Tips to protect your home from energy vampires

Tips to protect your home from energy vampires

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Energy vampires can be lurking around one’s home in unexpected places: televisions, computers, and microwaves.

An array of electronic devices, often referred to as energy vampires, continue to consume energy even when not in use. While in standby mode, these energy vampires are quietly sucking energy from homes and money from wallets.

“We don’t think about sophisticated electronics consuming energy when not in use,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. “However, even when electronic devices do not appear to be in use, they can still waste energy and money.”

There are many other household appliances that are constantly using energy in addition to televisions, computers, and microwaves. These include: DVD players, cable boxes with DVR, cell phone chargers, printers, and game consoles.

Here are a few money saving tips from Safe Electricity to help put a stop to energy vampires:

  • Unplug all electronics that are not in use.
  • Avoid electronics with extra features that are not needed as these might use more energy.
  • Make sure to check the label of a product before purchasing. According to, Energy Star products draw less power while in standby mode than the average devices.

“Power strips and smart strips are great ways to minimize the loss of energy,” Hall advises.

A power strip can be used to plug in multiple electronic devices, and the power can be cut off from these devices with a simple flip of a switch. Power strips can be put to use in a spare room where electronics are not used very often or in an area where there is a large concentration of electronics like in an office.

Smart strips are set apart from power strips because of the automated ways that they conserve energy. According to, there are three main types of smart power strips:

  • Timer-equipped power strips are controlled by programmable timers, so all electronics plugged into the strip can be shut off at a designated time.
  • Occupancy sensing power strips detect active use of a device and shut down after a specific period of time if unused.
  • Current sensing power strips have the ability to cut or add power to peripheral devices when the strip senses the main (control) device is powered off or on.

Read more about home energy audits

Topics: Appliances, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Going Green, Healthy Homes

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