15 Things to Unplug for Major Savings on Your Electricity Costs

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Should you bother unplugging stuff when they’re not in use? Yes, it’s worthwhile. The Energy Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs reports that standby power consumes approximately 7.4 percent of residential electricity. Unplugging certain items can therefore help cut down on your energy bills.

Appliances with LED Displays


Appliances adorned with LED displays (such as your smart home gadgets, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and smart thermostat) might be visual delights, but they’re also silent energy consumers. These devices remain perpetually online, performing background checks and updates that siphon power without pause. 

By making a habit of unplugging these appliances when they’re not actively in use, you’ll significantly curb the phantom power drain in your home. It might take some adjustment to adopt this practice the energy savings can be substantial.



Modern TVs, particularly smart TVs, use a lot of power even when switched off because they stay in standby mode to receive remote signals and software updates. 

Unplugging your television when not in use can significantly decrease idle power consumption, boosting your energy savings.

Beauty and Bathroom Appliances

The usual suspects in your bathroom—hairdryers, straighteners, and electric shavers—might seem innocuous, but they’re secret energy drainers even when turned off. 

It’s easy to get distracted by your polished look, but remember to unplug these devices after each grooming session. This simple habit goes a long way in contributing to energy efficiency and enhancing safety within your household.



It’s a common misconception that leaving your air conditioner on while you’re away keeps your home more comfortable—-it’s generally more cost-effective to turn it off. 

This is because a warmer interior will not absorb as much heat compared to when it’s artificially cooled. Turning off the air conditioner when you leave helps to balance indoor and outdoor temperatures, reducing the overall energy required to recool the home upon your return.


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Even when they aren’t charging anything, chargers for phones, laptops, and tablets continue to consume electricity. Although this might not seem like much, the cost surprisingly accumulates over time. 

Disconnect your chargers when they’re idle to cut down on this needless power drain and help your chargers last longer.



The way you use your radiator can impact the efficiency of your entire heating system. While it might seem that all radiators need to be on for even heating, turning some off can actually enhance the system’s efficiency. 

By doing so, the boiler heats fewer radiators but does it more effectively, which means the active areas warm up faster. This early warming allows the boiler to shut off sooner, reducing gas usage and therefore, saving you money.

Decorative Lighting


While decorative lighting (like string lights and electric candles) adds charm and ambiance to your home, it also demands a continuous flow of electricity, often unnecessarily. 

These lights typically stay plugged in for convenience or to enhance decor, but they can be quite energy-intensive. To cut down on energy use, consider using these lights only for special occasions or switching to alternatives powered by solar energy or batteries.

Cable Boxes


Among home electronics, cable boxes, especially those equipped with DVR capabilities, are notorious for high energy consumption. They operate continuously to maintain program guides and to record shows, which means they’re never really ‘off’. 

Unplugging your cable boxes during periods when you’re away stops this constant energy drain and leads to savings on your energy bills, making it a simple yet effective way to reduce your household’s energy consumption.


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Your desktop computers, monitors, and related devices like printers and scanners still draw power even when turned off. 

The best way to prevent this waste is to unplug these devices at the end of each day or use a smart power strip that helps manage and reduce their energy use more effectively.

Garage Tools


Garage tools (like power drills, saws, and lawn equipment) often go unnoticed as energy drainers. These tools, although used intermittently, can continuously draw power if left plugged into an outlet. 

Unplugging these devices when they’re not in use prevents this passive energy use, ensuring that your garage or shed isn’t adding unnecessarily to your home’s energy expenditure.



Microwaves have become even more essential in kitchens this year as a budget-friendly way to prepare meals, with their usage for cooking main meals once a week on the rise. 

Despite their energy efficiency for cooking, many of us leave microwaves plugged in and ready to go, which can quietly drain power. Simply turning off your microwave at the wall when not in use can save you much more than you think. So next time, after the beep, remember to flip the switch.

Night Lights


Night lights are often a staple in homes, providing comfort and safety during the night, especially in rooms frequented by children. However, these small lights can add up on your energy bill if left on continuously. 

Consider upgrading to models with motion detectors (which only light up when needed) or make it a routine to unplug them during the day. 

Entertainment Systems


Home entertainment systems like DVD players, game consoles, and stereo systems can be quiet energy hogs, even when they seem inactive. These devices continue to draw power in standby mode, which can add up significantly over time. 

By unplugging these systems when they’re not in use, you cut down on your energy consumption and also reduce the risk of electrical fires—a safety bonus that’s often overlooked.

Coffee Maker


Even when your coffee maker is off, if it’s plugged in, it’s likely still consuming power. Standby mode can account for a substantial portion of a coffee maker’s energy usage, irrespective of the model or brewing method. 

Moreover, leaving the coffee maker plugged in can lead to mineral buildup in the water tank, which can interfere with the heating efficiency over time. To maximize energy savings and maintain the appliance’s functionality, turn off the coffee maker once the pot is empty and unplug it.

Older Models of Washing Machines and Dryers


Older washers and dryers are notorious for their stealthy consumption of phantom energy, quietly draining power even when idle. 

To combat this inefficiency, it’s wise to unplug these appliances once your laundry is finished, especially if you don’t use them daily. This simple action can lead to noticeable reductions in your power bill and extend the life of your appliances by reducing their overall energy load.

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.