Should You Unplug Your Appliances to Save Money on Electricity?

How to Stop Your Appliances from Drawing Power When They’re Not in Use

If you listen closely to your appliances, you might hear them buzzing even if they’re not on. Whether you realize it or not, many home appliances draw power when they’re not being used. That can add a lot of money to your utility bill. That doesn’t mean you need to unplug every machine in your home, but keeping some appliances disconnected from the wall can help you save money. Use this guide to avoid wasting precious energy.

Which Appliances Draw Power When They’re Not On?

Some appliances don’t draw power unless they’re on, but others continue to draw power whenever they’re plugged in. The following appliances draw power even when they’re not in use:

  • Any device that has lights
  • Smart appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and washers and dryers, that stay connected to the internet
  • Chargers that draw power even when the device isn’t connected
  • Media players and electronics with active LED displays

These are known as standby appliances. Many devices stay on continuously so the machine can stay connected to the internet. They may collect data and send reports back to the manufacturer. Appliances that use built-in software programs will scan for updates regularly to make sure they are using the latest version.

When to Unplug Your Appliances

Unplugging and plugging your appliances back can be a hassle, especially if the plug isn’t easily accessible, but standby appliances account for around 5% to 10% of residential power use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and unplugging them from the wall can save households up to $100 each year.

Many appliances are now connected to the internet, which forces them to draw power 24/7, but there’s no practical reason to keep them plugged in and logged on unless you’re using them.

It’s best to unplug these appliances if you plan on leaving town or don’t plan on using them for the foreseeable future. Make sure there isn’t any food in the fridge that will spoil while you’re gone.

Consider using an extension cord to make it easier to unplug major appliances when they’re not in use. Bring the plug up to eye level, so you can always see if the machine is plugged in. Inspect the outlet for damage and call an electrician if there are any exposed wires.

Save Energy with Appliance Maintenance and Repair

Your appliances will also draw more electricity as they age. Older appliances lose efficiency over time, which only adds to your utility bills. Consider having your appliances repaired by a professional instead of replacing them outright. The repairperson will inspect the machine for damage and worn-down parts that can sap electricity. It’s best to have your major appliances inspected at least once a year to maintain efficiency.

The price of electricity isn’t coming down any time soon. There’s no reason to leave your appliances plugged in just so they can sit idle and stay connected to the internet. Unplug these machines when they’re not in use to save as much money as possible.

Contact the professionals at Absolute Appliance Repair in San Rafael to make sure your appliances are using as little energy as possible.