What are Vampire Appliances

It is time to slay the vampire – that is, the energy vampire. We talk about energy vampires, but what are they and how do they affect our lives?  

Vampire power is also referred to as standby power, phantom load, ghost load or leaking electricity. This is when electric power is consumed by electrical devices when they are switched off but are created to draw some power when they are in standby mode. 

Vampire appliance are appliances that use electricity even when they are “off” as these are often in standby mode such as your TV, your electric clock and anything with a timer. Furthermore, your charger for your PC or your phone are also using power even when you are not physically charging these, but they are still plugged into the wall. 

In an average home, according to the Department of Energy, vampire appliances account for as much as 10% of the energy used inside the home. 

Listed here are five of the top culprits: 

  • Household items such as microwaves, electric clocks etc 
  • Television sets – the larger the screen, the more energy is being used 
  • Computers and PC-related equipment such as modems and routers 
  • Cable and satellite TV boxes 
  • Surround sound systems 

Pin-pointing the culprits in the home: 

  • Remotes 
  • External supply devices 
  • Devices with a continuous display such as a clock 
  • If your electrical device charges batteries, then it is using power 

Slaying vampire appliances is easy – simply unplug all electronics wherever possible – these include cell phone chargers and video game systems when you are not using them. Make use of power strips that automatically turn off all appliances that are plugged into them. 

Stop wasting power simply by switching your devices off at the power point. However, for some devices with built-in internal battery, such as a phone, the standby functions can be stopped by removing the battery instead.