Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kill the Vampires in Your Home

That's right there are vampires in your home! Not the blood sucking vamps you see on Twilight or Trueblood. These are energy vampires items in your home that suck energy while not in use or in stand-bye mode. This is also known as phantom draw or phantom load. These are items are usually electronic devices like your cable box, flat screen TV, cell phone chargers, computer, and ect. While turned off these items account for about 10-15% of your total annual energy use. So that means you are paying $150-$300 per year just to have your electronic devices in your home plugged IN and not in use. The home of 2009 uses about 5x more energy than a home of the 50's.

This is all great to know, but the question is how do we kill all the energy vampires in your home. Well here are some ways to do just that:

1. Have all your energy supplied by a renewable source: If you have all your energy needs supplied by solar, wind or some other renewable source then you have no worries. But if you have gone threw the trouble to do this you have probably put in all the devices necessary to kill your vampire draw. If you haven't you should because this lessening the load on your renewable system and could mean money in your pocket if you are still tied into the grid and get a rebate from your power company for the energy you put back on the grid.

2. Just unplug your vamps while not in use: This is the easiest and cheapest way to handle the problem, but is a pain and is just not practical for most people. No one wants to take 10-15 mins out of there day just to plug and unplug all there electronic devices in their home.

3. Install energy smart power strips: Energy smart power strips(pictured to the left) allow you just plug in your vampire devices and the strip recognizes when the device is not in use and cuts the power to them. More of these types of devices are coming on the market every day and come on many sizes, shapes, and prices. They can range anywhere from $15-$100 it just depends on the make and model. The type that most people would need runs about $20-$30 and is sold at most major retail chains. This is the cheapest and most convenient way for most people to get rid of the phantom draw.

4. Install a Greenswitch system: Greenswitch puts you in custom control of your electricity usage. With Greenswitch, you designate which outlets and lights are affected and you set the personal settings for your programmable climate control. Single-control outlets let you customize each outlet, allowing you, for example, to turn off the TV in one plug while keeping the digital video recorder in the other socket of the same outlet on and recording. You can also set your system up in zones, where one switch powers down your living area when you retire and another switch controls the home office that is used late into the night. This system also ties into your heating and cooling systems allowing you shut every thing off with one switch when you leave the house. This system is wireless and is great for large homes. The only down fall is that this is the second most expensive way to get rid of your vamps.(#1 is going renewable). If you want to know more just hit this link or you can look to the Internet for ways to get ride of phantom draws in your home.

If you do any of these things you can kill the energy vampires in your home!


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