By now, you may have heard of “vampire waste,” you know, the appliances and electronics that draw power 24 hours a day, even when they’re not in use. Sometimes, unplugging a device like a coffee maker or toaster is really easy because it’s so accessible, but other times, it can be a bit of a hassle. So, is it worth it for you to unplug?
A lot of people aren’t aware of it, but they can spend a lot of extra money by keeping appliances and electronics plugged in 24/7. Sometimes, unplugging those devices can add up to a cost savings of around $100 or $200 a year. Not only that but when you unplug appliances and electronics, you protect them against power surges.
“These so-called “energy vampires” are appliances that continue to draw power from electrical outlets, even when turned off or idle. While these vampires won’t suck your blood, some of these appliances can cause substantial increases to your energy usage, costing you and your family hundreds of dollars per year,” according to energy.gov.
Can Unplugging Save Electricity?
If you think about it, most homes today have electronic appliances in virtually every room. Just imagine the appliances in the kitchen, the entertainment center, and all of the appliances and chargers in each bedroom and bathroom. We’ll bet that you can rattle off at least 15 appliances that are plugged in right now before you even get to the major appliances in the kitchen and laundry room.
While each appliance may only consume a small amount of electricity when it’s plugged in all the time, when you have a whole house plugged in 24/7, it can have a noticeable impact on your energy bill.
“According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an appliance constantly taking in 1 watt of electrical current is equivalent to 9kWh per year, adding up to $1 in annual costs (basically $1/watt/annual). Considering how many appliances are used in an average household, costs can quickly add up to $100-200 a year,” according to energy.gov.
Creating New Habits
If you’re determined to unplug your appliances, you’ll have to establish new habits. A good place to start is the kitchen appliances like the coffee maker and toaster. More starting points include the electric can opener and phone chargers. Even if you aren’t using these items, they’re still drawing a little power every second they’re plugged in.
What about all the electronics plugged into your entertainment center? It would be a real headache to unplug those every day. In this case, it’s wise to invest in a power strip. With these, you can shut off the power to everything with one flip of a switch, even though everything is still plugged in.