What Are Energy Vampires and How Can You Stop Them?
They want to suck your… energy?! You might not have heard of energy vampires, and if so, you could be using much more energy at home than is really necessary. If you’re responsible for paying your monthly electric bill, getting on top of your energy usage will save you money. Using less energy is good for the environment, too. So, here are some ways to identify your home’s energy vampires and stop them in their tracks.
Bundle Up – Or Cool Off
Without a doubt, your home’s air conditioning and heating are among the biggest energy vampires you deal with. You can easily cut down on heating and cooling energy use by staying diligent in turning them off when you leave your home. But what about when you’re home and you’re freezing or you’re sweating through your shirt? While you can’t make it comfortably through the coldest nights of winter and most sweltering days of summer without a little help, you can lessen your dependence on your heating and cooling by dressing appropriately, shutting doors, and circulating air throughout your home.
Unplug As Many As You Can
Besides your heating and cooling system, you’ve likely got a lot of other energy vampires lurking in your home, sucking away energy whether you’re using the appliance or not. The biggest offenders are typically your televisions, DVD players, computers, and similar devices. The Department of Energy website has a handy calculator for finding out how much energy your appliances use throughout the day. While you can’t get away with unplugging some of your biggest energy vampires, like your refrigerator, getting to some of the smaller energy-using appliances can add up. At the very least, check to see if some of your devices, such as your TV and computer, have power-saving modes that require them to use less energy whether you’re using them or not.
Buy Energy-Efficient Products
If you’re looking around you and seeing a lot of potential energy vampires, don’t be too worried. The good news is that these days, electronic devices are becoming increasingly energy efficient. The blue Energy Star sticker you sometimes see on appliances is a good indicator of how well your device makes use of energy, including when you’re not using it. While you’re at it, if your home is still using old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, it’s time for an upgrade. LED light bulbs aren’t only more energy-efficient than their incandescent ancestors, but they also last much, much longer.
Really concerned about your home’s energy use? Try changing your habits so that you rely on these energy vampires as little as possible. For instance, if you’re used to coming home and booting up the TV right away, try cracking open a book to wind down instead. Rather than using your dishwasher, make an effort to wash your dishes right after you finish with them. Now, cutting the energy vampires out of your life might be an extreme option, but if you want to save energy, this is one simple way you can do it.