Monday, November 10, 2008

Phantom Loads

A phantom load is the electricity used by electronics and appliances when they are in standby mode or turned off. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electric power consumed in the average home comes from appliances like VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances when they are turned off but plugged into the wall. How can you tell if an item is using energy? If it has a clock or a glowing light it is using energy even when turned off. Preventing phantom loads is easy - get in the habit of unplugging items when not in use or plug them into a power strip you can switch off. A great power strip is the Smart Strip which has a plug for a control (ex. computer) and plugs for all the peripherals. A small electronic device inside the Smart Strip monitors the current on the computer, when the computer is finished shutting down, the Smart Strip senses the current change, automatically shutting off all of the computer peripherals. The Smart Strip can also be used for home entertainment centers, where the television can be plugged into the control plug and the components can be shut down when the television is turned off.

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