Halloween is scary! Phantom or vampire loads can be even scarier when it comes to your electric bill. Vampire loads come from devices that use electricity, even when they appear to be off. The primary culprits are chargers, set-top television boxes, instant-on televisions and gaming systems. There are others, but these four represent the major offenders.These vampire loads are approaching 10 percent of average household electric use according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Still, there are some steps you can take to keep these vampire loads in check.
1. Unplug chargers when not in use.
2. Invest in smart power strips. These look like normal power strips but have a twist; one of the outlets is the “master” that receives power all the time. The others are off. When the device connected to the master outlet turns on, the rest of the outlets receive power too. Ingenious and perfect for entertainment set ups. Have the television in the master outlet and when you turn it on, the set-top box, speakers, streaming devices, etc. will turn on too. They are also ideal for PCs and their peripherals.
3. Turn off the instant-on function on your TV. Turn off set-top boxes that do not contain the DVR functionality or use a smart power strip.
4. Disable automatic updates in gaming consoles and turn the console completely off when you finish using it.
5. When replacing any device or appliance, look for an Energy Star rated product.