Even when homeowners make an effort to turn everything off when they leave a room, some devices can continue to drain energy from your home and money from your wallet long after you flip the switch. Be aware of some of the worst culprits so you can consider unplugging if you don’t really need them in standby. Our list doesn’t include the obvious candidates like air conditioners or refrigerators, opting to focus on overlooked consumers.
Your Xbox or Playstation can cost you more than $100 each year if you don’t make an effort to keep them turned off while not in use. Modern consoles usually come with a standby mode that drains nearly no power, but if you leave a console running around the clock like some, it can prove disastrous both in terms of power usage and system performance.
DVRs and Set-Top Boxes
The innocuous box in your entertainment center can cost as much to keep running as a refrigerator. Because DVRs and cable boxes are always in standby and ready to use, they sometimes draw nearly as much power when turned off as they do when turned on. If you know you won’t be watching TV or recording on a certain screen for a while, save a few bucks and just unplug the box.
Microwaves gobble up power when they’re in use, but what about when they’re not? Microwaves are constantly drawing power to illuminate their clocks and keep their buttons on standby, and this can add up over time.
The commonly-held belief that keeping a ceiling fan running carries negligible costs leads many homeowners to leave their fans running around the clock in every room of their house. Fans don’t actually cool a room, however - they just give us that sensation by moving air around. Turn fans off when you leave a room and turn them off when you enter. You’ll get all the same benefits but you won’t be paying for fans that aren’t helping anyone.
Fully Charged Devices
In the habit of leaving your laptop or phone on the charger after it reaches 100 percent? You’re probably wasting power. The power use from most chargers tapers off after charging a device, but they’re still burning electricity without any benefit to you or your device. Try to conserve battery and keep tabs on your charging habits.