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What Is a Phantom Load?

    Have you ever heard the term “phantom load”? Learn more about phantom loads and how you can eliminate them from your home.

    Have you ever heard the term “phantom load”? The term refers to the electronic device or appliance that uses electricity (or “standby power” when turned off. Electronics like televisions and microwaves, DVD players, and personal computers utilize standing power to maintain timers, clocks, remote controls, as well as other features in home electronics functioning and ready to go into action at the moment you hit the button. This also means that they’re always using power.

    What can you do regarding phantom load within your home? The only way to end phantom loads is to cut off the power supply to the device responsible for the shipment. Go through your house and look for any devices connected to the internet that you might not have thought about. For instance, a television that isn’t in use but is still attached to the internet could draw phantom power every hour!

    What is a Phantom Load?

    Some appliances and gadgets don’t cease to use electricity once turned off. Phantom loads are the electric power devices or appliances consumed even after shutting off. Phantom loads, known as vampire loads, may be insignificant for single machines but can increase during the month or the entire year.

    Numerous home appliances and gadgets still rely on electricity, even when shut off, for different reasons. One reason is that devices with voice activation continually draw power to detect your voice. Furthermore, any device put into “standby mode” instead of completely shutting down will continue to draw power from the grid even when it’s not operating. This includes computer monitors, televisions, printers, and cable systems.


    Phantom load provides the power source to maintain your TV’s settings, your lights, and the clocks on your microwave and radio. It’s basically “standby energy” that allows the devices to be up-to-date and ready for use. It’s convenient. However, it comes at an expense.

    It’s possible that you didn’t have to worry about the energy you’d wasted when you saw the lighting and LED indicator lights shining. Since each uses only just a few watts, isn’t it?

    These watts increase in time. According to Environmental Protection Agency, phantom energy could account for as much as 10% of your monthly electric bill. If it is added up across the United States, it could amount to billions of dollars each year lost to fake energy. It’s a lot of money to spend on appliances and devices you’re not making use of.

    How much money do you lose due to false loads?

    Although vampire loads may not make you lose hundreds of dollars each year, the waste of energy will accumulate in time. The amount you’re losing will depend on the price of electricity at your place and also the number (and kinds) of devices taking in electricity through being connected.

    Electronics in the home, like modems, cable boxes, video game consoles, and DVD players, are usually the most significant sources of energy-hungry devices.

    An effective way to understand the loss is to look at some appliances and calculate the power they consume when they’re not. Let’s take, for instance, and you always leave your TV and desktop computer connected when they are not being used. The typical daily wattage utilized by a PC on your desktop is about 25W and a TV, on the other hand, is around 29 W.

    Remember that your service is charged by the kWh. That means the desktop computer consumes around .025 percent of kWh per day, and the TV consumes .029 percent of kWh or about 8 and 9 kWh per year.

    The Advantages of Phantom Loads

    Although it’s easy to think that the phantom load is inherently wasted, it’s not the same as a cut-and-dry.

    Typically, this “phantom” power isn’t merely spent on nothing. It is utilized to ensure that the device is in the state of being ready.

    Televisions that are controlled by remotes, such as stereos, are equipped with a phantom charge to ensure that, at a minimum, your IR or Bluetooth receiver is on to enable you to switch them on at any time.

    Without the phantom load, you’d have to switch on the device using a switch to the device before you could use the remote. In the same way, if you’re using smart devices, such as smart bulbs or intelligent plugs, that require only a tiny amount of energy to be ready to commands.

    Phantom loads also permit “instant-on” functionality in appliances or devices that need an initial warm-up time. It’s not as popular today as earlier; however, one of the most common examples during 1920 was CRT tube TVs. The tube TV required several minutes to warm up thoroughly and display the image, so the manufacturer designed tubes that would remain in a pre-heated state so that when you turned the television, it didn’t seem like you were waiting for the heater to get warm.

    How to Reduce Phantom Loads

    • Unplug devices, such as chargers, that consume energy even when they are not used.
    • It would help if you thought about leaving your microwave off until you’re ready to use it. This will mean you have one less clock in your daily life; however, it could be a good thing.
    • Connect every component of your computer to an electrical power strip. Then, turn the strip off once you’re finished with your computer. Make the same thing happen for your TV as well as other entertainment devices in your home.
    • Your computer should be set to sleep mode when not being used.
    • Make sure you invest in Smart Strip powerstrips, which will cut off the power for devices that aren’t utilized.

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