Slay Energy Vampires
Candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns, corn-stuffed scarecrows, ominous tombstones, and hanging skeletons lend a spooky feel to the night, but it’s the ghoulish energy suckers lurking inside your home that should really give you a fright. Electricity vampires—televisions, phones, fax machines, computers, cell phone chargers—are sucking your Watts even when they are not in use.
Just take a walk through the house in the dark and you’ll see their phantom red “standby” lights glowing eerily in the shadows. What can you do to banish these demons? Cut off their power supply. Plug such devices into smart strips, which sense when you shut down and turn off the electricity to select receptacles. You can also connect entertainment systems and the like to ordinary power strips that are easily switched off when you’re finished watching the latest episode of True Blood.
Simple steps like these cost little, yet they can cleave up to $35 from your annual electricity costs, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute. And if that puts you in the mood to lock more power plunderers in the dungeon, we have just the bag of tricks.
Lock Up Tight
Check the Attic
Switch the Lights
Cost: $3–$9 per bulb
Annual savings: $7 per bulb?
Mummify Your Pipes
Find these tips and more in Audubon’s Energy Guide.