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To Unplug or Not to Unplug: Vacationing and Your Appliances

By December 12, 2023Blog
Unplug energy vampires concept icon. Saving electricity.

Planning a vacation is all about anticipation—choosing the destination, booking flights, packing your bags, and making sure everything’s in place for a worry-free escape. But as you’re ticking off that checklist, here’s a question that often pops up: Should you unplug all your appliances before you leave for vacation? Our resident Wichita electrician, Jason Snell fills us in on the practicality of unplugging appliances.

Factors to Consider

Before diving into the depths of this electrifying dilemma, let’s consider a few factors. First things first, your appliances—those trusty gadgets that make life convenient. From the humble coffee maker to the faithful TV set, they’re the unsung heroes of your home. But should they take a vacation too while you’re away?

Some folks believe unplugging everything is a surefire way to save energy and protect against electrical mishaps. Others argue that it might not make a huge difference. So, where does the truth lie amidst these polarized opinions?

Here’s the lowdown—unplugging your appliances can indeed save some energy, which might reflect positively on your electricity bill. Those little LED lights on your devices might seem insignificant, but when left plugged in, they continue to sip power even when the device is off. Over time, this can add up, contributing to what’s called “phantom” or “vampire” energy consumption.

Another factor to consider is safety. While it’s uncommon, electrical malfunctions can happen. Unplugging devices does reduce the risk of potential fires or damage caused by power surges when you’re not around to intervene. In fact, electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries and cause an estimated $700 million in property damage.

But let’s put on our practical hats for a moment. Not everything needs the plug-pulling treatment. Some appliances—like your refrigerator—should stay powered up unless you’re leaving for an extended period. Your fridge holds a VIP pass in the appliance world and turning it off could lead to a not-so-pleasant welcome-back surprise of spoiled groceries, or water damage from defrosting or extra condensation that may form when powered-down.

Deciding to Unplug

Now, let’s circle back to the question, should you unplug all your appliances before vacationing?

It’s always a good idea to prioritize safety. Ensuring that potentially hazardous appliances, like space heaters or older electronics are unplugged could prevent any unexpected issues while you’re away.

Moreover, if you’re someone who’s mindful of their carbon footprint or simply wants to shave a bit off the electricity bill, unplugging non-essential devices can make a small but tangible difference in energy consumption. Those small actions can add up to significant savings over time.

However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Some modern devices are designed to be energy-efficient, and their standby power usage is minimal. For these, unplugging might not yield significant benefits.

So, how do you decide? A quick rule of thumb: Prioritize safety and efficiency. Unplug older or potentially hazardous devices and those with considerable standby power usage. Keep essential appliances like the fridge, freezer, and security systems powered up unless you’re going on an extended vacation.

Taking these precautions aligns with good practice. It’s about finding that balance between energy-saving measures and practicality.

Ultimately, before jetting off, take a stroll around your home. Identify the devices that fall under the “unplug” category and do a final check to ensure everything’s secure and safe.

Worry-Free Electrical

At Raceway Electric, we understand the importance of a worry-free vacation. Whether you’re looking for tips on electrical safety or need assistance with your home’s electrical needs in Wichita Ks, our team is here to help ensure your home’s electrical systems are in top-notch condition, providing peace of mind while you’re away.

So, should you unplug all your appliances before you leave for vacation? The answer lies in a blend of safety, efficiency, and practicality—ensuring your home stays safe and your getaway remains stress-free.

If you need an electrician in Wichita, KS, or are searching the internet for”electrician Wichita KS”  Raceway Electric is here to help. Contact us to get on our schedule!