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Is Phantom Load Haunting You This Halloween?

1 November 2011

In the spirit of Halloween I am going to let you know of a real life vampire that is taking energy and money from you- and you may not even know it. It is called phantom load and it costs the country an estimated 4 billion dollars in wasted energy each year.

Phantom load is the electricity consumed by a device even though you pressed the OFF button. In a typical home 50% of the electricity used to power devices is consumed when they are “turned off”. Most of these devices can be easily identified by a light that stays on when it is off, or if it uses a remote. Common examples are  TVs, video game consoles, microwaves and printers. Other devices that contribute to phantom load are various chargers such as your cell phone, camera, and computer.

Two easy ways to fight these vampires: First, plug multiple devices into a power strip so you can easily turn them all of at once (please do not do this with anything you will have to re-program if turned off!).  Also, unplug chargers when they are not charging anything.

Doing these actions could save you $100 to $400 a year! Now that kind of money could buy you a lot of Halloween candy.

::Energy Star Phantom Load , Flip the Switch

One Comment leave one →
  1. 1 November 2011 8:38 am

    Getting a $20-$30 “kill-a-watt” power meter from Radio Shack or online (or borrowing a similar device from your library, in many places) will let you measure these devices to find out which ones really do have a significant phantom power draw, so you can focus on the ones that matter most.

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