Do you think that switching off your appliances means they aren’t sucking up energy or power any longer? That’s far from the truth. Even if you turn off TVs or coffee makers, if they are plugged into the wall outlet, they are still pulling in little bits of energy throughout the day.
That’s why if you are serious about saving on your electric bill, you will start unplugging appliances in your home. That’s one key to this energy-saving game. Keep reading to find out which appliances are best left unplugged when not in use, so you can save money and energy.
Do You Have an Energy Vampire in Your Home?
Phantom power (also called standby power) refers to all the energy that’s wasted when appliances in your home are plugged in and using power. This is happening even when you are not actively using these appliances.
The problem is that most homeowners aren’t aware of this energy vampire that’s sucking up power in their homes and increasing their monthly electric bills. Now that you are aware, you need to spread the news and tell all in your circle, so everyone can start saving money.
How Much Money Can Unplugging Appliances Save?
If you are curious about how much energy your plugged-in appliances are using while in standby mode, buy an electricity usage monitor device. You would plug each appliance into this monitoring device and it would inform you how much power each appliance is using even when not in use.
You could also check another way. If you have a smart meter with the Department of Energy, then you can check your energy usage when you are not at home or at night. This should give you an indication of how much energy gets used by all your plugged-in appliances.
Estimates say that homeowners could save upwards of $100 per year if they started unplugging devices. Of course, this is just an average. Homes that use additional appliances or family members would save much more.
Does Standby Mode Work the Same?
If you are thinking that putting an appliance into standby mode should suffice, think about it this way: When your appliance is in standby mode, does it still have its LED display light on?
If yes, then putting such a device into standby mode doesn’t actually save you any phantom power.
Which Appliances Should You Unplug?
That’s why appliances with LED displays are the first ones you should unplug in your quest to save money. Also, don’t just put your computer or laptop into sleep mode, but actually switch it off and unplug it from the outlet. This will also protect these sensitive electrical devices from power surges.
Keep in mind as well that charging cables that are plugged into wall outlets are sucking up power, even if nothing is being charged at the moment. So unplug those as soon as your charging needs are complete.
Media players like Playstation 4 or XBOX One are still using power even when they are in sleep mode or standby mode since they are constantly updating themselves in the background.
Consider all your smart home appliances, your refrigerator, washer and dryer, your smart thermostat, and more. These are all sucking up power not only due to the LED display but also because they are constantly connected to the internet and conducting checks and updates in the background.
If you can unplug all these appliances when not in use, you will already create a huge reduction in how much phantom power your home uses. It might require a bit of getting used to, but once you build this habit (and your family members as well), then you will be well on your way to big energy savings.
What About Your Air Conditioning and Water Heater?
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about your air conditioner, since a lot of them have plugs that are either out of reach or are connected to the central heating system, which should never be shut off completely since it could take a while to reboot or restart again.
Also, if you live in a cold city, you wouldn’t want to turn off your heating since that could freeze the pipes, causing unneeded expenses. Additionally, turning off your water heater would mean that your water heating would be disrupted as well. It’s better to leave your heating turned on all the time, even if it’s at the minimal setting possible.
Stick to all the other appliances mentioned in the section above and you should do just fine.
Other Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Unplugging appliances isn’t all you can do to save money on your electric bill. There are other steps to take, like the ones mentioned below.
Use Energy Saving Appliances (Those With Energy Star Labels)
You might already be doing this, but using energy saver appliances or those with Energy Star labels is a great start to reducing your monthly electric bill. A lot of new homes come with these appliances, but if you are in an older home, consider switching over to these appliances bit by bit.
Use Power Strips
A power strip helps prevents power surges to your electrical appliances. It can also help you reduce phantom power usage when you plug your appliances into a power strip rather than the wall outlet.
This is because you don’t have to unplug every single appliance one by one. All you need to do is unplug the power strip and you are good to go! Some smart power strips even allow you to cut down on phantom power usage.
Set Your Thermostat
Humans want it hot when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. It’s an interesting game of heat and cool we play.
You can stop playing this game by setting your thermostat at a comfortable enough temperature and then not fiddling around with it too much. Or use a smart thermostat instead.
Get Competitive Rates on Your Energy Bills
You can also start energy saving by getting highly competitive rates in Texas from Chariot Energy. 100% of our energy comes from renewable sources – a combination of Solar energy, Wind energy, Hydro energy, Tidal energy, Geothermal energy, and Biomass energy.
You don’t have to worry about getting solar panels and maintaining expensive equipment or worry about a downpayment or a 15-20 year commitment. And if you live in an apartment, townhouse, or rental, you are still eligible for our renewable energy plans.
Check out our plans today and see which ones suit your needs best.