Our homes are filled with dozens of electronic devices these days. DVD players, televisions, computers, video game consoles, cell phone chargers, and many other devices make up the majority of our electronic collections; they also represent a fairly significant 10% of your home’s total energy consumption. Electronics that are plugged in are constantly draining electricity, even if they are powered down. This is known as the “vampire load,” and it’s sucking your wallet dry without you even realizing it.
There are several ways to combat the vampire load, and none of them require holy water, garlic, or a stake. Unplugging your electronics when you are not using them is the most basic solution, but not always the most practical. That’s where power strips come in handy. Plugging a collection of electronic devices into a power strip allows you to cut power to all of the devices at once with the flick of a switch on the power strip itself. The strip will still be drawing a small current, but the up to six ports taken by electronics will not, thus helping you save on electricity.
Unfortunately this solution isn’t very practical either if the power strip is difficult to reach because it’s behind an entertainment center. The answer? Advanced power strips. Advanced power strips, or APS, can help reduce the vampire load in a variety of convenient ways.
> Some APS work like a standard power strip, but with extra reach thanks to a wireless remote. Simply use the remote to activate or deactivate the flow of electricity through the strip.
> You can get a power strip with a built-in timer, which is perfect for bedroom televisions; it will shut off after a set period of time, even if you fall asleep. These are also helpful for cell phone and tablet chargers, as it will help prevent overcharging your batteries.
> Activity monitor power strips have motion and infrared sensors to detect activity in the vicinity of the power strip. If nothing is detected within a set time frame, it will shut off.
> Master controlled switches have a single, always-powered socket that serves as the “on/off” switch. You can plug a TV into this port and when you turn the TV on, the other ports will also turn on, allowing you to use DVD players, game systems, or cable boxes.
> Finally there are masterless power strips, which monitor the energy flow of the devices plugged into it. When the draw is at its minimum value or below, all power is cut to the sockets.
Some of the aforementioned power strips come in variants within their own class. They may have some extra sockets that are always powered so you can plug a DVR into them without worrying about it not recording your shows because the socket was off, for example. Regardless of what power strip you get, they can all help reduce the vampire load in your home, which will save on electricity and your money.
About Us: Source Power & Gas LLC is one of the fastest growing retail energy suppliers in Texas. Selling electricity to customers in deregulated markets across the state, SPG Energy takes pride in providing unparalleled customer service paired with information to enhance consumer knowledge. Learn more about us by visiting www.SPGEnergy.com or by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.