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Does Unplugging Appliances Save Electricity?

by Spencers TV & Appliance

Does Unplugging Appliances Save Money

At a Glance:

Does Unplugging Appliances Save Electricity?

How Much Will You Save On Your Bills by Unplugging Appliances?

There Are Other Ways to Save on Electricity

Consider Investing in Energy-Efficient Appliances

Additional Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Costs

Frequently Asked Power Saving Questions

Why Trust Spencers TV & Appliance

The average American family pays $5,640.72 in utility bills each year (around $470 per month). This includes bills for electricity, gas, water, waste, internet, and phone services. These bills tend to ebb and flow based on the seasons and region. Many people notice a spike in their electricity bills during August, when hot temperatures drive up air conditioning use, and in January when families need heat.

Many people want to reduce their energy bills so they don’t have to spend as much on home costs each month. Even a minor drop in their expenses can have a positive impact on their financial state. This has left many families wondering: does unplugging appliances save electricity? And if so, how much? Here’s what you need to know about this energy-saving tip – along with a few other ways you can save on electric bills.

Does Unplugging Appliances Save Electricity?

Yes, unplugging appliances can reduce the overall amount of electricity you save. When you turn an appliance off, it no longer draws electricity from the outlet; however, there is still a small current that flows from the wall to the device. This is as phantom energy (also called vampire energy).

Some appliances will have a bigger power draw when they are off than others. For example, your smartphone charger or laptop might not draw as much power if there are auto shut-off features once the devices are charged. However, your microwave will always draw a little power even when it isn’t in use.

There are additional benefits to unplugging your devices. First, you can reduce the wear of the device by keeping it unplugged. This can extend the life of your appliances, so you don’t have to buy new ones as often. Additionally, unplugging devices can reduce your risk of an electric fire. While this risk is minimal, all it takes is one bad wire and one unfortunate spark to create a fire in a home. 

By unplugging toasters, computers, and other electronics when they aren’t in use, you can reduce your overall energy consumption.

How Much Will You Save On Your Bills by Unplugging Appliances?

While unplugging appliances can reduce your energy costs, you have to decide whether the savings are worth it. The United States Department of Energy estimates that you can save $100 per year on your energy bill by unplugging your appliances. That comes out to $8.33 per month (or about 27 cents per day).

While any savings might be appreciated, you need to decide whether building healthy habits of unplugging appliances is worth a quarter per day. Some appliances are easy to unplug after use (for example a toaster, blowdryer, and stand mixer). However, unplugging other appliances is more involved. You might have to reach behind your microwave to unplug it or your TV could take a while to connect to the internet or cable box after you plug it back in.

There are also some devices that you cannot unplug. Major appliances like your washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, and dishwasher will always need to be plugged in.

There Are Other Ways to Save on Electricity

Does unplugging appliances save electricity? Yes, but it might not be the most impactful step you can take to reduce your monthly bills. Heating and cooling account for around 50% of home energy costs. If you unplug your appliances but bring down your house to cold temperatures at night, you might negate any savings benefits by excessive HVAC usage. Even bringing up your home temperature by two degrees could have an impact on your monthly costs. You can also invest in insulation so less of your climate-controlled air seeps outside. 

You can hire a home consultant if you want to know how to save money on your electric bill. They can look at your utility costs, usage, and appliances to see why your bills are so high. They also might recommend changing your utilities to be more efficient. For example, 40% of consumers believe the dishwasher uses more water than washing dishes by hand. However, you can save more than 100 gallons of water weekly by running the dishwasher and skipping prewashing.  

There is no single solution to know how to save on your electric bill. You will have to make a lot of small changes throughout your home to reduce your costs. Ideally, all of these minor adjustments will add up to noticeable savings.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Consider Investing in Energy-Efficient Appliances

Another way to reduce your electricity bill is to invest in appliances that use less energy. Adding a dishwasher to your home can cut back on your water usage, but so can switching to a front-load washer. An efficient front-load washer uses around 13 gallons of water per load, half of what a top-load model needs. (Front-load washers also require less detergent per cycle.)

You can also look into Energy Star-certified appliances that have been designed to use less energy. These appliances require less energy while running than their counterparts in the current market. You might save a few dollars per day per appliance, which adds up over the course of the year.

Switching up your appliances can have multiple financial benefits for your home. Not only can you reduce your electricity and water usage but you can also increase the resale value of your property. Your high-quality appliances can be a selling point if you decide to move. 

Additional Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Costs

If you can’t afford to upgrade your appliances right now, there are other ways to reduce your energy bills. Many electric and water companies offer advice to lower costs when bills start to spike. Here are a few small changes you can make in your home.

  • Remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room. You can also use natural light during the day if your home has enough windows.
  • Replace your lightbulbs with LED models. These bulbs use considerably less energy.
  • Take shorter showers. An 8-minute shower uses 17 gallons of water. Even slightly shorter showers can reduce your water bill.
  • Wash clothes in cold water. Almost 90% of the electricity your washer uses goes toward heating the water. More detergents are designed to work with cold water.
  • Plug up holes in your insulation. The more cold air you can keep in your home, the less you will need to pump in through your air conditioner.
  • Run your dishwasher at night. Utility costs spike during the day in some areas because of usage and pressure on the power grid. You might notice lower bills by running your dishwasher and clothes dryer at night.

None of these tips require a significant sacrifice in your home. You only need to shorten your showers by a few minutes and raise your thermostat a few degrees to lower your overall bills. You can stay comfortable while cutting costs.


Does unplugging appliances save electricity?

Yes. Unplugging your appliances can reduce the amount of electricity you use each month and lower your carbon footprint. However, you might not notice much of a cost savings. It depends on how many appliances you unplug and your overall bills. The time spent plugging and unplugging your microwave, TV, and other appliances might not be worth the effort.

Which appliances use the most electricity?

Your HVAC system (heating and cooling) is responsible for nearly half of your electric bill. Other high-power appliances are the water heater, the refrigerator, and the washer and dryer. These aren’t appliances that you can unplug to save energy. Instead, you should look for energy-efficient models that consume less water and power.

Should I unplug appliances when I am on vacation?

Yes. If your house is empty while you are on vacation, you can unplug appliances like your TV and microwave. This way your appliances won’t pull energy while you aren’t there. You can also turn off your HVAC system if you don’t have any pets in your home while you are traveling.

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Energy Efficient Appliances at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop energy-efficient appliances online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you finally answer: does unplugging appliances save electricity? Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

Learn More: How Does Appliance Financing Work?