Home Appliances That Use Energy When Turned Off
The term phantom energy, standby power, idle current and vampire power is the energy used by appliances and electronics when they are turned off but still plugged in to a power outlet. Turning appliances off isn’t always enough. Many modern appliances continue to draw electricity for as long as they’re plugged in—even when the power is turned off.
Why the increase in wasted electricity when we're supposedly getting smarter about energy conservation? It makes sense when you think about the kinds of devices that consume the most phantom power. These six appliances are some of the worst offenders:
1. Television. If you have a modern LED-lit television, you’ll use far less electricity than you would using an older counterpart. But even when it’s turned off, modern TVs continue to consume electricity. Make sure to unplug them or get a surge protector to block electricity from flowing.
2. Computers. If you leave your computer or laptop plugged in to charge overnight, you could be wasting a significant chunk of electricity. Even when it’s off, that power cord will continue to draw energy.
3. Phones. Similarly, leaving your phone plugged in to charge overnight is a bad idea. Even at full power, the phone will keep drawing electricity and increasing your electric bill.
4. Stereos. Almost any type of stereo equipment you have will draw electricity for as long as it’s plugged in, even when it’s not in use.
5. Microwaves and Coffee Makers. While they don’t draw much, these kitchen appliances use electricity for a digital display even when not in use.
6. Traditional Lamps. If you have a plugged-in lamp, it’s drawing additional electricity when the lights are off.
There are some appliances that you simply can't unplug every day. A refrigerator is probably the most obvious, but clock radios and programmable coffeemakers also become useless if you must reset them every time you turn them on. When you shop for items like these, compare Energy Star ratings for standby power before you buy, and get the most efficient models you can afford.
At The EcoFairy, our goal is to help you build a more sustainable life by offering you a line of reusable products. We offer products that last and that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.