While ghosts and witches may be out and about in your neighbourhood this Halloween, have you considered the phantoms inside your home? Phantom energy is sneaky and can consume electricity when you aren't looking.
Phantom energy (or energy vampires) refers to electronic devices and appliances that continue to use small amounts of electricity, even when they’re turned off or in sleep mode. Much like a vampire drains its victims of blood, standby power slowly drains energy. Devices and appliances like this can lead to an unwanted increase in your electricity bill, as well as a decrease in the longevity of your devices.
Many modern devices have components like LED indicators, remote controls, internal clocks, or sensors that remain active even when the main power is turned off. Consider the following household items—which do you leave plugged in 24/7?
- Audio equipment: Stereo systems, radios, and audio receivers may stay on to support features like remote control power-on and audio streaming.
- Cable and satellite boxes: Set-top boxes often use power to maintain a connection with the service provider and keep the electronic program guide updated.
- Chargers: Chargers for various devices, like smartphones, laptops, and game consoles can draw power even when not actively charging a device.
- Computers: Computers in sleep mode continue to use energy.
- Gaming consoles: Video game consoles may use power for background downloads, system updates, and standby features.
- Microwaves and ovens: Appliances with digital clocks or timers can draw standby power.
- Modems and routers: These devices often need to maintain a connection to the internet, so they use some energy even when not actively transmitting data.
- Printers: Some printers remain in standby mode, ready to print when a job is sent to them.
- TVs: Many modern televisions consume energy in standby mode to facilitate features like remote control power-on and software updates.
Individually, the energy consumed by these devices may seem insignificant, but when you consider the cumulative effect of multiple energy vampires in your household, it can result in an increase in your power bill over time. To combat energy vampires, you can:
- Unplug devices when not in use.
- Use smart power strips that can cut off power to multiple devices at once.
- Invest in appliances and devices that are designed to consume less standby power.
- Adjust the power settings on devices to minimize standby power consumption.
Reducing the energy consumption of these devices not only saves you money but also contributes to energy conservation and a reduced environmental impact.