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Vampire Appliances a Myth?

Several ideas how to lower our energy waste at home. Vampire appliances really waste a ton of electricity.

Vampire Appliances


Vampire Appliances a Myth?

First things first, what are the “vampire appliances”?

Vampire appliances are all those electronics around the house that are using some electricity even if they are off or on “standby mode”.

We are talking about the dishwasher, microwaves, DVRs, video consoles, computers, phone or tablet chargers, stoves, monitors, TVs, internet routers, cable boxes, coffee makers, etc. Imagine all those appliances that are connected to the power outlet and even though they are off or not in use, they are still sucking power.

They say that in America, about $19 billion is wasted on electricity every year. We are evolving and the way we are doing it is being more and more dependent on electricity. With that said, this $19 billion will increase every year. I understand that we need our electronic devices to be ready whenever we need them. However, there are ways to cut or reduce energy usage while all those appliances and electronics are on standby mode.

The Standby Mode

As mentioned above, the “standby mode” is like having an electronic on a “sleep mode”. We have this mode so the electronic is ready for us to use at any given moment. Now, do we really need standby mode on a DVR or our computer? A laptop can waste 30% of its battery when leaving it on sleep mode overnight.

It was said that TVs could get damaged if we unplugged from the power outlet. That might be true, however, new Smart TVs are built in a way that it’s ok to eliminate the power source from it.


Solid State Electronics

I just read an article about solid-state electronics. Some time ago I was building a PC for my kid and the salesman at the electronics store was telling me about solid-state electronics, I had no clue what he was talking about. I was into building the PC, I was thinking about speed and graphics, including the power source, but energy consumption was not my concern at all.

Anyways, solid-state electronics are those devices that have no moving parts. Think about this for a moment, we used to have the hard drive on our computers that was an actual moving disc. Anything to move needs power and where did the power come from? From the standby mode of the PC.

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Source: Wiki Solid-State Electronics

Intelligent Chargers

Nowadays we are having smarter phones. New tech on the phones is telling the phone when it’s fully charged so it won’t demand more energy from the source. Also, older phones can get hot when we leave them plugged in after are charged 100%. This will cause damage to the processors and screen.


Smart Power Strips

I have always been practical with power strips. I was able to find some cool gadgets and I found this smart power strip. Some of our electronics we want always plugged in, like our alarm clock. Now, we have some others that do not need to be using electricity only when there is a device demanding energy. Those outlets will not suck any energy when there is no electronic to charge.


Smart Outlets

This is taking your vampire appliances ordeal to a whole new level. Home automation is a new thing, with smart outlets, you can control which outlet needs to stay providing energy and which outlet can be completely off. An example, the stove, microwave, washer, dryer, coffee maker, etc. All those devices have a clock or in most cases, a little tiny LED light on. Well, that can drag some electricity. From your smartphone, you can tell which outlet to be powered by and from what time to what time. In this case, and as many of us, we have a routine, and for many of you, your coffee is made at the same time, every single day. You will have the coffee machine ready for you when you usually use it.


Killing the Vampire, is it worth it?

I do believe that we can do a lot more of what we are doing to save our planet. If there is little or much to do about it, just do it. Now, every effort we do to save energy will be reflected in your energy bill. As an example, if you went solar and for some reason, you were not able to reach the 100% offset from your solar system, try all these ideas. Make your home smarter and you will see that eventually, you will reach that 100% you wanted.

Knowing how much electricity you use every day will make you challenge yourself to use less electricity every day. This is another way to reach your energy-saving goals.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Gabriel Cueto

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