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What is Vampire Power Loss?

Vampire power loss is the name given to what is happening when your electronics are "supposedly off" but continue to use electricity. Many of your household electronics are designed so that they are in a standby mode rather than truly turning off. This is done so that your television, vcr, computer, and other devices can record while you are away, be more quickly ready for you to use, etc... The price we pay for this can add up quickly to the tune of $100.00 or more annually.

Power Strips that Reduce Power Loss

As technology continues to offer us new devices designed to make our lives easier and/or more fulfilling we are plugging in more and more devices in our home. All of these devices quickly overrun your small two plug electrical outlet and so we plug in power strips offering us more spots for our little vampires. Now you can purchase a "Smart Strip" that will automatically sense when a device has gone into standby mode and power it down. This saves you having to unplug the device and still save unnecessary energy consumption! Of course if you don't feel like spending money for a new smart strip you can use the old fashioned method and simply turn off the power to your old power strip each night. It's not as exciting of a method but it's very effective.

Computers, PCs, Macs, Desktops, Laptops

Computer Screen Saver y
Get rid of your screen saver to cut down on the amount of electricity your computer is using.

Many homes don't just have one computer anymore they have several. One for the parents, one for the kids, even one per person sometimes! A couple of rules of thumb will help you reduce energy loss without going to extremes:

  • Don't run a screensaver! Once upon a time monitors needed to have a screensaver to keep form "burning" an image into the screen but those days are long gone.
  • Turn the computer off when you're not using it. It sounds obvious but many desktop and laptop computers are run 24/7 out of habit.
  • If you can't turn off the computer then turn the monitor off when it's not in use. Particularly if you have more than one monitor hooked up this can save an impressive amount of energy over time.
  • Consider a laptop rather than a desktop the next time you buy a computer. Laptops typically use less energy than their less mobile brothers.

Televisions, TVs, Flat Panels

The average U.S. home has multiple televisions; as much as one per room in extreme cases. As TV sets have gotten larger and thinner their energy consumption has gone up including when they are in standby mode. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the cost of this wonderful home entertainment device though:

  • When it comes time to replace your television buy an LCD rather than Plasma. Plasma TV's will use significantly more electricity over its life, $150-$250 depending open the size of the set.
  • If you have multiple TV sets you can choose to watch your favorite shows on the smaller set. Smaller size means smaller energy consumption.
  • Turn down the brightness of your TV set.
  • Look for an Energy Star Television when you choose to buy a new one. Energy Star televisions are more efficient.

External Power Supply

Unplug your external power supply when it's not in use.

Video Games

Don't leave your console plugged in 24/7

Power Supplies (External)

Your cell phone has one and so does your laptop and they are both sucking away power when not in use. Unfortunately, those little black boxes that help your electronics get the power they need are typically plugged in all day every day. Whenever you take one of these devices make sure that you unplug the power supply from the wall as well. Granted, you might have to bend over to reach the power supply but those extra calories used will pay you back in reduced energy costs.

Video Games

Almost every home has a video game console of some kind and most are left plugged in 24/7. When you're not playing Half Life 2 reduce energy loss by unplugging. With the ability to render startling graphics these "wonder boxes" are big time energy offenders.

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