Earth Month: Eco-tip #13 Avoid ‘energy vampires’

Earth Month Eco-Tip #13: Avoid "Energy Vampires"

Electronics turned off or on standby still use energy when plugged in.

It seems logical yet not everyone knows that most electronics use electricity even when they’re not in use. Your microwave, TV, stereo, garage door openers and cell phone chargers all use energy while plugged in – even if they’re not turned on. These “phantom loads” are sometimes dubbed “energy vampires” by irritated electronics users, among other names.

As Maui Magazine put it:

As a general rule, any device with a power brick or power adaptor will draw a phantom load. To conserve energy, unplug these devices when not in use.

Think of all of the energy you’re wasting leaving these idle electronics plugged in but turned off or on standby mode. According to The Daily Green, phantom energy could add nearly $200 to your annual energy bill, assuming your home uses about 20 “energy vampires.” Phantom energy can account for about 10 percent of an individual home’s electric bill. That could pay for at least one entire month’s electric bill per year.

Other than reaching behind your TV and unplugging it each time, try plugging a few devices into a single power strip. When you’re not using your entertainment center, for example, just switch off the power strip and – voila – you’re no longer wasting energy from those electronics.

Stay tuned for more tips from USAgain!

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