With 5 kids I am always looking for ways to save money and cut my expenses, especially when it comes to my utility bills. I am always walking around the house turning off lights that the kids have left on and trying to run the appliances at non-peak hours, but I had never really given any thought to what “vampire” devices were doing to my bill–until recently that is!
All of us have items in our home that use electricity 24 hours a day, and some of those are necessary like our refriderators and heating systems etc. Others are plugged in but are not actually in use all the time and these are what we call “vampire” devices. That means that they are sucking up energy even when not in use.
For instance, I have a printer on my desk that I often forget to turn off. This printer often resets itself so there have been times when I have actually been woken up from sleeping by the sound of the printer restarting itself. My husband and I joke that our dog must be printing out stuff in the middle of the night while we are sleeping. It’s not a laughing matter however, because every time my printer resets it is using electricty and costing me money to run–even when I don’t need or want it to be running.
There are ways that you can cut down on the amount of energy usage from these devices and here are some tips to get you started!
6 Ways to Lower Electric Bills
1. Plug electronics into a power strip and then when not in use you can turn off multiple devices with the flip of a switch.
2. Look into purchasing Energy Star labeled devices–this is especially important when purchasing large appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers etc.
3. Always turn off game consoles when you are finished using them.
4.If you don’t plan on using your computer for a long period of time the put it into sleep mode–the average household can cut their energy usage from electronics by 60% just by using the sleep mode TIP: Screen savers don’t actually save energy, your best bet is to actually turn the machine off.
5. Use non-electronic devices when possible, for instance, why use a large, electric food processor when you can do it by hand or use a hand powered food chopper? It works just as well, with no electric needed and it is easy to clean!
6.Finally, invest in a Solar Powered Charger . They charge by using the power of the sun and then you can charge your phone and ipods from it. These are especially useful to have during power outages and are great to have in your car when you are traveling in case you break down.
Bonus tip: Purchase a Electricity Usage Monitor to see how much energy the items in your house are actually using. I recently decided to try and find out just how much those “vampire” devices are costing me so I pulled out my P3 International Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and plugged it into my printer for 24 hours. I then was able to compare the amount of Kilowatts per Hour my printer was using and figure out that it costs me over 30 cents per month just to run it.
Now, I realize that it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal since it is only 30 cents BUT that is just one machine, and that one machine costs me over $3 to run each year. Think about all the machines you leave plugged in all the time that don’t need to be, such as your DVR, your computer, radios, laptops and basically anything controlled by a remote control. If you have 20 items that cost you $3 a year to run that means you are wasting $60 a year on “vampire” items so it does add up over time.
Making small changes like this can lead to big savings over the course of a year and they don’t take much time at all to make them. Isn’t it worth the try?
Disclosure: I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and received promotional items to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own.