Published on September 24th, 2018 | by Sponsored Content
Destroy These 4 Energy Vampires Sapping Your Home
If you’re committed to creating a sustainable home environment, you’ve likely covered all the major areas of concern: insulation, double-paned windows, and Energy Star appliances.
What many of us miss out on, though, are those energy draining vampires that drive up your energy costs and damage the environment a few watts at a time. By identifying and eliminating some problems throughout your home, you’ll see a measurable difference in energy efficiency and move closer to living your values.
Strengthen Those Seals
The main reason our refrigerators and ovens become less efficient over time isn’t that they’re just getting older. No, as the appliance ages, the seal around the refrigerator, freezer, or oven door can become less secure. The seal may crack, tear, or get holes in it, or it may simply stop holding firm to the opposing surface when the door is closed. Regardless of the source of the issue, though, when this seal loosens, the appliance begins to use more energy in order to maintain the proper temperature. This isn’t good for the refrigerator or your energy consumption.
One of the simplest ways to identify seal issues in a refrigerator or oven door is by using the dollar bill test. Take a dollar (or a piece of paper) and place it across the seal and close the door, leaving room to grasp the bill. When you try to draw the bill out from the seal, you should feel a slight resistance if the seal is tight. If there is no resistance, you’ve found a weak point and need to make repairs.
Deep Clean Coils
In a similar vein to the problem of weakened appliance seals, many appliances begin to draw extra energy over time because they’re dirty. It really is that simple. Be sure to regularly clean your air conditioner filters and coils, the coils behind your refrigerator, and the inside of your oven and the cooktop. The oven and cooktop tend to pose the biggest problems because something is always spilling, so be proactive about home maintenance and clean up spills and messes when they happen.
Get Off Standby
Very few people today shut their computers all the way off when they stop using them; we just put them to sleep so that the devices will conserve energy – and so that we won’t have to waste time turning them on later. And then there are all of the little items around our homes, like the microwave or oven clock, that operate in “standby” mode most of the time. In other words, they aren’t in use, but they’re still drawing energy, and they typically do so in a highly inefficient manner because your microwave was made to cook food, not to tell time. It isn’t optimized for this operation.
Instead of letting devices remain functionally “on” while out of use, power them down and unplug them entirely. Even when turned off, these devices will act as energy vampires, drawing small amounts of power from the socket.
Beware Of No Load Cords
Just like those standby devices, we leave many of our outlets today in a state best understood as “no load.” Sometimes referred to as “wall warts” to denote their unpleasant, useless nature, no load situations are those in which we have a charger plugged into a socket but no device plugged into that charger, so if you have one computer charger for home and another for work, at least one of those is most likely always in a state of no load. Even without a device on-board, these chargers pull energy, and larger chargers, the “bricks” attached to computers, DVD players, and other electronics, draw a greater amount. Just unplug them when not in use and let these vampires starve.
Energy waste in an inevitable part of modern life – and it’s a principle of physics – but that’s no reason to exacerbate the situation. Instead, focus on minimizing waste wherever possible, starting at home. Those energy vampires are costing you money and burning fossil fuels for no reason at all.