The modern property is full of electrical devices, and if households think about everything they have plugged into the outlets or extension cords around the house, they might be surprised by the sheer number of devices they own.
Then there are appliances like fridges and freezers that should never be turned off. They are a constant drain on electricity, and apart from making sure to have energy-efficient versions, there is little households can do to reduce their power usage except by opening them as infrequently as possible.
For those heading on their holidays or just looking to save as much money on their energy bills as possible, Ian Palmer-Smith, appliance expert at Domestic & General, has listed the “worst appliances” that households should “never leave on standby” – and has answered some common questions.
He explained that leaving certain appliances on at the plug is likely to suck up some electricity, which is the last thing anyone wants during a cost-of-living crisis.
But that’s not all as more often than not, it’s necessary to unplug these items too, for the maximum energy-saving benefits.
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Ian argued: “Some think that simply turning them off is sufficient, but there are many electrical products that continue to use power when left plugged in – these are often called ‘vampire devices’.”
The appliance pro agreed that the “most common vampire devices” found in homes include washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, TVs and microwaves.
He added that computer monitors, printers, coffee machines and kettles are also the “most energy-sucking appliances”.
Households may be thinking about why these appliances are the most costly to leave on standby.
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Ian claimed: “Appliances that need to heat water use a lot of energy – which is why dishwashers, washing machines and kettles score so highly on energy consumption.
“They use more energy than others on standby as they need to be ready to heat water instantly, on demand.”
These appliances should be unplugged entirely, or at least switched off at the plug, because only turning them off via remote or on their display will still use up electricity.
The expert clarified: “Any appliance that’s still switched on or that stays plugged into a live socket, is using an electric current.
“Even in sleep or standby modes, some items continue to use energy for updates, connecting to remote servers, and recording data. The only way to ensure you’re not using any energy is to turn it off at the plug – or pull it out.”
That being said, there are a couple of household appliances that should “never be turned off”, despite them using up a lot of electricity.
Ian warned: “Whilst fridge freezers contribute around 12 percent to a household energy bill, you shouldn’t turn off or unplug this before a holiday as this will cause the fridge to defrost and also potentially result in a smelly kitchen.”
For those who have appliances fixed, the expert has suggested an alternative way to turn them off. Ian said: “Standby savers, or energy-saving plugs, work with remote controls. The device blocks power from moving through the socket to the appliance. So, they’re handy if your sockets are in hard-to-reach areas.”
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