Vampire load goes by a few different names such as stand-by power or phantom load. This refers to the electricity that is used by home electronics and appliances when they seem “off” or are in standby-mode. Most of us think that when you turn something off, it turns off completely and, therefore, stops drawing power. Unfortunately, that’s not true in the case of many (if not all) electronic devices, such as TVs, DVD players, stereos, game consoles, laptops, desktop computers and monitors. Basically, anything with a remote, a charger, and a clock display are sucking power even when not in active use. These products can use up to 150 watts of electricity when they are “off”, which can add up to $100 per year to your electric bill.
At this point, you are either in panic mode or you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that there is nothing you can do and you’ll just have to shell out that extra $100. Calm down, there are things you can do to fight vampire load.
- Unplug It
If you aren’t using it, unplug it. I know this may not be feasible for all electronics, but if you aren’t charging your phone, unplug the charger.
- Power Strip It
I know “Power Strip” isn’t a verb, but bear with me. If you have a cluster of electronics (i.e. home entertainment center), use an advanced power strip. This allows you to cut the power to multiple devices with the just the flip of a switch.
- Get Rid of It
Inventory your house and if there are things that you aren’t using, get rid of it. I’m looking at you VCR. Just make sure that when we get rid of these things, that you either donate them or recycle them.
Take these simple steps and put a stop to the energy suck that is the vampire load.