3 ‘energy vampire’ appliances that are costing you money
Even if you try to buy only energy-efficient appliances, some are just designed to let power go to waste. Whether it's that one clock in the kitchen no one ever looks at or the computer in the basement that barely hooks up to the Internet, every home has a handful of "energy vampire" appliances that constantly leech power from the grid on your dime. Do your part for the environment – and your utility bill – by removing these wasteful products today.
1. Traditional water heaters
Most energy vampires suck energy and drive your electricity bill higher through something the U.S. Department of Energy called "standby power" – the energy an appliance uses when it is turned off but still plugged in. Anything with an indicator light, such as a computer or TV, may still draw energy after you have hit the power button.
However, it is not just electronics that draw standby power from your home. Traditional hot water heaters that constantly apply flames to a large reservoir of water are not just leeching energy – they are burning it up way faster than your flat screen TV. A gas or electric tankless water heater eliminates standby loss by heating water only when you need it at a faucet or shower.
2. Computers and video game systems
If you are going on vacation, you should unplug any appliance that will continue to turn itself on while you are away. While you may need your desktop at home to stay connected to the Internet to check work messages or retrieve files on your local system, these machines are best unplugged if they will be left alone for a week or more.
Depending on your individual setting, some video game consoles and computers may turn themselves on to run automatic virus scans or other activities. If they fail to shut off, this can burn more energy and damage your monitor.
3. Phone chargers
You probably take one with you, but if you have a spare charger at home, the DOE recommended that you unplug it. Even when your phone is not connected, the average charger still draws 0.26 watts per second. If this does not seem like much, consider that each home as about 25 similar energy-leeching devices bumping utility bills up. Unplug one charger before making your way to every other one in your home.