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June 10,2019

What Are Electrical Vampires?

Electricity is something you use every day, but what do you know about it? Sure, you can turn the lights on and off, but how much do you know about how the electricity actually works after all you arent an electrician? What are the bits inside of the outlets connecting to each other? Mr. Electric in Fortworth is often asked this question and we want to help you reduce your electric bill!

The number of electrical vampires in your home can reach several devices. This means that your electrical efficiency could be really high. These devices are not connected to an outlet. They are using more electricity than they appear to be. Mr. Electric can help you improve your energy efficiency and avoid electrical vampires.

What Are Electrical Vampires?

Electrical Vampires are devices that use energy when they are turned off. They also go by the name Phantom Loads or Standby Power.

No matter what you call them, these vampires waste energy and cost you money. However, it is easy to defeat the vampires by simply plugging the devices into a power strip and turning off the power strip when you are not using the device.

Electrical vampires draw power even when you think they are turned off. For example, computers, DVD players, and cell phone chargers continue to draw power down after they have been shut down or unplugged from the device they were charging. The vampires typically draw power in small amounts, but they add up over time to create a significant amount of wasted energy.

The amount of electrical vampire energy waste can be difficult to grasp. If a vampire draws .45 watts all day long for an entire year, it will still consume over 400 kWh of electricity during that time.

When you consider how much vampire energy is being consumed in your home, it will make sense to implement measures to reduce their impact on your electricity bill. Reaching out to Mr. Electric for an electrician to assess your utilization will pay off greatly in the long run.

How Do These Electrical Vampires Add Up?

Not only do these electrical vampires eat up energy, but they also increase your electricity bill every month.

Although it may seem like these devices are only using very slight amounts of electricity, the total adds up quickly when you consider all the different plugged-in devices in your home.

Some devices may consume as much as 40 watts of power when not in use. In the United States alone, this wasted energy accounts for up to 100 billion kWh of electricity each year that's enough energy to provide electricity to 8 million households for a year.

Every electrical device has some degree of electrical vampire power when it's idle, but some types of appliances waste more electricity than others.

Some of the biggest culprits include:

  • Air conditioner or furnace fans that run constantly
  • Battery chargers left plugged in when the batteries are fully charged
  • DVD players, video game consoles and other entertainment devices that go into "standby" mode rather than shutting off completely
  • Electric clocks and other appliances with digital displays
  • Refrigerators that have a ski-boot warmer setting
  • Microwave ovens that have a clock display built into the control panel
  • Chargers for cell phones and other portable electronics


Unplug unneeded electronic equipment. When you're not using something, unplug it from the wall socket and store the cord in a drawer or on a power strip where it won't be damaged. Then plug several items into a power strip and turn it off when you aren't using those items.

Use a Smart Strip

Consider using a smart strip. These power strips work like normal surge protectors but have an internal sensor that turns off all electronics plugged into the outlets when its main appliance goes into standby mode. They can also turn off all other electronics that are plugged into the strip at night when they sense that no one is home.

Replace Appliances With Energy Star Appliances

Do your research before buying any new appliance so you can choose the most energy-efficient model available (you'll probably save money on your utility bills too). A good rule of thumb for big appliances is to replace an appliance made before 1993 (when federal minimum efficiency standards went into effect).


Use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs in your home (they use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer). Turn off lights when they aren't in use, and open drapes during the day to take advantage of natural daylight.

Electrical Efficiency

In short, electrical vampires are simply appliances and devices that continue to draw electricity even when they're not in use. It's not an uncommon problem in households across the nation many homes have more than one appliance that uses a high amount of wattage when it's not being used.

But your home doesn't have to be a casualty to their energy-sucking ways. There are easy steps you can follow to protect your home from these vampires' deadly clutches, which will pay off in the long run by saving you money (and carbon emissions) from all that extra energy being wasted. Having a qualified electrician assess your electrical service is an excellent place to start.

Contact Mr. Electric today for assistance in minimizing your electrical vampires.