How to Save Money By Unplugging Seldom-Used Appliances

How to Save Money By Unplugging Seldom-Used Appliances

How to Save Money By Unplugging Seldom-Used Appliances

Many of us likely have appliances in our homes that we don’t use very often. While it may seem harmless to leave them plugged in, even when not in use, these appliances still draw power. The small amounts of electricity they use can add up over time, costing you more money. Unplugging seldom-used appliances is an easy way to start saving on your energy bill each month.

Why Unplugging Appliances Saves Money

Even when turned “off,” many appliances still draw a small amount of power when left plugged in. This power draw is known as “standby power” or “phantom load.” Some of the biggest energy vampires include:

  • Televisions
  • Desktop computers and monitors
  • DVD/Blu-ray players
  • Cable/satellite boxes
  • Stereos and radios
  • Coffee makers
  • Microwaves
  • Toaster ovens

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, standby power accounts for 5-10% of an average home’s electricity use. This costs the average household $100 per year. By unplugging appliances you don’t use daily, you can easily reduce this standby power use and save money.

How Much Money Can You Save?

The amount you’ll save by unplugging appliances depends on the specific devices, how often they’re used, and your electricity rate. Here are some estimates on potential savings:

  • Unplugging your TV when not in use could save $10-20 per year
  • Unplugging a desktop computer setup could save $40-80 per year
  • Unplugging a dormant refrigerator in the garage may save $100 or more per year

If you unplugged 10 unused appliances, you could easily save $200-300 per year. The more devices you can unplug when not in use, the more you’ll save. It really adds up over time!

Tips for Unplugging Effectively

Follow these tips to make unplugging appliances easier and more effective:

  • Make it convenient. Use power strips so you can unplug multiple devices quickly. Mount them somewhere accessible.

  • Unplug battery chargers when not in use. Cell phone and laptop chargers use energy even without a device connected.

  • Consider smart power strips. These sense when a device is off and cut phantom load automatically.

  • Label strips to remember what’s plugged in where.

  • Unplug appliances before extended vacations. You’ll maximize savings by unplugging TVs, computers, and accessories when away for multiple days.

  • Periodically check for unused appliances to unplug. It’s easy to forget about seldom-used gadgets.

Bottom Line

Simply being more aware of what’s plugged in and unplugging unused devices can lead to significant energy savings. It only takes a minute to unplug an appliance, so be diligent and make this easy step part of your regular routine. Your electricity bill will thank you!