Energy Vampire: Facts vs Fiction

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:37 AM

Posted by Liliam Huckleberry

Energy Vampire: Facts Vs Fiction

As I was searching on-line for information on phantom energy or energy vampires, I came across a very interesting article. This article was written and posted by Lori Bongiorno on the Google website on Feb. 27 of 2009 so, a very recent article. The article is called Energy Vampires: Facts vs. Fiction. The site is http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/50/energy-vampires-fact-versus-fiction.html the article is in the form of a questionnaire which asks questions regarding energy vampires. This article has a comment section where readers of the article can post their opinions.

Unfortunately energy vampire is still a fairly unknown subject, at least for me I recently learned about energy vampires. I thought to have posted an article about Energy Vampires which would un doughtily not only get local attention but international attention as well, was a brilliant idea. As we all know the Google search engine is used by millions of people worldwide which gives energy vampires the publicity it deserves. Like I mentioned before Lori wrote a questionnaire where viewers could comment on whether the information posted was helpful or not.

Here are some of the questions with answers found on this article, which I am sure will be helpful for those who want to get informed on energy vampires.

Which electronic devices waste the most energy when they are turned off but still plugged in?

“Set-top cable boxes and digital video recorders are some of the biggest energy hogs” it is difficult to fix this problem because if these electronics are turned off, television shows cannot be recorded and the biggest drawback is that to set-top cable boxes and digital videos usually takes a very long time to reboot

Why do electronic devices use energy when they are switched off?

“Electronics consume standby power for one of two reasons, says Chris Kielich of the Department of Energy. They either have an adapter that will continue to draw electricity, or they have devices (such as clocks and touchpads) that draw power. Anything with a remote control will also draw standby power, she says, since the device needs to be able to detect the remote when it's pushed”

Does everything suck energy when it's plugged in and turned off?

No. If your coffeemaker or toaster doesn't have a clock, then it's probably not using standby power, says Kielich. Chances are your hair dryer and lamps (although they may have a power adapter for the dimmer) are not drawing standby power either, she says. Devices with a switch that physically breaks the circuit don't consume standby power.

Will switching things on and off shorten their life?

Probably not, says Kielich. You'd have to turn devices on and off thousands of times to shorten their lives. The real downside, she says, to unplugging electronics is that clocks and remotes will not work, and you do have to reset everything.

Can you ruin batteries by unplugging battery chargers and causing batteries to completely discharge?

It could be a possibility, says Kielich. Her advice: Don't let batteries get completely drained. But you don't need to have things like hand-held power vacuums and drills plugged into the charger when it's 100% charged, or even 50% charged.

Power Strip FAQs

Plugging electronics into a power strip and turning it off when you're not using it is a widely prescribed solution for curbing vampire power. Power strips draw energy when they are turned on, but not when they are switched off. Any decent power strip should have surge protection, according to Kielich. Flicking your power strip on and off will not create a power surge capable of damaging electronic devices. In fact, it will protect devices from other surges. Several readers were worried about the possibility of fires caused by plugging too many things in at once. If you plug in the allowed number of devices, then power strips are safe, says Kielich. Just don't plug your power strip into another power strip, or you run the risk of creating an overload.

As of today, this article has been on-line for 14 days and has already gotten 1055 votes and 576 comments have been posted. Most of the comments have been a testimonial as to how making small changes in your home like unplugging a lamp a coffee maker or a TV, has really made a difference in their monthly bill. A lot of comments were also how surprise people were to learn that some of their electronic devices they never thought would waste energy actually were. Do you want to know what is wasting energy in your home? Please visit http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/4/what-s-wasting-energy-in-your-home-right-now.html

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1 comments

  1. Very interesting! Who would ever think that video recorders, automatic clocks, and other types of electronics were bad energy consumers? Thanks for sharing this message Liliam, and don't forget to turn off your devices that use stand by power.

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