With Eskom’s load-shedding escalating, here’s why you should unplug your household appliances as soon as possible. Since we published earlier articles on how much power household items use, we’ve been inundated with reader questions about energy in the home.
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To that end, we will be using an EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max to test appliances over the coming weeks and see how much energy they burn through on a daily basis. Between load-shedding, do you unplug your household appliances? If not, how much power are they using, and which are the worst culprits? Let’s answer your questions as best we can.
UNPLUG YOUR HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES
We referred to Energy Saving Secrets, to get us up to speed on how much power is used by household appliances that may not be in use but are still plugged in. Here are some shocking findings …
When you switch off an appliance, you probably assume that it’s using no power. But don’t. Many electrical appliances have a standby (or ghost) function that allows them to be turned on again quickly. This, sadly, is what consumers want in our instant-gratification age, and is not as helpful with SA’s high electricity prices and load-shedding.
CONVERTING FROM AC TO DC
The worst energy drainers if you don’t unplug your household appliances are ones that have black cubes in their power lead. These are responsible for converting alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) electricity. Energy Saving Secrets says these sensors and circuits inside monitor the current of the device constantly, using power while on standby.
WHAT APPLIANCES USE STANDBY?
Lots of them. Most of them in fact. Anything that has an LED display/clock like a washing machine, microwave or electrical oven. Also, most household items that have a remote control, like your television or gaming console. These standby functions are burning up watts of power without you knowing about it.
HOW MUCH POWER DO THEY COST YOU?
It’s difficult to say without measuring them directly. But the issue isn’t each individual device, it is the cumulative effect on your electricity bill. Depending on the household, there might be upwards of 30 appliances draining power on standby. Each might only equate to R10 a month, but you multiply that per device over a year and you’re a few thousand Rand out of pocket.
ROUGH EXAMPLES OF STANDBY POWER LOSS
Here are some estimations of power losses by leaving appliances plugged in:
- LED TV – 1.3 watts.
- Gaming console – 2 watts.
- Mobile phone charger – 2 watts.
- Mobile phone charger with no phone plugged in – 0.25 watts.
- Computer display awake – 65 watts.
- Computer display asleep – 12 watts.
- Computer fully off but plugged in – 0.8 watts.
- Laser printer – 6.4 watts.
- Cordless telephone – 2.8 watts.
HOW DO I STOP THIS?
Pretty simple really, leaving appliances plugged in is costing you, so don’t do it. Here are some helpful habits to try get into the swing of:
- Turn off and Unplug appliances that are not in use regularly.
- Use multi-plugs, so that you can disconnect everything at once.
- Use a power adaptor that takes several appliances.
- Don’t leave mobile phones charging once their charge is complete – and unplug the charger. Buy appliances with low-energy standby modes.
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Did you find this article on why you should unplug your household appliances helpful? Do you have any energy saving tips for us? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.
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