Are energy vampires stealing all your hard earned money?
An energy vampire is a device which continues to gobble electricity when not in use, on standby mode, or completely switched off, while being plugged in. This continuous consumption of energy causes wastage and increases your energy bills. Energy conservation is an important thing today as it directly impacts the environment. A recent report has indicated that 32 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2012 were caused by electricity generation.
Dependency on Electricity Grows
When we compare our household electrical appliances today with those of 50 years ago, we observe that we are much more dependent on them. There is equipment like computers, computer-controlled washing machines, microwave ovens, dishwashers, and smart-phones, which have made life easier but have certainly contributed towards an increase in energy consumption. All these devices continue to use energy even when on standby mode and thus inflate our electricity bills. To get a perspective about energy vampires, an air conditioner in standby mode consumes about 1 watt, whereas a TV consumes a whooping 43 watts when switched off. All this adds up to a large amount of energy wasted by each household.
How to Reduce Energy Waste
The next question that arises is what you can do about it. There are ways to reduce the energy wastage from such devices. The easiest is to plug in these appliances and especially the chargers for laptops and mobile phones into a power strip. When you are not using a device the power strip may be turned off, stopping all the power wastage by the devices. Always program your computers to switch over to sleep mode when it is not used for a specific period of time. Adjust the heating and air-conditioning of your house as per use. The rooms which are not occupied may be disconnected from the heating or cooling circuit, and the most efficient way is to use a programmable thermostat so that the house is heated up or cooled just before you arrive and switches off when you leave.
Additional Ways to Save Energy
There are other ways to save energy. You can start by keeping you appliances clean, especially the HVAC system, which requires regular cleaning of the filters and scheduled HVAC maintenance. The temperature control of your refrigerator can be reset to a lower setting during the winter.
The washer can be set for low energy use – low temperature setting during winters as clothes gets less dirty during winter months compared to summers and low temperature setting will work quite well. Light bulbs should be kept clean as dust accumulation will cause the light to be dimmer. The fireplace damper should be kept closed when not in use. Hot water leaks should be fixed immediately as heating water uses energy and leaking water causes precious energy loss.
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