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Does Unplugging Appliances Really Help Save Energy?

By January 4, 2023January 9th, 2023No Comments
Unplugging Appliances

With the cost of electricity having gone through the roof, most of us are looking for ways to save energy. Some electric companies are even providing incentives by running random energy saving hours promoting users to find ways to lower their usage during very specific hours of the day. One suggestion is to unplug appliances that are not in use, but does this really work?

Phantom Use

Some, not all appliances, use standby power even when they are not in operation. When purchasing your appliances, you can always check the label or user manual to see exactly how much standby power is being used by the appliance.

Another surefire way to know if your appliance is sucking up energy when it is not in use is if it has functional electronics that are on display even when you are not making something with or using the appliance. For instance, does your coffee maker and toaster oven have a clock on it? That clock is not running by itself, so even when not in use, those appliances are sucking up small bits of energy that add to your overall bill.

Individually, they may not use very much, but collectively, this could be adding significant money to your bill over the months and year. So, if we told you that you could save enough over a year to get one free month’s electric, would that inspire you to start pulling some plugs? Well, that is about what it works out. The United States Department of Energy estimates that 10 percent of every bill is due to phantom energy.

Use Technology

The question then becomes is it reasonable to go around and unplug every appliance, then plug them back in when we need them. If we are being realistic, very few people are going to be that dedicated to such a task, but you don’t have to be. You can purchase smart strips that cut the power to everything plugged into it. If the home is being custom built, you could also have certain outlets wired to a light switch that would give or cut power to those outlets.

The next time you purchase an appliance, read that label to see how much standby power it uses. Narrow your choices down to those that have the lowest numbers.

With just a little bit of effort, you may soon find that your monthly energy bill has gone down by at least 10 percent!