Phantom loads sounds a little scary, and it is scary once you realize how much money it is stealing from you.
What are Phantom Loads?
A more approprite term for phantom loads would be stand-by power. Most electrical devices never actually turn off completly. Because these devices nevery fully turn off, they continue to draw power, even in standy-by.
How big of a problem are Phantom Loads?
Studies have shown that up to 10% of the electricity your home uses are from these phantom loads. In fact, the Department of Energy has state that "In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off." (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/home_office.html) So, how much are phantom loads costing you? If the average home in Moorhead uses 1,000 kWh per month, phantom loads cost the average MPS customer over $82.00 per year.
For any single appliance the load is never very large; however when you add up the potential loads in your home. Look at the example below for a typical house:
What can be done about phantom loads in your home?
The only real way to stop standby power is to cut the power to the device. There are a few simple methods to reduce the phantom power used in your home:
The best, and only way, to completly eliminate phantom power in your home is to "pull the plug" on devices when they are not in use.
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