Vampire appliances: Sucking your wallet dry - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Vampire appliances: Sucking your wallet dry

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By Ric Blackwell email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

(WFLX) - Right now, in your home, it's estimated that you have 20 appliances you're not using that are costing you cash.

They are called vampire appliances - appliances that suck the cash right out of customers.

The average cost to homeowners is about $200 per year.

Each one of these appliances is plugged into Jean Mccgee utility bill problem. "I'm really shocked about my computer."

Her computer left on all day, every day is a green light to gouge her monthly utility bill. "About $15 a month. By cutting it back, you could save $5. Turn it off cause I don't use it."

Energy expert Dr. Will Williams calls them vampire appliances. The appliances that suck the blood out of your utility budget, like McGee's plasma tv. "Plasma TVs use as much energy as a fridge."

McGee leaves it and two other TVs on all night long. "It's costing you $20.25 to leave TV sets on. If you turn this off, you could save an extra $6.75 per month."

That's a savings of almost $7 a month, just by unplugging her plasma TV when she's not using it. The electric water heater, Williams says most people keep too hot. McGee keeps hers at a scalding 150 degrees. "It's costing you $43.20 per month."

Williams suggests unplugging the heater and then dialing it down. "Turning it back to a set temperature."

Turning it to about 120 degrees. Not only does that make it safer, it makes it's a saver. "You can save $8.64."

One thing McGee does very well, she adjusts her thermostat when she's not home. Eighty degrees in the warm months, and 60 degrees in the cold months. That simple adjustment saves her $15 to $20 a month.

Other vampire appliances:

  • A toaster oven, plugged in and used regularly, almost $2 a month.
  • A refrigerator freezer with 22 cubic feet almost $5 a month.
  • A laser printer left on standby all the time almost $12 a month.

Crunch the numbers and these, vampire appliances cost Gene Mcgee every month: $155.45.

But if she follows all of our tricks, she saves every month. "$35.59. I'm really surprised. More money now that I can shop with. Now, I can see I can save more."

It's estimated that vampire appliances cost U.S. consumers $3 billion year.

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