Minimizing Your Home’s Vampire Load

Tangled wires


Have your electric bills been steadily rising, despite the fact that you haven’t been using any extra appliances? Don’t look now, but the extra electricity you expend may be the work of a vampire: a Vampire Load, that is. The term “Vampire Load” is used to refer to the manner in which some electrical devices continue to draw power even when they’re switched off; either to serve some purpose (such as for operating some sort of indicator or display, like the digital clock display for a home stereo system) or to remain fully charged until it is needed (like emergency lighting that remains on standby and then automatically activates during power outages). Other terms for “Vampire Load” are the more conventional Standby Power, Phantom Load (which sounds creepy as well), Leaking Power, Wall Warts, Standby Loss, and Idle Power. But regardless of what it’s called, it does make a drain on your power supply, and eventually; your wallet: Vampire Loads account for roughly 10% of the electrical energy used by a typical household. That’s why your team at Wiretech Company would like to give you some tips for minimizing and managing the electricity you may not know that you’re using.

Unplug and power down – We’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, but it bears mentioning again: unplug any and all appliances that are not in use and serve no purpose being on standby. The lesser things plugged into your power supply, the smaller your vampire load becomes. Here’s another tip that you’ve heard from us before: lower your thermostat and your refrigerator’s settings when possible.

Use “Smart Strips” – Some more déjà vu: Make sure that all of your related appliances and devices (e.g., your TV and Blu-Ray player, your Automatic Voltage Regulator and PC) are all connected to just one “Smart Strip”, so that switching off one of the devices switches off the others connected to the strip as well. Conversely, switching on one device switches on all of the other devices connected to the smart strip.

Activate “Sleep” mode – Use your PC or Laptop’s “Power Saving” or “Sleep Mode” instead of resorting to the Screensaver (which doesn’t really save any energy) when you need to leave your computing for more than a few minutes.

Use appliances with the Energy Star label – When buying devices and appliances; choose those with the Energy Star label emblazoned on them. These products have been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as energy-efficient devices and appliances which can help lower your energy consumption.

Managing your Vampire Load not only saves you money, but can also reduce the energy and greenhouse gases created by the combustion of fossil fuels; as well as lessen the risk of fires and shorts caused by heat-generating devices that have been left plugged in.

Are you looking to increase your energy efficiency? Wiretech Company’s electricians can help you choose and install energy-efficient upgrades that will lower you power bill and increase your electrical system’s cost-effectiveness. Call us up at 919-205-9830 or contact us online for all of your electrical service questions, and for more information about energy efficiency.