Do you know that your electrical appliances are constantly draining electricity even when they are switched off (when the plug is not pulled out of the socket)? This is known as standby power or phantom load. In the United States alone, this undetected drainage alone costs consumers $ 3 billion a year collectively. This sort of power loss is also called as vampire power because it is secretly being sucked out.
It might not be much and it also might not be worth the cost, but if you’re using surge protectors to protect your expensive gadgets and appliances from power surges, you will be happy to know that these surge protectors also help you save energy. Besides, in a shocking discovery it has been found that over long period of time, your microwave and your television may consume more power while they are on standby than when you’re actually using them.
What is a surge protector?
A typical gadget or an appliance is designed to work at 120 volts (240 V in many other countries). A power surge occurs when it receives energy exceeding this amount. A surge can come from your power company as well as from a thunderbolt that can give you a 15,000 V surge easily. So much energy can easily burn out your appliances. If you have surge protectors installed they will either block this access energy or redirect it somewhere else. At many places it is also called a stabiliser.
Surge protectors can be of two types: whole-house surge protectors and point-of-use surge protectors. As the name suggest, the former protects your entire house as the electricity enters your house, and the latter protects individual devices. Both have their pros and cons but the point-of-use surge protectors can help you save energy.
Saving electricity by using point-of-use surge protectors
As mentioned above, even when you have switched off your devices like your computer, music system or even your cell phone, they are constantly draining electricity in order to keep hidden functions like clocks and sensors working constantly. Some of these functions may be necessary, but most of them are not required by a regular user.
The best way to stop your electricity from draining is to unplug the device. But it can be a problem unplugging multiple devices every day and then plugging them back when you need to switch them on. Just imagine having to unplug 20 chords every time you go to bed at night, and then plugging them in every morning.
A point of use surge protector can help you in this regard. Most of the surge protectors can accommodate multiple outlets. That way if you want to unplug multiple wires, all you need to do is unplug the power surge protector.
Many models of surge protectors also come with a motion detector. So if your room is empty, after a while they can automatically turn off the outlets. They can have a mix of occupancy-controlled as well as uncontrolled outlets in a single surge protector. So appliances like computers can be plugged into uncontrolled outlets (as in most of the cases you want your computers and laptops running even when you’re not around) so that they are not turned off in the absence of motion and the remaining can be plugged into the occupancy-controlled outlets.