The simple answer to the question is the ones that use the most energy, but how do you know which ones want all the power?
The DOE provides us with the typical wattages of various appliances, which is a great starting place. Also included in their article is a formula that will tell you how many watts your appliances are using. To be most accurate, check your manuals or if you’ve recycled or lost them all (like me), ask Google how many watts a particular appliance uses when idle.
If calculations aren’t for you, there are some general rules that also help when figuring out if your appliance is hungry for energy:
- Age: If your appliance is old, it’s most likely using more power than necessary. It can pay off to replace an old appliance that still works. Do the math or ask us to help you figure it out. Look for the Energy Star logo on the box when buying new.
- Size: It seems too obvious, but bigger appliances generally use more power than smaller ones.
- Heat: Put your hand on the plug adaptor. If it’s hot, then it’s drawing power. I’ve especially noticed this with computers and smart phone chargers.
“The average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices while they are off (or in standby mode). On a national basis, standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual U.S. electricity consumption and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.” – Energy Star
And here’s the list of the best appliances to unplug for you to save the most:
- DVD Players
- Game Systems
What if you don’t want to remember to unplug appliances all the time? Using a power strip to turn off many appliances at once is a simple solution. You can use traditional ones or there are new smart strips that power everything off when you turn one appliance off. For example, you could set your TV as the master and when the TV is off, the video and stereo systems will automatically power off too.
Beyond power strips, there are other options for you to set it and forget it. You can buy plug adapters that connect to your smart phone and control the power of your devices. There are also plug adapters that have timers to cut off power after different amounts of time.