14 Items That Will Increase Your Electricity Bill, Unplug Them

Rising electricity bills are a common frustration. Many seemingly harmless devices secretly guzzle energy even when not in use. This guide exposes 14 energy vampires lurking in your home, waiting to inflate your bill. Get ready to identify and banish these culprits with a simple solution – unplugging them.


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Televisions are notorious energy eaters. Even in standby mode, that little red light indicates power usage. To tackle this phantom drain, unplug your TV (and connected devices like cable boxes) when not in use. Consider disabling “quick start” settings for even greater savings.


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The HVAC system constantly gulps power, even when not actively working.

Air conditioners can be standby mode energy eaters, quietly sucking up 50 watts while waiting to blast you with cool air. Furnaces are no better, using around 40 watts to stay primed to deliver instant heat.

To fight back, invest in energy-efficient HVAC units with high SEER ratings. Regular maintenance is also crucial. Clean filters and checked ducts ensure your HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently.


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Even when your phone or other device is not connected to the charger, the charger itself continues to draw power from the outlet. Imagine having multiple chargers (for laptops, tablets, smartphones) plugged in at home or the office. Over time, their combined passive energy consumption can add up significantly.


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When we press the ‘power off’ button on our computers, we assume they’re completely shut down. However, many of us unknowingly leave our computers in a sleep or hibernate state, which uses less power than running but still consumes energy. The same applies to monitors if their power buttons are not turned off. When you’re not using your computer, unplug it or turn off the power strip. You can customize the power settings to shorten sleep time.

Video Game Console

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Video game consoles are more than just gaming companions; they’re silent energy guzzlers. Even during breaks, consoles download updates and stay in standby mode for quick restarts, all while consuming power. This “phantom drain” can add up, with active gaming reaching 90 watts and standby mode at 1-2 watts – like a small light bulb constantly on. Unplug your console or use a power strip with energy-saving features.


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Aquariums bring beauty into our homes but can also strain our wallets due to energy use. The primary energy hog in your aquarium is the heater. Maintaining the right temperature for your fish is vital, so completely unplugging is not feasible. However, insulating and placing the tank in a warm room can help the heater work less. Aquarium lights, although beautiful, add to the energy bill as well. Consider unplugging them when not needed. You can keep your fish and wallet content happy by making minor tweaks.


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Leaving lights on may seem harmless, but it can silently drain your wallet. A small bulb might use 4 watts, while a larger one gulps 104 watts, translating to an annual cost of $4 to $104, depending on usage. This constant energy waste adds up. Combat this by switching lights off when you leave a room, or get smart with timers and plugs that automate light schedules, ensuring they turn off even when you forget.

Coffee Maker

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Don’t let your coffee maker be a morning mugger. Even when not brewing, these beloved appliances sneak into standby mode, quietly sipping energy. For budget and safety reasons, consider unplugging your coffee maker after use. This simple step saves energy, protects your appliance, and keeps your mornings worry-free.

Electric Toothbrush

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Those daily electric toothbrush charging routines can secretly drain your wallet. Even after a full charge, many people leave their toothbrushes plugged in all day. Depending on the model, these forgotten chargers can silently sip energy, as electric toothbrushes use between 2 and 10 watts. Unplug your toothbrush charger after each use. This small step can make a big difference in your energy consumption and electricity bill.


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Printers, those reliable document churners, have a sneaky energy habit. Even in standby mode, they continue to sip power. Wireless printers add to injury by maintaining an active Wi-Fi connection in standby mode. To save money, protect your wallet from accidental power-on, and be kind to the environment, consider unplugging your printer when not in use. Additionally, explore your printer’s settings to adjust sleep modes and enable power-saving features.

Sound System

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Don’t let your love of music turn into a budget breaker. Even when your audio system isn’t pumping out tunes, it can silently drain energy. In standby mode, home stereos, soundbars, and surround sound systems quietly sip power. While the wattage is low, it adds up over time. Speakers also draw a small amount of electricity, and the party gets going when you factor in subwoofers and receivers. To combat this hidden energy drain, unplug your audio system when not in use or consider smart power strips that help to cut power to idle devices automatically.

Power Strip

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Even your power strip, a helpful electronics organizer, can be a secret energy sipper. In standby mode, your power strip continues to draw a small amount of power, like a nightlight. These “phantom watts” add up over time. Fight back by unplugging the power strip entirely when not in use, or consider smart strips that automatically cut power to idle devices.

Extra Fridge Units

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Those extra fridge units hiding in garages or basements might seem convenient, but they’re secretly draining your wallet. Even when rarely used, these secondary refrigerators quietly consume energy like background players in an energy-hungry orchestra. To fight back, consider unplugging the extra fridge and consolidating food into your primary one. This simple step can be like merging two into one, saving money and freeing up space.

Hot Water Recirculation Pump

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Hot water recirculation pumps quietly consume power even when not actively working, like a crew member waiting backstage. An average pump uses 28-92 watts, translating to a yearly cost of $28 to $93. The good news? You can have both convenience and savings. Plug your pump into a timer and program it to switch off during low-demand times like nighttime. This way, you can enjoy the luxury of instant hot water without it draining your wallet.

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