How To Tame Your Home’s Energy Vampires – Texas Monthly

By TMPromotionsJuly 28, 2017

Okay, maybe not. But higher bills can sneak up on you, so below are some tips on identifying, and neutralizing, your energy vampires.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

So, good news is that more of our energy is coming from renewable sources. Not-so-great news, the average U.S. citizen uses a LOT more energy than do people in the rest of the world. To do our part to counter that, we can start by looking for several large and small ways to use less energy in our homes.

The biggest bill busters are HVAC, water heaters, lighting and washer/dryer. Things like smart thermometers, shorter not-quite-so-hot showers, LED bulbs and washing in cold water can help with those.

However, the real vampires here are what we need to curtail, because approximately 75% of the electricity used in most American homes happens while the product is not being used.

The top energy vampires in your home are:

Look at that list, and how many of those things in your house stay plugged in 24/7. Experts calculate that, with all the appliances and electronics that are plugged in and not in use, the average household adds an extra 10 percent to their monthly utility bill.

While it takes a stake in the heart to get rid of real vampires (or so they say), knocking down expensive energy bills is a lot easier than you might think. Below are some tips and tricks to help.

Of course, you cant unplug everything every day. Your cable box is most likely used every day, morning and night, and if youre like the typical household, your wireless router is in constant use. That DVR you rarely use, however, could be unplugged, as well as that guest room TV. A quick look around the house with a discerning eye will probably turn up several other opportunities to cut back.

Plug several devices into one power strip, then turn them all off and on with a simple flip of one switch. If youre going on vacation, or even just away for the weekend, toggle those strips off and the vampires melt away. There are even advanced power strips that prevent whats plugged into them from drawing power when off or not being used.These would be a great investment in a home office. Plug in the computer, the printer, the fax machine (if you still have one). Then when you power down, your electronics arent still fired up and using energy.

But after youre through blow drying and flat-ironing, unplug those gadgets before leaving the bathroom.

Ask them about the newer, much more efficient cable boxes that the industry has developed that can save you from one of the biggest vampires in your house your old set-top cable box.

Look around your kitchen. While it doesnt make sense to unplug your oven or disconnect your dishwasher, you can find plenty of other electronics and devices that once the plug is pulled can help save you money. Coffee makers, smoothie blenders, big, fat bagel toasters, hot pots and more. Or put some of those along with your energy-sucking microwave on a power strip. When breakfast is over, flip the switch and save the money.

If you dont have Energy Star appliances yet, think about switching soon. They use less when plugged in and not in use heck, they use less energy, period.

Yes, these sound like small things, but take a walk around your house and youll likely notice how many small things you have that could be adding big bucks to your annual energy bill.

After you tour your home and unplug the appliances that you use less frequently, it may be time for you to consider switching to an electricity plan will more hours of free electricity! Yes, you read that right Direct Energy offers Free Power Weekends to all Texas customers. This plan does exactly what it says, you wont be charged for the electricity supply you use from Friday at 6pm to 11:59pm on Sunday. Thats more than 100 days of free electricity, making it the energy plan with the most FREE weekend hours in Texas*! With Direct Energys Free Power Weekends plan, customers who have high energy usage activities have the greatest potential to see real savings if they simply shift their activity to the weekend.

To find even more savings, use this calculatorfrom to estimate how much energy it takes to power your electronics and appliances throughout the year.

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How To Tame Your Home’s Energy Vampires – Texas Monthly

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