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Slay vampire electronics to save money

As I'm sure you know, your electricity bill changes throughout the year. In some areas, it's higher during winter when you're running your heater non-stop. In Phoenix, where I live, the A/C is running full blast all summer, which can raise your bill three to four times.

There are certain steps you can take to lower your seasonal bills such as better insulation, window coverings, not running appliances at peak hours, and so forth. However, there are also some things you can do to bring down your bill year round.

Today, I'm going to talk about one that most people don't even realize is a problem. On the surface, it sounds too simple to be real.

Ready?

Turn off your gadgets.

I told you it sounded simple, but there's a big catch. The gadgets that you've turned off might not actually be off. These are called "vampire electronics," and I'm going to tell you how to slay them.

If you think I'm overstating this, by the way, the EPA estimates that consumers spend more than $10 billion annually in wasted electricity on vampire electronics. With that in mind, let's get started.

The first step is to unplug anything you're not using, including small things like chargers. Even when these aren't charging your smartphone or tablet, they still use up power.

Handy idea: If you want to see at a glance how much energy any "turned off" gadget is using, grab a Phantom Power Indicator like this one.

However, your charger is just a fledging vampire. The big power-suckers in your house are your TV and computer. Sadly, these are also the hardest to unplug, because we tend to hide their cables away.

This is where a surge protector comes in handy. These don't just protect your gadgets from power surges. When you flip the switch on a surge protector, your gadgets behave as if they've been unplugged.

I sell a roomy surge protector with enough outlets to power most home entertainment or computer setups. In addition to advanced surge protection circuitry, it features a readout that tells you how much power it's using. You can see how quickly it pays for itself! Click here to check it out.

Next page: Dealing with gadgets that need to stay on
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