In an age when everyone is plugged-in 24 hours a day, it can be difficult to save money on electricity costs. Constantly using your computers, tablets, and phones is expensive, but do you know how much your devices are costing you even when they’re turned off? Many types of electronics are considered “vampire electronics,” and they may be racking up your energy bills without you realizing it. Here are a few notes to take into consideration when dealing with vampire drain and what to do about it once you’ve discovered where it’s coming from.

In an age when everyone is plugged-in 24 hours a day, it can be difficult to save money on electricity costs. Constantly using your computers, tablets, and phones is expensive, but do you know how much your devices are costing you even when they’re turned off? Many types of electronics are considered “vampire electronics,” and they may be racking up your energy bills without you realizing it. Here are a few notes to take into consideration when dealing with vampire drain and what to do about it once you’ve discovered where it’s coming from.

What are Vampire Electronics?

Vampire electronics are devices that sap energy even when they’re turned off. These blood suckers can range from your microwave to your electric toothbrush, or any other device that plugs into an outlet. They maintain a constant current so they can be ready when you want them. While this may be convenient, it unfortunately results in a huge amount of wasted energy over time.

While any plugged-in device has the potential to be an energy vampire, the worst culprits are probably not things like your air freshener or digital alarm clock. The major offenders include devices like your computer, DVR cable box, and stereo amplifiers. The second place contenders include your laptops, MP3 player chargers, and your phone chargers. Yes, your phone charger, like your phone company, is out to leach the pennies from your wallet. These electronics need a considerable amount of energy to start up and run, meaning they increase your electricity rates even when they’re not in use.

How Much are They Costing You?

Your blood-sucking electronics probably aren’t costing you a fortune individually, but their combined energy usage can quickly add up. If you consider all the electrical devices you have in your house, you could easily be wasting a couple hundred dollars per year.

Just look at some of the numbers: a sleeping desktop computer uses 21 watts per year, and a plugged-in stereo amplifier uses 34. At an average of 12 cents per kilowatt, you could be spending $60 per year on those two devices alone.

Who knows what you could buy without vampire electronics draining your wallet? You could set aside more grocery money, start a mini-vacation fund, or buy yourself a little something nice. The possibilities are practically endless, but the first step is to stop wasting money on your electric bill.

What Can You Do About It?

There are a few steps you should take if you want to stop wasting money on vampire devices. The first thing you can do is determine which electronics are the worst offenders, either by consulting a list or buying a monitor that will let you know how much energy your devices are wasting.

You can then start conserving energy by unplugging your devices when you’re not using them. Or even better, since you won’t want to spend 15 minutes unplugging outlets every day, you can buy a smart surge protector that will do the work for you. These green power strips automatically know when you’re not using your electronics, and will cut the power to them when they’re idle.

When it comes to your electronics, you will always want to have them at your every beck and call. However, in order to save few extra bucks, patience is a virtue. Make sure to check any and all of your appliances to make sure that they’re either turned off according to your power strip or unplugged completely. Don’t let vampire electronics keep getting the best of you. Follow some of these pointers, and you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a lifetime.

What are a few extra ways you can think of to stop your vampire drain?

Featured photo credit: Side view of a young woman working on computer in dark officevia Shutterstock

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