Reading this article will help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year from your electrical bill. How? 10% of the average electric bill is for appliances that aren’t even being used. These poorly made “vampire appliances” use electricity even when they are turned off or in standby mode. Here are some of the biggest vampire electronics in the average home and how you can slay them.

1Video Game Consoles

Do you own an Xbox or Sony PlayStation? Gaming consoles are very power thirsty vampire electronics. Unplug them when not in use. Gaming consoles can cost you $65+ a year each, even when they are turned off.

Annual vampire power cost: $65+

2Flat Screen TVs

Your flat screen TVs are probably the biggest vampire power devices in your home. They can cost you $150 a year each when not in use. If you have TVs in rooms you don’t often use, like guests rooms, then unplug them.

Annual vampire power cost: ~$150

3DVRs & Cable TV Boxes

Your DVR and cable box aren’t as bad as your TV, however, they are probably costing you about $10 each per year in vampire power. But weigh the pros and cons before you pull the plug on these items. Your DVR obviously won’t record while unplugged. And your cable box might take a few minutes to reboot everytime you plug it in. One solution might be to just unplug them before you leave on vacation

Annual vampire power cost: $10+ each.

4Computers

It might be time to double-check the energy-saving settings on your computer. Your desktop can cost you $35+ and laptop $20+ in vampire power a year.

If you have a desktop, turn it off when not in use. Or at the very least, make sure that the monitor is off. Admiring your pretty screensaver each time you walk by your computer may not be worth the cost. Disable screensavers and make sure all of your computers have sleep mode enabled. Both your computer and monitor should go into energy-saving mode several minutes after being left idle.

Annual vampire power cost: $35+ for desktop computers, $20+ for laptops

5Phone Chargers

Most households will have a variety of chargers for tablets and smartphones. But chargers can cost you about $5 each annually even when they aren’t charging your devices. It’s convenient, but also costly, to leave these plugged in all the time. Pull the plug when not in use.

Annual vampire power cost: ~$5 each

6Printers

Most households only use their printers a few times a month. But plugging and unplugging it when you need to print is extremely inconvenient. One potential solution is to optimize the energy-saving features of the printer. Newer models will have sleep modes that use less power.

Annual vampire power cost: ~$5 each

7Kitchen Appliances & Other Misc Vampire Electronics Items

Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Use Monitor: See how much different devices cost to use on a yearly or monthly basis

Your kitchen probably has a variety of appliances like a microwave, blender, coffee maker, toaster plugged in right now. Leaving all of these appliances plugged in will cost you about $5 each per year.

Elsewhere in your home, like the basement, playroom or garage, you might have drill chargers, DVD players, clocks that no one uses or rechargeable kids toys. Unplug them all. Anything with a remote control, lights/indicators or clock display is probably an energy vampire.

Annual vampire power cost: ~$5 each

Simple Ways To Slay Vampire Power

You can save a lot of money simply by unplugging vampire appliances that suck power when they are not in use. But all of that repeated plugging and unplugging is very inconvenient. Here are some better solutions.

Energy Usage Meter: Not all appliances are the same. Your flat screen TV actually might not be a huge energy vampire. You can know for sure by testing the potential vampire power devices in your home with an energy usage meter ($15-30 on Amazon). Electricity usage monitors help you track your energy consumption and determine energy saving opportunities. Belkin makes an excellent one that shows you the dollar amounts devices use either monthly or annually.

Advanced Power Strips: An “advanced power strip” ($20+ on Amazon) is different from a regular power strip. They cut power flow to idle devices. It’s a good idea to get advanced power strips for locations with multiple vampire power devices like by your TV. This way you can plug your flat screen TV and gaming consoles into one strip.

Advanced Power Strip
Belkin 8-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector with 6-Foot Power Cord, 2160 Joules (Pictured Above)

Power Switch: Much more convenient than juggling plugs, a power switch ($6+ on Amazon) makes it easy to turn off individual appliances like coffee makers when not in use. These switches are small are barely noticeable.

Grounded Power Switch
Triple Plug Outlet Adapter with On/Off Switch (Pictured Above)