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Unplugging Appliances to Save Energy

Abhijit Naik Mar 10, 2020
Is the practice of unplugging appliances to save energy really helpful? Not many people would believe in such a concept, but that doesn't really affect its credibility.
Electronic appliances account for roughly about 20 percent of the power consumption in an average American household. These appliances include everything, right from the dryer and dishwasher to the computer and television. You can save 20 percent of your total energy consumption by not using these appliances!
That, however, is not possible, considering that we are dependent on these appliances to a great extent. Just restricting the use of these appliances in your day-to-day life, i.e., 'unplugging' them when not in use, can help you save a great deal of power.

Unplug Appliances and Save Energy at Home

At times, several electronic appliances absorb power from the power grid when they are not actually in use. This standby power is used by these appliances to keep the electric hedge clippers charged. The power derived from idle appliances is known as the idle current or phantom load.
One of the best examples of such equipment is the cell phone charger. You may not realize, but the charger plugged on to the power strip draws power even when your cell phone is not being charged.
It is not limited to cell phone charger alone. Other equipment chargers such as that of a laptop, digital camera, or any other power tool also absorbs energy in significant amount, even when they are switched off.

How Does it Save Energy?

In an average American home, there are 40 devices which have the tendency to derive power from the grid even when they are not 'on'.
Even though chargers are the most notorious when it comes to such power thefts, there are other appliances, including your television, computer, music player, printer, etc., which have the tendency to rob you off the power without you getting the hint of power loss.
An estimated 10 percent of the electricity is lost owing to this process. This lost power is referred to as the vampire power or phantom power. Unplugging them can minimize the loss and therefore, is considered one of the most convenient measures of saving energy.

How Does it Save Money?

The quantity of power absorbed by these devices may be a very little, but over a period it can amount to a significant (unnecessary) usage. As we mentioned earlier, it is estimated that the energy loss attributed to these appliances can amount to about 10 percent of your monthly energy consumption.
This may seem trivial, but going by numbers, even if you are able to save this amount of energy, your eleventh month energy consumption would be absolutely free―not literally, but through your savings.
Even though this is a convenient measure of saving power, you will have to simultaneously resort to a few other energy saving tips. It is not possible to unplug electronics to save energy all the time. In such a scenario, you can plug a group of devices, which are related to each other―the television and speakers for instance―on to a single power strip.
This will also make it easier for you to switch off all the devices and unplug them at once. Simple measures can work wonders in the long term and therefore, getting used to them can be of great help.