Sucking the blood from their victims in the dead of night, vampires are one of the more evil villains conjured up by the human imagination. There are, however, certain types of bloodsuckers that are far more real – those that could be lurking in your home right now! Now before you rush to the local grocer for garlic and wooden stakes, some clarification may be in order.
Sometimes referred to as “power vampires”, many appliances and electronic devices can consume electricity while not in use, or even when they’re turned off. Almost any product with an external power supply, remote control, continuous display (including an LED), or charges batteries will draw power continuously. Power vampires are one of many things that drive up electricity use and drain your bank account, and according to Enmax are estimated to account for up to 10 per cent of an average household’s electricity costs.
With mid-winter the peak season for energy consumption in Alberta, CREB®Now is offering a few tips to help rid your home of these real-life vampires.
1. Unplug it.
With so many devices drawing power even when turned off, the one way to ensure you’rnot being sucked dry power wise is to simply unplug devices when they’re not in use. To further cut back on power savings, make sure to unplug chargers for electronics when they’re not needed since they draw power even when not connected. For example, that plasma or LCD TV in your living room sucks around $5 a month out of your wallet, even when you’re not watching it, according to a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
2. Plug it in.
To make things easier, multiple vampire devices can be plugged into a single power bar, making turning off multiple devices as easy as flicking a light switch. Certain power bars, called Green Strips or Smart Strips, even cut all power to vampire devices when one main device on the strip is turned off. For around $30, such devices have one control outlet that is always on. Once this device, for example a television, is turned off, all peripheral devices (game console, PVR, etc.) will also shut down.
3. Get rid of it.
For every useful device that we have in our homes, it seems there is another we could likely do without. From the bedside clock radio made obsolete by the invention of the smartphone, to those older, less efficient appliances like the fridge or freezer in your basement or garage, the energy consumed by those forgotten devices can add up to serious dollars. An older refrigerator made around 1990 – the type that many have in their basements – consumes approximately 1,044 kwh of electricity per year, meaning you’re shelling out around $150 every year to store freezer burnt steaks and skunky beer.