Energy Efficiency

Phantom energy refers to power used by electronic devices even when turned off

What is Phantom Energy?

Phantom energy refers to power used by electronic devices even when turned off.  Many modern appliances create this issue because they use energy when off to stay in quick-start mode or operate a clock, including the microwave, televisions, cable boxes, audio systems, computers, clock radios and even phone chargers.

The simple solution is to turn off or unplug phantom energy appliances and stop the hidden energy consumption. Identifying and unplugging these appliances can help lower the estimated $115 per year that phantom energy costs the average household.Top Electronics That Use Energy When Off

If you want to keep appliances from using energy when off, consider the following culprits. Unplug them when they are not in use. Your wallet will thank you.

Phantom Energy in the Kitchen

Among kitchen appliances that emit phantom energy, the microwave usually ranks at the top of the list because it also displays a clock continually, which requires energy. It’s easy enough to unplug a microwave that is on the counter, but a built-in microwave might prove more difficult to manage. Another culprit is the coffee maker if it has a clock.

Phantom Energy in the Den

This is where phantom energy can really drain power and add to your energy bill. Most TVs need to stay “alert” so you can turn them on by using a remote or your voice. The cable box also draws power as people program it to record TV shows. Like the TV, it also must stay alert for a remote signal.

Many people also place routers and modems in the den and leave them on 24/7 once they are hooked up. It’s constantly drawing power to emit a Wi-Fi signal.

Phantom Energy In the Office

The modem may also be in the office. If so, it shares space with another major phantom energy culprit: the computer. Many people do not turn off computers anymore, simply leaving them in a low power mode. Computers draw energy in this mode to keep programs running and to restart quickly. Unfortunately, some computers will still draw energy even if turned off, which is why they must be completely unplugged to stop them from drawing phantom energy.

Phantom Energy In the Bedroom

You’d think the bedroom, designed for sleep, would have few phantom energy sources. Not true! Many people have TVs in their bedroom, which draws power just like the one in the den. Also, clock radios drain energy constantly. So does any audio system or phone chargers left plugged in even if the phone is fully charged.

These are some of the main appliances that use energy when off, creating a phantom energy drain that you end up paying for on your monthly utility bill. It makes “take the time to unplug phantom energy electronics” a worthy addition to your daily list of tasks.

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