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Organic Living > Saratoga Environmental Tips


Unplug 'Vampire Appliances' In Your Home

Practice these Saratoga environmental tips for a greener future in Spa City, and save money on your electric bill! Unplug 'Vampire Appliances', which use electricity even when 'Off.'

Nowadays the 'Off' position of your favorite appliances doesn't truly mean 'Off.' Phantom loads are being drawn by many of the most common items that plug into your wall, giving them the name 'Vampire appliances.'

These common appliances consume electricity (and money) even when in the 'Off' position:

  1. Televisions
  2. Cable Boxes/Satellite Systems
  3. DVD Players/VCRs
  4. Stereos
  5. Computers/Printers
  6. Microwaves
  7. Other Kitchen Appliances With Clocks And Timers
  8. Answering Machines/Cordless Phones
  9. Items With A Transformer That Runs On DC Instead Of AC Power
  10. Garage Door Opener

A quick tip to tell if an appliance or electronic device is drawing a phantom load is see if the appliance needs to be ready to receive a signal from somewhere (think TV and its remote) or if it has a clock or timer.

Whenever possible it's a good idea to cut power to these electronics, by either unplugging or using a power strip and turning the power strip switch to off. A recent study showed that with a typical house, the electronics use only 25% of their electricity when turned on – the rest is consumed while in the 'Off' mode. So if you don't print something every day or use your stereo system but once a week, take the time to unplug them when not in use to help the environment and save you money.