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How to Beat “Phantom” Energy

The average home has 40 appliances constantly drawing power. Even if not used, these appliances – l known as “energy vampires” – can account for up to 10% of your energy usage.

Energy vampires and phantom loads lurk in our homes and offices all year long.  Energy vampires are appliances or other plugged-in devices that draw energy, or phantom loads, when they are plugged in but not in use.  Energy vampires also include products that require standby power to run (such as coffee makers or cable boxes).  These vampires cost U.S. households an average of $100 per year, reports

Follow these simple tips to stop appliances from sapping your electric bill:

  • Use smart power strips with electronics such as your home entertainment center and computer. Smart strips automatically power down electronics you’re not using, while continuing to provide power to those that need it.
  • Unplug chargers and power adapters when not in use. When your cell phone, digital camera or laptop is finished charging, the charger still draws energy unless you unplug it.
  • Make sure your computer’s “sleep” mode is enabled. The computer will switch automatically to a low-energy mode when you’re away, cutting energy usage by more than half.
  • Screensavers don’t save energy. The best way to reduce your computer’s energy use is to turn it off when you are not using it.

Try these other home energy efficiency tricks:

  • Install low-flow faucets to prevent leaks and save water.
  • Stop chilly drafts from entering your home by sealing air leaks around windows, doors, and air ducts.
  • Use energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
  • When not in use, close your chimney flue to stop cold air from entering your home.
  • Use outdoor solar lighting instead of lamp posts and porch lights.

If your electric bills are soaring, contact Mister Sparky electric to discuss energy-efficient tips and circuitry system upgrades.