Heading out to the campground this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July? Enjoy fishing, boating, hiking or just relaxing around the camp fire and sharing stories. But before you step out the door this weekend remember to get rid of your phantoms! Phantom energy that is!
Phantom energy, also called phantom load, vampire power or vampire energy is simply the energy that is “sucked” by appliances and other electronics when you aren’t using them. Most electronics and appliances use energy just by being plugged in. That cell phone charger left plugged in until you need it again? Using energy. The toaster that only gets used in the morning? Using energy all day long. DVD players, televisions, iPods, you name it, all use phantom energy just by being plugged in. And while the energy used by each individual electronic or gadget may not be much, when you add up all those little pieces you get 10% of a home’s electricity use. Simply by unplugging all unused electronics and appliances in your home you could save a month’s worth of electricity use every year!
Before you head out the door this weekend take a moment to rid your house of phantoms! Unplug the toaster and other appliances, unplug the TV, DVD and iPod and turn off any power strips. Have a fantastic time outside.
- Use a power strip with an on/off switch to plug in a group of items — for example, cell phone and MP3 chargers. When you unplug a device from the charger, just flip the power switch off.
- Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Open your blinds or curtains on sunny winter days to let the sun shine into your home.
- Save hot water by taking short showers instead of baths.