The vampires in your home
A vampire device is any type of electronic equipment that continues to draw current when it’s switched off – and the growth in digital technology means they now lurk in every corner of our homes. From games consoles to coffee makers, the latest home tech stays awake right through the night, performing routine processes, powering LED clocks, or simply staying alert, ready to receive instruction from the remote to switch to full power. And beware of plug-in power adaptors and chargers too, because many continue to draw energy even when they’re disconnected from the device they’re meant to be powering.
The biggest culprits
In the lounge, TVs are big consumers of standby power, while in the kitchen, microwaves are the biggest culprits. Most microwave ovens consume more power running the digital clock that they do cooking food – because although the magnetron inside your microwave uses about 100 times more energy per minute than the LED clock, the clock is running 24/7. If you have an office area in your home, then desktop and laptop computers all consume a hefty amount of power on standby, as do laser printers. So when the day is done and you power down, make sure your tech follows suit.
How to slay the vampires
Don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight – because the charger will continue to draw power even when the phone battery is at full capacity. And turn off the coffee maker and microwave at the plug. Some home entertainment tech needs to remain on standby, like digital TV boxes which may be recording programmes overnight, and gaming consoles which frequently run software updates.
But if you have a TV, stereo and DVD player all standing by 24/7, they’ll be drawing power unnecessarily. So consider plugging them all into a multi-socket adaptor/power bar – so you can switch them all off in one go before you go to bed each night.