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Tis the season for chilly weather, falling leaves, ghosts and goblins. But energy vampires and phantom loads lurk in our homes throughout the year.

Phantom load comes from appliances and other devices that are plugged and drawing energy even when they aren’t in use.  It also comes from products that are on standby to run clocks or timers – think coffee makers, game consoles, TVs and large appliances. On average, phantom load costs consumers about $100 every year.

The Energy Star Rating
In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Energy Star program to help businesses and individual consumers save money and help protect the climate.  This voluntary program promotes energy efficiency in our homes, stores, schools and commercial buildings by identifying and promoting energy-efficient products and buildings that help reduce overall energy consumption.

You’ve probably seen the Energy Star label on some of the appliances in your home already.  It looks like this:
Energy Star Logo

The Energy Star label makes it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that provide great performance, features and comfort – all while helping us save money on energy bills. In order to earn the Energy Star label, products have to meet specific requirements for measurable increased energy-efficiency, investment recovery, and labeling set out by the EPA.

How to Find Energy Star rated Products
Light bulbs, appliances and other products that are Energy Star rated will bear the logo.  So you can just look for it the next time you are replacing light bulbs or buying a refrigerator or other appliance. You can also use the handy product finder on the Energy Star website.

Efficient Lighting at Home
There are many ways to save energy and reduce phantom load with your home lighting.

You can start with replacing incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star certified CFL or LED light bulbs.  These bulbs may cost a little more initially, but they will save money and energy in the long run.  Here’s a really cool calculator that illustrates the savings we’re talking about.

Other ideas include:

·       Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

·       If the natural light in the room is sufficient, don’t turn on the lights at all.

·       Use LED holiday lights this season.

·       Unplug devices that you don’t use very often (TVs, stereos, DVD players).

·       Use dimmers, timers and motion sensors throughout your home (inside and out) to turn lights on and off, especially when you’re away on vacation.


House of Andala carries a wide selection of Energy Star rated light bulbs.  Let us up help you get rid of some of the phantom load in your home.
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