Ward Off Energy Sucking Vampires Just in Time for Halloween

vampire pictureDid you know that you could have vampires in your home at this very moment? Most of us do – in the form of a vampire load. A vampire load (also known as a phantom load) is the power that is sucked from a piece of electronic equipment when it is seemingly turned off (but still in standby use) or not in use.

In order to bring awareness to this waste of energy, Best Buy has created National Vampire Awareness on October 30th. They are working to educate consumers on the effects of vampire loads and how to avoid unnecessary energy use. They have a Halloween spoofy video on their website to help them do the job as well as some facts and tips.

According to their site:

  • Vampire loads are responsible for wasting an estimated $4 billion in the U.S. annually and the Department of Energy notes that this figure could rise by 20 percent by 2010.
  • The average American home has approximately 20 to 40 electronics plugged in that abuse vampire power.
  • These appliances can cost you close to $1,000 in electricity costs per year at current rates (more in the future if energy costs continue to climb).

If you have any of the following items in your home, you’ve got a potential vampire problem on your hands:

  • a programmable coffee maker
  • a microwave oven with a clock
  • computers
  • stereos
  • televisions
  • cell phone, mp3, or battery chargers
  • electronic exercise equipment with a display

This list could go on. How do you take care of the vampires? It’s actually very easy and no garlic or pointy stakes are necessary.

  • Unplug chargers when not in use. Even when they aren’t charging electronic equipment they continue to draw power if plugged in.
  • Buy power strips for your computer system, your entertainment system and any other set up you’ve got with multiple power cords. Then turn them off when not in use with one flick of the power strip.
  • Unplug digital alarm clocks, microwave ovens and programmable coffee makers when you are leaving the house for more than one day. It will take a minute or two to reset them, but the energy and money savings will be worth it.

So this October 30th, ward off the vampires in your home by getting rid of your vampire loads. You know what, don’t wait until next week. Start doing it today.

Image courtesy of numberstumper on flickr.

  1. Art

    I turn everything off before I go out…maybe you should just have one big switch near your door then switch it off before you go and it turns everything off (apart from your alarm)

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