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December 17, 2017

Power Up

Vampire Loads

Vampire loads come from devices that use electricity even when they appear to be off. These four represent the major offenders:

Chargers: Chargers use small amounts of energy even when they’re not connected to a device.

Television set-top boxes: Anytime the set-top box’s lights are on it is using power, even when the TV is off. This is especially true for devices with a DVR that record your favorite TV shows.

Instant-on television: “Instant-on” means no waiting for the TV to turn on and warm up. Unfortunately, the TV must be on at nearly full power.

Gaming consoles: Typical gaming consoles can use as much energy as a regular refrigerator, even when it’s not being used. Check the console settings and disable automatic updates, which is where the energy drain comes from.

So how do you combat these vampire loads?

  • Unplug chargers when not in use. 
  • Invest in smart power strips. These look like normal power strips but 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. Have the television in the master outlet and when you turn it on, the set-top box, speakers, streaming devices, etc. will turn on.
  • 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.
  • Disable automatic updates in gaming consoles and turn the console completely off when you finish using it.

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