By: Josh Walejewski
Read Time: 3-4 Minutes
Homeowners beware, for in the darkest corners of your sanctuary lurks a sinister presence, ready to drain your energy and haunt your electricity bill. These nefarious energy parasites, also known as “energy vampires,” lay in the shadows.
Disguised as innocent phone chargers, cable boxes, and electronic apparitions, their true presence is most easily detected in the dead of night. As we approach the spine-chilling season of Halloween, it’s time to expose these phantom energy suckers and put an end to their reign of terror on our electricity bills!
In this eerie edition of our October blog, we delve into the mysterious world of energy vampires. Prepare to be both spooked and enlightened as we reveal their sinister secrets and unveil tactics to thwart their insatiable thirst for energy and power.
What Homeowners Need to Know About Energy Vampires:
Energy Vampires are electronic devices or appliances that maintain a parasitic grasp on our electrical outlets. These devices continuously siphon power even in their supposed slumber, whether powered down or in standby mode.
The Spooky Stats About Energy Vampires:
Statistics vary, but experts say vampiric energy consumption in an average home ranges between 5 percent to 10 percent of your household energy use. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports the annual cost of vampire energy adds up to approximately $19 billion in the United States or approximately $165 per household.
More frightening facts about energy vampires:
- According to the same NRDC study, the average American home has 65 devices that are always plugged in, most of them still draw energy when we think they are off.
- Vampiric energy translates to the equivalent of 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants’ worth of electricity per year in the US.
- Wasted electricity from energy vampires contributes to 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
How to Hunt Down Energy Vampires in Your Home:
Energy vampires come in all shapes and sizes. One of the easiest ways to unmask these energy leeches is to seek them out in the dead of night. Once day has given way to night, turn off all the lights in your home and look around. Do you see beady little red and green eyes peering back at you? Don’t be alarmed if you do. Many of the most common energy-sucking culprits give themselves away due to their standby lights.
Another tell-tale sign of an energy vampire is if its power supply has a black box either in the middle of the cord (laptop power supply) or at the end of the cord (trimmer or toothbrush charger). Even devices like cell phone chargers continue to leach energy whether your phone is fully charged or plugged in at all.
Most Common Energy Vampires:
- Cable boxes/satellite boxes
- Internet routers & modems
- Stereos/surround sound systems
- Devices with LED displays
- Cellphone chargers
- Power tool battery chargers
- Portable or cordless vacuums
- Game consoles
- Microwave ovens/air fryers
- Coffee makers
Tactics for Slaying Energy Vampires:
When it comes to slaying energy vampires around your home, forget about wooden stakes, silver bullets, and garlic. These modern vampires have different weaknesses than their supernatural counterparts. Here are some of the best tools and tactics to keep in your arsenal to defeat even the most powerful energy vampires.
Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips are your silver bullet for safeguarding your home from these modern-day vampires. They work by reducing your power usage through automatic power cutoff to devices in idle or standby mode. Many smart power strips have slots for both “smart outlets” and “always on outlets” if you have devices that require constant power. Another awesome feature of many smart power strips is WIFI connectivity. This lets you control the power strip remotely from your phone if you need to turn power on/off for any connections.
Regular Power Strips:
Old-school power strips, while not as convenient as smart ones, are still effective in reducing energy drain. Remember to manually turn them on and off, especially for devices like phone chargers, cordless power tool chargers, or bathroom items like electric toothbrushes, trimmers, and hair dryers.
For devices that aren’t used frequently, like extra TVs or cable boxes in guest rooms, simply unplug them. The electrical draw of these idle devices isn’t worth the cost.
Leverage Power-Saving Features or Use Timers
Make use of energy-saving features like sleep mode in computers/tvs to reduce idle power consumption. Over the long term, doing so can be well worth it. For devices without built-in features, consider purchasing plugin timers. Outside of there use for Christmas lights, homeowners often overlook their value.
Research Before You Purchase
When replacing old electronics, choose energy-efficient products with lower standby consumption rates. Look for energy star labels or built-in features designed to combat vampiric energy.
As we bid adieu to these energy-sucking creatures, remember that taking action against energy vampires not only saves you money but also contributes toward a greener planet. This Halloween season, let’s slay those vampires and banish their haunting presence from our homes!
Read more blog posts from Kettle Moraine Heating & AC.
About the Author
Josh is a professional marketer who has worked in the HVAC industry since 2017. With a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree (B.A.A.S) in marketing and sustainable business management from the University of Wisconsin, he has a passion for all aspects of HVAC, business, marketing, and environmental stewardship.