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How Vampire Electronics are Running Up Your Electric Bill

How Vampire Electronics are Running Up Your Electric Bill

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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