Did you know that there may be several small vampires around sucking up your power? Up to five percent of your energy is getting drawn through your outlets without your real consent or awareness.
Although I’ve spoken about these vampires before in the Frugal Living Blog, I thought it was appropriate to mention them again here in the Computing blog for three reasons. One is that it is Halloween today, and talking about any sort of vampire gives in to the spirit (pun intended) of the holiday; two, most of these vampires have a lot to do with computing and technology; three, CNN is running an excellent story in which they mention how these vampires actually affect the issue of global warming.
So where are these vampires and how are they sucking out your power? The vampires are electronic devices that rely on standby energy. They draw energy from your home when you think they are just dormant. Some of the best examples of vampire electronics, the real energy suckers include the following:
- Cell phone chargers
- Microwave ovens
- Coffee Makers
- DVD players
- Electric toothbrushes
- Portable tools
Anything that displays a clock or has a remote to turn it on is a vampire. These devices will consume 40 percent of their energy while fully charged or in standby mode. Things have gotten so bad with all of our increased technology that it has caused at least one state to pass a proposal about these vampire electronics. Called (no kidding) the Vampire Slayers Act, the proposal requires consumer awareness labels to be added to these vampire electronics. The labels must detail exactly how much energy is being consumed when off or in standby mode.
So how can you address the vampires in your home? We have done two things in our house. One, we put the Television, VCR, DVD and digital cable box on an outlet that can be shut of with a light switch. When we aren’t actively watching television or a movie, the switch stays off. In the kitchen, our microwave is plugged into a power strip. We use the switch on the power strip to turn the microwave on to use it. Then we turn the switch back off. We don’t have a coffee maker or other kitchen device that draws energy at rest, but if we did, we would employ the same idea. It gets tricker for computers in our home. I use computers all day for work, and we use them to pay bills, do research, get news and play games. We make it a habit to shut them down at night, so for at least eight hours they aren’t drawing power.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.