Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vampire Appliances: Draining Your Wallet, Warming the World

Everyone is concerned about global warming—but everyone tends to look elsewhere, outside their own home, to find the solutions to the looming crisis.

Trouble is, with global warming, Dorothy’s right, there’s no place like home—like searching your own house to rid it of energy-sucking vampire appliances.

A recent study by Cornell University discovered that the average home contains at least 20 appliances that suck power all day and all night, even when they’re “off.” These appliances drain our pockets of $3 billion annually, averaging 200 bucks per household. In fact, seven power plants alone are dedicated to producing power for America’s vampires, spewing greenhouse gases all the while.

Your TV set continues pulling power even when it’s off, so it can await a signal from the remote. Microwaves and ovens stay on forever, powering the clock; in fact, microwaves can use more juice running the clock than actually warming food. Alarm systems, clock radios, answering machines, stereos, computer monitors, even garage door openers—all these stay on 24/7.

New houses are designed with special counters lined with plugs so the family can recharge its fleet of cell phones. The rechargers often stay plugged in all day, adding to your bill.

California—of course, who else?—is considering legislation requiring more efficient appliances. That’s critical—these appliances just use too much.

But there are a million ways you can personally lessen your carbon footprint. And while there is no silver bullet, pulling the plug on your own house’s vampires is a good beginning. Stake out your position on global warming. Zap a vampire today.

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