Most of us are spending a significant amount of money each month for energy that we don’t use, and we don’t even know it. It’s called, “idle load.” Idle load is the consumption of energy from appliances or gadgets that are turned off but plugged in. Some unplugged appliances still consume a fair amount of energy even if they’re turned off. Light-heartedly, these devices are sometimes called energy vampires, as they suck the energy out of your home.
Understanding idle energy loads is vital if you want to cut the cost of electric bills. Here are a few things to keep an eye open for.
Innovative appliances with digital readings and other features are convenient. However, that convenience comes at a cost. Always-on devices require a constant supply of energy. Electronics that are in stand-by or sleep mode for a quick start-up will continue to draw power until unplugged. Although many of your appliances are technically “off,” they likely have one feature or another that requires some amount of electricity to maintain some sort of memory or timer.
If you have a coffee machine that tells the time or has a built-in timer for starting a fresh pot when you wake up, that appliance is then running all day. It needs to know what time it is so it knows when to turn on your brew. To do that, it must stay on 24/7. Common sources of idle energy loads in the kitchen include coffee machines, microwaves, and toaster ovens.
Idle Loads in the Living Room
The living room is often accountable for the greatest amount of energy waste. In addition to your cable box, DVR, and television, you may have a streaming device and a gaming console that have a need always to draw power. Do you know that older cable boxes and DVRs can drain as much power while in an inactive state as more modern devices do when fully on? Don’t let those devices run all day and all night. Consider plugging them into an outlet with on/off button. This way, you can turn the entire setup off and avoid idle loads.
Pad your wallet and lessen the consumption of Earth’s resources by minimizing unnecessary idle loads. While the savings from minimizing idle load may not expedite your retirement, a penny saved is a penny earned, and it does add up.