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Stop the Vampires!

Don’t let sneaky electrical devices drain your wallet

The little vampires who ring your doorbell on Halloween night aren’t the only fiends you should be afraid of. Electricity vampires are all over your house, all year long.

Electrical vampires are appliances and electronics that continue to draw electricity, even when they are turned off.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, vampires account for up to 5 percent of the energy use in your house.

Here is a list of the most likely vampires in your house:

• Computers, modems, routers, printers and other related equipment.

• Your flat-screen TV. The larger it is, the more energy it uses—on and off.

• Home theater equipment, including surround-sound devices.

• Your cable or satellite TV box.

• Anything with a digital time display, like your microwave oven or DVD player.

An electrical device is a vampire if it has a continuous display, like your digital clock; charges batteries, like your mobile phone charger; or has a remote control, like your TV.

The best way to stop these vampires is to unplug them when you’re not using them. A power strip lets you flip one switch to stop a group of vampire electronics from using electricity.