appliances in every room of your home, whether it’s the phone charger in your bedroom or your kitchen’s coffee maker.

And while many of these appliances are smaller than, say, your refrigerator, energy vampires can have an impact on how much you pay for electricity each month. Experts from the U.S. Department of Energy estimate energy vampires can account for up to $200 a year added to your electric bill.

So, what do you need to know to slay your energy vampires? Read on for SaveOnEnergy’s tricks – so you only have treats this Halloween.

What are the most common energy vampires?

The easiest way to find energy vampires is to look for appliances that you normally leave plugged in, even when they aren’t in use. For example, the hair dryer in your bathroom can actually consume energy all day even though it isn’t turned on. Looking for chargers or plugs can help you likely find your vampire.

The simplest way to combat all of these electricity consumers is by unplugging them. This can be a hassle, so consider investing in smart plugs or power strips to make this an easier habit to form. And, of course, opting for more energy efficient appliances will always cut back on how much energy your home consumes.

In your kitchen

It’s very easy to overlook energy vampires in your kitchen because of the sheer number of appliances that you may leave plugged in. While many of these appliances are small, the amount of energy they consume can really add up. According to Energy.gov, you could reduce your energy bill by $10-20 annually in your kitchen alone.

Here are some of the most common energy vampires that you might have in your kitchen:

  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Electric kettle
  • Espresso machine

In your living room

Energy vampires can lurk in your living room, too. In fact, the living room can often consume the most electricity in your home – some common devices drain 25-45 watts of energy even when they’re turned off. The best option for fighting off energy vampires in this room is to make use of your power strips so you can “unplug” these devices all at once.

When hunting for energy vampires in your living room, look for these common devices:

  • Cable box
  • Game console
  • Speaker system
  • DVR

A quick word of warning: some of these devices are easier to turn off regularly than others. For example, if you plan to record a show on your DVR or cable box, you will need to have the recording device turned on. Depending on your habits, it might be easier to hook up one or two of the important devices to a smart plug so you can make sure it is turned on when you need it.

In your bathroom

The bathroom tends to be the land of tiny energy vampires. The good news? They’re pretty easy to handle. Before leaving the house each day, scan your eyes over the bathroom counters to make sure you unplugged all of your devices.

Here are some of the most common vampires you might find in your bathroom:

  • Hair dryer
  • Curling iron
  • Electric shaver
  • Electric toothbrush

In your bedroom

There are a few energy vampires that may be resting near you each night. Consider some of the following items to look out for:

  • Cellphone charger
  • Space heater
  • Electric blanket
  • Humidifier
  • Essential oil diffuser

Unplugging these devices can also make your bedroom safer each night. Items such as space heaters or electric blankets can cause fires if not used properly or if they malfunction. Be sure to turn them off when they aren’t in use.

In your home office

Especially in the time of COVID-19, your home office may be one of the most important rooms in the house. Unfortunately, this means there are several energy vampires that have made themselves comfy in this room. According to Energy.gov, a desktop or laptop computer can suck 15-21 watts of energy even when idle. Turning just one these appliances off could save up to $20 each year.

Here are some of common energy vampires you can find in your home office:

  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • Printer and scanner
  • Chargers for phones, computers, printers, etc.

Using power strips can help you fight these energy vampires, but you should also consider energy efficiency when shopping for a new computer or printer. When combined, reducing the amount of electricity your devices consume every day can add up to a fairly sizeable Halloween treat – a lower number on your monthly energy bill.

Want to learn more about these secretly scary vampires? See SaveOnEnergy’s complete guide to Mapping Vampire Energy.

 

Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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