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Energy Vampires

The Elusive Enemies of Efficiency in the Home

What are Energy Vampires?

Energy vampires are plugged-in electronics and appliances that continue to draw electricity even when not actively being used. Common household energy vampires include:

  • TVs
  • Digital TV converters
  • DVD players
  • Cable/satellite boxes
  • Video game consoles
  • Stereos
  • Printers
  • Computers

In fact, nearly anything that uses a remote control sucks up electricity even when it has been turned off. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy vampires can account for up to 20 percent of your monthly energy bill and cost the average American household approximately $100 each year in wasted electricity costs.

Your home entertainment system is a feast for energy vampires:

Your television and other devices used with it, such as speakers, DVD players, DVRs or a cable box, continue to use electricity even when the TV is off. The same applies to your home office system in that your computer, scanner and printer all continue to use energy even when off. It takes electricity to power the clocks, indicator lights and display screens of all these electronics.

Use advanced power strips to slay the vampires:

You could reduce vampire electricity by unplugging each appliance, but that’s a lot of work. A smarter way is to use an advanced strip as a central “turn off” point. Available at most hardware stores and electronics retailers, the vampire-slaying advanced power strips sense the electricity passing to the appliances they serve. When a device is turned off, the advanced power strip shuts off the residual power flow, or “Vampire Load.” It also shuts off flow to peripheral devices, such as speakers, DVD players, DVRs and cable boxes, when the device plugged into the main socket, such as a TV, has been turned off.

Advanced power strips also feature color-coded outlets that correspond to different kinds of devices, as well as some with outlets that never turn off. You might use that latter outlet to power your DVR, for example. You’ll never miss your favorite show and still save money. Click here to take this step and save.

Once your advanced power strip is installed, you’ve succeeded in cutting vampire power to your secondary devices. If you want to cut vampire power to your other devices as well -- for example, to your TV when you’re going away for a few days -- you can simply switch the strip to “Off,” just as you would on a conventional power strip.

There are other ways to slay energy vampires:

The other way to prevent electronics from wasting electricity is by unplugging them after use. This is often the best way to prevent cell phone chargers, coffee makers or MP3 players from wasting energy. Click here to take this step and save.

However, with the tangle of cords behind today’s home entertainment systems and desktop computers, advanced power strips offer an easier and more convenient solution.