Have you ever heard of ‘energy vampires’? No, I don’t mean weird people that feed off others’ life force. By energy vampires, I mean home appliances that constantly suck on electricity without a break – even when you’re out and about. And yes, your beloved coffee machine is actually an energy vampire. So, should you unplug coffee maker when you’re not using it?
The US Department of Energy highlights the fact that your electric bill cost might increase by anywhere from $100 to $200 per year due to all the appliances that are using energy 24/7 (1).
And yes, that includes small kitchen appliances like your favorite coffee maker!
Even if your coffee machine is supposedly super economical, it still uses electricity non-stop when it’s plugged in.
This is especially true for modern coffee makers that have digital displays.
Sure, that neat digital clock on your coffeemaker is handy and looks cool – but guess what?
It requires electricity to do that and unless you unplug it, it’ll keep using power (albeit small amounts of it) non-stop!
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Should You Unplug Your Keurig Coffee Maker?
Yes, if you don’t plan on using it for longer periods.
This will help with your electricity bill, while also prolonging the life of your Keurig unit.
Basically, I don’t see a valid reason to not turn it off or even unplug it if it’ll be sitting idle.
Although, if you plan on using it again in less than 2 hours, you have to remember that…
Modern Keurig coffee makers are among the best single-serve coffee makers and they come with an Auto-Off feature that automatically turns off your Keurig machine if it’s been sitting idle for 2 hours!
On a side note, most contemporary coffee machines have an Auto-Off feature so that’s not something exclusive to Keurig units.
So, Do Keurigs Automatically Shut Off Then?
Yes, the more recent Keurig models like the hugely popular Keurig K-Select Single-Serve Coffee Maker does that.
Even better, a Keurig with this feature can heat up the water inside pretty quickly – in around 1.5 minutes!
This is definitely quite handy, especially if you’re in an office environment or if you live in a house full of coffee lovers.
You can even disable this Auto-Off function, although that doesn’t make much sense to me.
Anyway, just make sure to manually unplug your Keurig unit to avoid any unwanted coffee maker electricity consumption!
What Is Vampire Power Or Phantom Power (i.e. Energy Vampires) Though?
This is a term that’s used to describe electronic devices that leech power when they’re either turned off or in sleep mode.
Arguably the biggest drains on your electricity bill are your precious TV and its accessories e.g. the modem.
How To Spot A Device That’s Sucking On Electricity Even When It’s Not In Use?
Generally, you can tell that a device is an energy vampire if:
- It can be controlled by remote control (e.g. your TV)
- It can be plugged into an external power supply (e.g. a video game console)
- It has a digital display (or even an LED light) that continues to work even when the device has been turned off (e.g. your coffeemaker)
I guess that you already have a few electronics in mind, which meet the criteria above.
Now all that’s left for you to do is to simply unplug them!
Why Should You Unplug Appliances, Including Your Coffee Maker?
Because it helps you save money by reducing your electricity bill, while also acting as a fire prevention tool.
However, even if saving roughly $100 on a yearly basis might not sound very appealing to you, think about the aspect of unplugging appliances.
According to a 2018 topical fire report by the US Fire Administration, electrical malfunction is one of the top 4 primary causes for residential fires (2)!
Now let that sink in.
The US Fire Administration even goes as far as to shift the focus on two main things regarding electrical fire safety:
- Unplug any small appliances (e.g. coffee machines) in your home when not in use
- Make sure to plug all small appliances into a proper wall outlet
By following this advice you can greatly improve the fire prevention of your home.
Anyhow, all that it takes is spending a few additional seconds to unplug your coffee maker and other small appliances.
Apart from plugging them into wall outlets of course.
What Appliances Should You Unplug?
Any appliance that’s currently not in use and that you don’t need really.
And the coffee machine in your kitchen isn’t the only appliance that should be unplugged.
So, to make your life easier, here’s a list of some of the most common home appliances that you can unplug:
- Coffee machines
- Computers (laptops etc.)
- Radio or stereo players
- Battery chargers
Basically, it’d be a good idea to unplug everything that sits idle (but leeches electricity).
This way you’ll be able to enjoy some extra cash that you’d be otherwise spending on electricity.
On top of that, you’ll certainly extend the life of your electronics by giving them some rest!
What Is The Easiest Way To Simplify The Unplugging Process Though?
By getting a power strip like this highly-rated and cheap power strip that’s currently available on Amazon.
This way you can plug up to six small appliances like your coffeemaker to a single power strip.
Subsequently, you can turn all of them off with a simple flip of a switch.
In a nutshell, power strips are your best friend when it comes to dealing with unnecessary power usage and fire prevention.
Imagine getting a bunch of them for all your small home appliances.
You’ll be able to cut the power off to all your devices with a simple flip of a switch!
How Much Does Unplugging Electronics Save In Reality?
As previously mentioned, you can expect to save anywhere from $100 to $200 per year on average.
This is what the US Department of Energy claims at least.
However, the exact number might vary depending on how many appliances you have in your house.
An electric device that uses 1 watt non-stop (e.g. your coffee machine) might add up to $1 a year.
That definitely doesn’t sound like much, eh?
Now go and count how many electrical leeches are out there in your home.
The chances are that you have at least a dozen of them.
Now, this definitely adds up over time, meaning that you’ll have to pay slightly more for electricity.
What Are The Benefits Of Unplugging Appliances Like A Coffee Brewer?
These are the top benefits related to unplugging your electronics:
- Cut your electricity bill by not eliminating any phantom power usage
- Drastically decrease the chance of any electrical malfunctions from happening, thus improving the fire prevention aspect of your home
- Preserve energy, thus helping the environment by lowering emissions from power plants
- Prolong the lifespan of your electronics by not keeping them switched on that often
It’s up to you to decide which one of these factors you value the most.
Regardless of your choice though, it’s always a wise move to unplug your appliances when not using them!
The Unplugging Appliances To Save Energy Myth – Is It Actually A Myth?
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Unplugging the electronics that you’re not using in your house DOES save energy.
There’s a reason why respected and legit institutions like the US Fire Department call for people to unplug their appliances.
Anything from the digital clock on your coffeemaker to your smartphone’s charger are sucking energy 24/7.
But you might be thinking that since you’re not currently charging your phone the charge won’t demand any electricity.
Wrong! Every appliance that sits idle but is plugged into an outlet will leech power.
So instead of neglecting this issue because you might not care about saving a “mere” $100 a year, consider other factors.
By unplugging your appliances you’ll help both yourself and the environment.
And taking preventative measures against a potential residential fire due (God forbid) to an electrical malfunction is definitely something that you should definitely care about!
It obviously makes an awful lot of sense to unplug your coffee maker when you don’t plan to use it anytime soon.
But it also makes perfect sense to unplug just about every other small appliance in your home for that matter!
Over to you now – do you unplug your coffee machine and other electronics and if not, why?
I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this rather significant subject!
So do feel free to leave your answer in the comment section below.
Last update on 2021-10-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API