Most modern appliances and gadgets still draw electricity even when turned off– hence the term vampire power! The reason for this is, they never really power down. Most are in standby mode. Think about what you have plugged in: DVRs, computers, cell phone chargers, televisions, microwaves and coffee pots. Anything you have programmed or scheduled a task is in standby mode, which still draws electricity. Anything with a clock, such as microwave ovens and coffee makers — and even older technologies, like VCRs — need power to keep time while turned off.
You can start saving energy by connecting devices to power strips and turning off the power strips when you’re not using them. That way, off will really means off as you’ve effectively disconnected the device from the power source.
Big appliances, like dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers demand a lot of electricity and using them too often can drive your electricity bill way up. In fact, the average American family does almost 400 loads of laundry a year and uses almost 40 gallons of water for a full load. Always use the appliance to it’s fullest capacity and eliminate unnecessary loads.
Top Ten Most Electricity-Drawing Appliances
Central Air Conditioner (2 ton): 1450 kWh/month
Water Heater (4-person household): 400-600/kWh/month
Refrigerator (17-20 cubic foot): 205 kWh/month
Dryer: 75 kWh/month
Oven Range: 58 kWh/month
Lighting 4-5 room household: 50 kWh/month
Dishwasher: 30 kWh/month
Television: 27 kWh/month
Microwave: 16 kWh/month
Washing Machine: 9 kWh/month
For your dishwasher, make sure that you fill it to capacity before you run it, choose an appropriate wash cycle and change the drying setting to use no or low heat. For clothes washers and dryers, try having only one laundry day each week, fill your loads to capacity and select low heat for drying.
LIGHTING & CEILING FANS
When it comes to lighting, many people make the mistake of using lights to affect the brightness of an entire room, which can contribute to high electric bills. However, lighting is efficient only when used directly to provide light to specific areas of a room, such as couches, chairs, kitchen tables and workspaces. Full room ceiling lights are much less effective than individual lamps for providing the light you need. You’ll also pay more on your electric bill if you keep lights on when nobody’s using them.
Ceiling fans only affect the temperature of the room in which they’re installed, so it doesn’t make sense to leave a ceiling fan on if nobody’s in the room. Additionally, ceiling fans have a toggle switch that allows the blades to switch direction for optimal efficiency based on the season.
Use lighting only for specific areas that are occupied and make sure to turn off lights when those areas are no longer in use. Change out inefficient incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs to save money when the lights are on.
For instant savings on online purchases, go to www.nhsaves.com/lighting-catalog. The instant rebates are applied to qualifying products and shown in your price, and the products ship directly to you. Purchase limits apply.
Learn more about making efficient lighting choices at the ENERGY STAR website or watch this video. Turn your ceiling fans off when nobody’s in the room and be sure to set the toggle switch so that the blades run counter-clockwise during the summer and clockwise during the winter to circulate air more efficiently.
Using old appliances is probably one of the bigger reasons why you’re paying more on your electric bill. The fact is old appliances simply use more energy than new energy-efficient models. That old-fashioned refrigerator or oven might be trendy, however it may also be spiking your electric bill.
Before you purchase that new appliance, check out what rebates that are offered through NHSaves: http://nhsaves.com/nh-rebates/
Upgrade your appliances with new energy-efficient models. A new energy-efficient refrigerator, for example, uses about four times less electricity than an older model. You can even get a new model with a retro design to keep your kitchen trendy.
In today’s modern world, there is a charger for everything: cell phones, MP3 players, iPads and tablet PCs, electric razors, electric toothbrushes, laptops, portable gaming systems and a other devices. Scan your house, if you are technology enabled, more than likely you are to have these devices plugged in everywhere and drawing energy from your home — the more chargers you have, the more they impact your electric bill.
Unplug AC adapters and chargers from sockets when not actively charging a device, as they’ll pull electricity simply from being plugged in. Also, make sure to only charge your devices when they need it consider having them all on the same power strip so you can turn off strip when not needed . Keep in mind, frequent charging not only costs money, it can shorten your gadget’s battery life.