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Gruesome Energy Guzzlers: Combatting Standby Power Waste in Your Home

Mar 26, 2018

There’s a vampire living in your home, right under your nose. It could be lurking in your living room, in the kitchen or in your bedroom, and you may not know it’s even there. Don’t let energy vampires eat up your home’s power and run up your energy bills! Protect your wallet from these phantom feeders by educating yourself on where you can find them in your home and how you can stop them dead before they increase your monthly bill even more.

What Is Vampire Power?

The “off” button on all your appliances and electronics is there for a reason, right? Turns out it may not be doing what you think it is. Vampire power, also called phantom load or standby power, is the energy that is used by appliances or electronics that are plugged in but turned off or in standby mode. Although the items aren’t using nearly as much energy as they would when operational, the vampire power being leeched from your home could drive up your energy bill, forcing you to pay more month-to-month.

Vampire power isn’t all bad all the time, though. In some situations, this energy can be used to offer modern conveniences like on-demand services or wireless operation. However, it’s always important to remain aware of which devices in your home are using phantom loads for a purpose, and which are sucking energy for no real reason.

Which Items Use Vampire Power?

As stated, vampire power doesn’t have to be a negative side effect of keeping your devices and appliances plugged in at all times. After all, you may be relying upon the phantom loads these items hold to fulfill everyday needs. Some things in your home that are powered by phantom loads include:

  • Clocks on your cable box, microwave, oven or coffee maker
  • Wireless networks that connect computers, printers and modems
  • Garage door openers
  • Surge protectors
  • Sleeping computers
  • Televisions and DVR units

These items may use phantom loads to power up and connect quickly and remain available when you need them. Without phantom loads, for example, it might take a while for your garage door opener to power on and register the pressing of a button or for your printer to connect to the network and begin printing. There are, of course, devices and items that don’t fulfill a necessary purpose when sapping energy in “off” or “standby” mode. These include:

  • Phone chargers
  • Thermostats
  • Laptops or desktop computers
  • Coffee makers
  • Game consoles

 How Do I Stop Wasting Energy?

Make sure your home’s vampires aren’t taking a bite out of your energy consumption. Adopting some more energy-conscious habits can help you enjoy a greener lifestyle and protect your wallet when your bill comes around.

  1. Unplug – This is the simplest solution to stopping those energy vampires in their tracks. When you don’t need your charger, coffee maker or other devices, make sure you unplug them promptly to keep them from sucking up more energy than they need. Rather than leaving your phone or laptop on the charger overnight, charge them for only an hour or so. Only keep your devices plugged in long enough to complete the task at hand.
  2. Timed Cut-Off – Some power strips, surge protectors and switches may be installed to automatically cut power in accordance with a timer. Once programmed, these can save you energy and money without you having to give it a second thought. Some timed power strips can even shut off power to specific outlets rather than the entire strip, allowing you to pick and choose which devices remain powered.
  3. LED Bulbs – Lightbulbs may not be sucking power while they’re turned off, but when they’re on, they gorge themselves on energy, earning them a place among the vampires. Switch to a more energy-efficient LED bulb which offers comparable light for a fraction of the energy needed by standard light bulbs. LED lightbulbs also last longer than traditional varieties, so you don’t have to run to the store every month for replacements.
  4. Programmable Thermostats – Your thermostat is likely running nearly constantly to monitor ambient temperatures and turn on the air conditioning or heating when needed. However, this can be a major drain on your energy. Install an energy-efficient programmable thermostat that can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times of the day, rather than running constantly to maintain a temperature no one may be around to enjoy during the workday.

Commit to an Energy-Efficient Lifestyle With Energy Saving Pros

There are numerous ways to keep your energy costs down every month, not least of which is putting a stop to energy vampires. In addition to unplugging your devices and appliances when they aren’t in use and making smaller upgrades around the house, you can make larger investments toward energy efficiency that can help you save money down the line, such as improving the insulation throughout your home.

Efficient, full-coverage insulation ensures your home is not heating or cooling indoor air only to lose it through cracks and gaps in your home’s insulation. If you haven’t recently upgraded, it may be time to do so since warmer temperatures are on the way here in sunny California. Energy Saving Pros is proud to serve the Loomis community with state-of-the-art energy-saving tips, tricks and services that can protect your wallet while reducing your carbon emissions and energy consumption. From solar panels to LED lights and insulation fitting, our energy saving experts are happy to answer any questions you may have about the installation or fitting processes. Contact us online or call 866-497-6527 to receive your free quote on insulation installation today.


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