Tricks to ward off phantoms, treat yourself to energy savings

Halloween is not the only time ghosts show up at your doorstep. Some phantoms don’t eat candy. Instead, they feast on your home’s energy use. Any electronic device plugged into an outlet can possess your home with phantom load and continue to drain electricity when it’s turned off. Many consumer electronics continue to draw power even when they are switched off, which could add an extra 10% to your monthly utility bill. Never fear! There are lots of ways you can keep power hungry devices from haunting your home.

Ward off phantom load

  • Turn off computers and other equipment when they aren’t in use.
  • Use power management settings on computers and monitors, which will send your equipment into low-power “sleep modes” after periods of inactivity. Avoid using screen savers.
  • Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
  • When streaming content, choose the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching.
  • Avoid streaming on game consoles, which use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop.
  • Group small appliances and electronics together on power strips and switch on only when needed. Be careful not to overload your power strip.

Watch this video to learn more:

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy

Bone-chilling weather can drive up your energy bill. If you feel a sudden draft, don’t get spooked! Before you call a ghost hunter to check for poltergeists, check around your home for cracks in walls or an open fireplace damper to see if cold air is creeping in. The change in temperature will cause your home heating system to work harder, waste energy and cost you more. Here are some inexpensive ways to avoid getting a shiver up your spine when you get your next bill.

  • Apply weatherstripping on doors and windows.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
  • Use foam sealant on larger gaps around window trims, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
  • Check for open fireplace dampers and make sure they properly close

If you like being an energy ghostbuster, there are plenty of simple ways you can exterminate pesky energy wasters for the colder months ahead.

Visit for more energy-saving tips. We wish you and your family a safe and happy Halloween!

Tips provided by the U.S. Department of Energy

Sam Taylor

Sam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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