Your home is full of devices that drain vampire energy. Learn how to slay these vampires, to help save money and the environment.
I used to work in an office where the digital clock on the microwave was always on. Yet there was a wall clock directly above the microwave, making the clock on the microwave completely redundant. Microwaves are great energy-saving devices when used properly, but in this instance, this microwave was most definitely drawing what’s known as vampire energy.
What Is Vampire Energy?
Vampire energy is quite a dramatic term for the power that appliances and electrical goods use when they are plugged in but on standby. It’s also often referred to as a phantom load or standby power.
You might be wondering what this looks like in your home. Well, your TV that displays a red standby light when not in use? A user of vampire energy. The microwave that displays the time when you’re not using it? Another vampire energy user. A phone charger that’s plugged in and switched on, but not charging anything? You guessed it, another vampire energy user.
To illustrate this further, I once read somewhere that it is estimated that a typical microwave is on for 70 hours a year. Yet a microwave draws power for more than 100 times as long, just to keep the clock and electronic controls powered. That means you are using energy and paying extra on your bills for appliances you are not even using.
One blogger found that in fact, his microwave clock was consuming 25-30% of the power of the heating element of his microwave. That’s a lot of unnecessary energy wasted.
What Devices Drain Vampire Energy?
Lots of common household appliances drain vampire energy. These include:
- TVs on standby
- Microwaves with inbuilt clocks
- Ovens with inbuilt clocks
- Mobile phone chargers (once fully charged)
- Electric toothbrush chargers (once fully charged)
- Laptops (once fully charged)
- Desktop computer monitors on standby
- Printers on standby
- TV boxes standby
- Stereos on standby
- Video game consoles on standby
How To Save Energy & Money
To get on top of vampire energy, it’s thankfully not as complex as slaying Dracula. And you’ll be pleased to hear that there are much less extreme ways to save energy than driving a stake through your television set!
Simply switching off appliances at the wall when you’re not using them is enough to save energy, and stop draining vampire energy, with very little effort.
Switching off or unplugging rechargeable devices, such as mobile phone chargers, laptop chargers, and electric toothbrush chargers as quickly as possible once they’re fully charged is also another good way to save money and energy, and slay that vampire energy.
If switching the socket off at the wall isn’t an option, you can buy switched extension leads, where every socket on the extension cable has its own individual switch. I use leads like this in my house, where the actual plug socket isn’t very accessible.