Ward off Energy Vampires this Halloween
For one night a year, ghosts and goblins roam the streets, witches take to their broomsticks, and vampires rise from the dead. While these fictitious monsters may not frighten everyone, what’s sure to give you a scare this Halloween is the energy vampire sucking the life out of your energy bill and your wallet.
You don’t need to stock up on garlic to defend yourself from this type of vampire; simply follow these steps to keep the energy sucking vampires at bay.
Unplug devices you don’t use often. This probably won’t work for your cable box or clock radio, but if you have an extra TV, an old desktop computer or a stereo you only use from time to time, you should consider unplugging them completely until the next time you need to use them.
Use the programmable or timer settings. Whether it’s a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature while you are away from your home or outdoor lighting that will automatically turn off when the sun comes up, these simple settings will ensure you do not waste energy and money.
Use power strips. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end, if you have one in your home.
Curb idle time in devices such as computers and video game consoles. Simply setting your computer to sleep mode or saving a game and powering down instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period can actually save more than $100 a year in many cases.
Make smart upgrades. When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions – a savings you should take into account when comparing similar products.
Skip the space heater. If some rooms in your house are colder than others, it’s tempting to use a space heater. They’re a great way to drive up your energy bill though and pose the threat of starting a fire. To eliminate the need for a heater, add insulation to your attic or basement. For a low cost, do-it-yourself alternative, use caulking or weather stripping around door and window frames to reduce drafts and cold spots.
None of these strategies will eliminate your electric bill entirely, but together these tricks can help you slay energy vampires while saving money, a treat you can appreciate long after Halloween has passed.