There’s a vampire on the loose in your home, and it is taking a bite out of your wallet and harming the environment. But stopping this monster can be as easy as pulling a few plugs.

vampire1The villain in question is vampire power, also known as phantom load. It refers to the electricity many gadgets and appliances waste just by being plugged in (even if they’re switched off). For example, if you left your cell phone charger plugged in the wall all day, even if it had nothing to charge, it was using electricity the whole time. In fact, in the average U.S. home, 25 percent of electricity use by home electronics occurs while the products are off; and vampire power costs consumers more than $3 billion a year.

Vampire power has been on the rise during the past decade, thanks to the proliferation of rechargeable gadgets, computer networks and devices with standby power functions. A certain amount of standby power is unavoidable, especially with major appliances or other devices that are impractical to turn off.

To keep vampire power to a minimum, the blanket approach is simple—If you’re not using an electronic device, unplug it. You can make this step even easier with a surge protector or power strip. Plug multiple items in the strip and simply turn it off when you’re not using the devices.

You might want to check out some of the devices on the market designed to help cut down on unnecessary power loss, such as wattage readers that let you check how much power your electronic devices are consuming.

Oak Electric Service is one of southeast Michigan’s leading electrical contractors. Give us a call at (800) 964-7070. We are standing by to answer all of your residential and commercial electrical questions. Be sure to ask about our “Free Electrical Safety Inspection.” We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.