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
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:
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:
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.
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.