When you walk out of a room, you know that you should turn off the lights to conserve both energy and money. However, perhaps you’re starting to wonder if the same idea makes sense when it comes to appliances. In other words, you may be wondering if you should unplug your appliances to save energy when the devices are not in use.
The Short Answer
In sum, yes, unplugging appliances when not in use does save energy. Even when appliances are off, there is still a small electrical draw. You might be surprised to see lower energy bills by simply starting to unplug appliances. Now, you can learn about other benefits of unplugging appliances and decide which devices to leave plugged in.
Protection Against Fires
The thought of an electrical fire at home is frightening, but these unfortunate events do happen. Unplugging appliances when not in use can help to reduce the risk of such a fire. Since the appliance is not drawing any electricity at all, the risk of an electrical fire from that appliance is reduced. Do keep in mind that electrical fires can start in other ways, such as through a faulty outlet or bad wiring.
Protection Against Power Surges
If a power surge happens in the house, appliances could be destroyed, especially if you’re not using a surge protector. Protecting the appliances themselves means unplugging the devices when not in use.
Longevity of the Appliance
Since appliances still draw energy when they are plugged in, even if the unit is turned off, unplugging them can increase the longevity of these devices. In other words, since the appliance is totally off, the device is not using any energy. The appliance is not on in any capacity. By starting to unplug appliances when not in use, you might find that these devices last for a longer time. This benefit is also a money-saving one as you will not necessarily need to replace the appliances in the near future.
However, you should also recognize the limitations of unplugging appliances. In other words, you cannot realistically unplug every appliance in your house. Unplugging the refrigerator and freezer is certainly not a possibility. Unplugging the oven constantly doesn’t logically work out either. For the most part, smaller appliances are the ones you should unplug when not in use.
Televisions and Radios
Unplugging the entire television setup when you’re done watching a show is unrealistic. In many households, residents are accustomed to turning the television on and off regularly throughout the day. Radios, on the other hand, can be unplugged when not in use. It doesn’t take long to plug a radio back in, and you may have other ways of listening to music.
Washer and Dryer
As far as large appliances go, you could consider unplugging the washer and dryer when you aren’t doing laundry. When it comes to house fires, dryers can certainly be a cause, so unplugging this appliance can give you greater peace of mind. Of course, you should never leave the dryer running when you’re out of the house, and you can take an additional safety step by removing the plug from the outlet.
Having said all that, washers and dryers are quite heavy and bulky. If the outlet for these devices is located behind them, they are simply too heavy to move frequently. Practicality has to be part of the consideration.
Unplugging the modem every time you’re not surfing the web is likely to be a hassle, especially in a world where many people work from home and take classes online. While you shouldn’t plug in unnecessary devices, you will likely want to keep the internet on at all times.
While plugging a smart device back in doesn’t take a lot of time, doing so defeats the purpose of many such units. In other words, you likely use at least some of your smart devices for safety, comfort, and security around the home. If these devices are not plugged in, they are unable to do their jobs. In most cases, leaving smart devices plugged in makes sense as these tools are typically consistently in use or at work monitoring the house.
Charging Devices and Stations
Walking into the kitchen to plug your phone into the wall right away is simpler than digging around the drawer looking for the charger and cord. However, leaving charging devices and stations plugged in is a waste of energy. Also, some of these devices can be hazardous when plugged in. If you have a device or charging station from a disreputable brand, the tool could overheat and catch on fire.
You’ll have to decide if unplugging every lamp in the house is practical. In a house with multiple lamps in every room, this endeavor could take up an unrealistic amount of time. In a home where most of the lights are overhead, though, you could take the time to unplug the few lamps that you do have when you don’t them to see.
Once your laptop is fully charged, there is no need to leave the computer plugged into the wall. If you are working from home for the day, you can simply plug the laptop back in when the battery starts to run low. If you’re going to be out of the house at work or school, bring a charger along with you.
You might play an instrument, such as a keyboard, that needs to be plugged in for usage. Since you can easily plug an instrument in and pick up where you left off with your lessons, you can also unplug these items when you aren’t playing tunes.
Virtually any person who has used a straightener or curling iron has also had the frightening moment of wondering if the appliance was left on in the house unattended. Unplugging beauty tools immediately after using them can help to alleviate this fear. Additionally, unplugging these devices can help to reduce the risk of house fires and save energy.
Create a Checklist
Now that you know what appliances to unplug and which devices to leave plugged in, you’re likely wondering how you can remember all of the information. Go through each room in your house making a checklist. Take your time so that you don’t miss any appliances. You can post this checklist on the refrigerator or in another central place where your household members can easily view the information.
Another practical way to remember which appliances to unplug is to post reminders around the house. For example, you could put a note on the bathroom mirror reminding all of your family members to check that the outlet is clear before they leave the room.
Unplugging appliances is important, and so is taking other steps to reduce the amount of energy used in your home while increasing protection from fires. The professionals at Landry Mechanical in Sutton can help to make your home a safer and more efficient dwelling. Our team members can also upgrade your home’s heating and cooling systems. Plumbing services, such as repairs and drain cleaning, are available as well. To get started on any of your related home projects, give us a call today.