Do you have energy vampires in your office?

Energy Vampire

I think we are over the vampire movies for a while with the Twilight series on hiatus, but did you know there are energy “vampires” in your home and office? Yep, there are energy vampires all over your office and home that suck up energy at night and for that matter, during the day as well.  The vampires are hidden in your printers, fax machines, copiers and other office machines. “Standby Mode” is just another name for “Vampire Mode”. Your machines continue to draw power even after you have turned them off. In a worst case scenario in the typical office, this can be as much as 10% of your total energy costs.

When you turn off your gadgets, many of them don’t always turn completely off.  They continue to draw small amounts of power as long as they are connected to the electric grid in your office or home. This is called vampire energy drain. Just think of all the electronic devices in a typical office that are on at any given moment but not in active use.

Most offices run only on day shift and are active for, say, maybe nine or ten hours each day, more or less. That means that 2/3rds of the time the office is closed but almost every one of the common devices found in the office is still using power. While many newer machines have a sleep mode or a standby mode, most of the older machines ( which is usually most of the ones you have) do not have the sleep mode and keep sucking energy all night long for as much as 16 hours every day . Hey, and don’t forget weekends and holidays when they are sucking energy 24 hours a day. I know it sounds like only a small amount of power used at any given moment but remember,  it runs in “Vampire Mode” for hours and hours and hours.

Imagine, for instance, that you had a huge water tank that had a tiny little hole that dripped a tiny little drop of water every second. Out of a huge water tank, that certainly is not very much but during the 14 to 16 or so hours that the typical office is closed, your water tank will have lost over 57,000 drops which is about .63 gallons. Over a long holiday weekend, it could be almost as much as 260,000 drops which is about 2.86 gallons. I won’t bore you with the math but imagine this going on over and over all year long and you can see how much the vampire is taking from you. 

Fortunately, there are ways you can beat the vampire. You can unplug your appliances after each use (which is just not very practical) or you can plug them into power strips that have an on/off button. Simply click the power button to turn on your equipment and click it again to turn everything off. Some strips even sense the low power levels of inactive machines and automatically turn off. If you have an electronic device that you use infrequently, just simply plug it in every time you use it and unplug when finished.

Remember:  just because your gadgets are turned off, they may not be completely off and the vampire mode is probably sucking you dry!

-Steve Durham

Sr. Account Manager, FSIoffice

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