AMERICAN households spend fortunes on their energy bills on vampire devices, and they could save by simply unplugging them.
It was difficult for many to avoid high inflation last year.
But now things could get worse as some states have seen temperatures in the triple digits during the heatwave, forcing households to increase utilization of their cooling systems.
According to the Energy Information Administration, electricity costs in June, July and August are expected to average $176 per month.
While some may not be able to help themselves in the unbearable heat by lowering their refrigeration temperature, there are so-called “vampire devices” that could skyrocket your running costs.
These are electronic devices that literally suck the money out of your wallet when they are not being used or are in standby mode.
Here are four common household items you might be able to unplug when not in use to save $165, according to a recent Natural Resources Defense Council study.
Everyone at home has at least one charger somewhere in their house.
This includes cell phones and laptops as they are both essential to getting through the day.
However, they could offer real value if you have multiple devices connected or live with others.
This is especially the case at night when you are sleeping.
You can save more than $20 a year by taking some out when not in use.
Computers – be it a desktop computer or a laptop – can be just as expensive as chargers.
First, note that turning it off doesn’t completely stop power consumption.
In addition, additional devices such as monitors, modems, printers and routers also prove to be expensive phantoms.
Many experts recommend turning off the computer if you plan to be inactive for more than 20 minutes, and shutting down the computer and monitor if you’ll be away for two hours or more.
Properly turning off your computer and monitor, and unplugging your printer when not in use, can actually save you $25 a year.
Leaving the lights on in the house is an absolute no-no.
It’s also a double disadvantage if you don’t have lamps that are energy efficient enough.
Both could add up.
Depending on how energy efficient your lightbulbs are, it could cost you as much as a cent per lightbulb for every hour you leave the light on.
Now think of a living room with four lightbulbs—if you leave those lights on while you sleep every night for a year, you’re costing yourself more than $50 a year to light up a room you don’t even use.
And if you haven’t already, try switching to LED light bulbs to maximize your savings in this area.
And perhaps the biggest culprit of all might be your TV.
While the device only amass about $10 worth of phantom loads a year, don’t forget about the stuff plugged into it.
If you have a cable box, you’re probably losing another $10 a year if it’s turned off, and the same goes for any audio or speaker systems you might have hooked up to your TV.
The biggest culprit of all is the DVR, which can consume up to $30 worth of electricity every year.
Gaming consoles use power even when they are off and can cost a few dollars per system over the course of a year.
Unplugging these devices could save you $20 to $70 a year on your bill.
ANOTHER WAY TO SAVE MONEY
Keep in mind that vampire gadgets may not be the only thing costing you.
If possible, consider adjusting your thermostat.
That’s because, according to the Department of Energy, you can save up to three percent for every degree you raise your thermostat to in the summer.
How high you want to set the value naturally depends on how much your body can tolerate.
But you could potentially cut your electric bills by as much as 57 percent by making the change.
For more relevant stories, a savvy consumer uses a full-time shed to save money.
And simple tricks helped a mother of two save $60 a week.