It doesn’t matter how much garlic you keep in your kitchen, vampires may be lurking…well, vampire appliances anyways. Vampire appliances draw energy even when they’re not in use. Take clocks. You probably have more clocks in your kitchen than in any other room in your house. Sure, these appliances are intended to be used for more than to just tell the time, but the presence of a digital clock on any device means that the device is constantly using power. In any given year, you spend more money on the energy used just to run the digital clocks in your kitchen than you do on the appliances’ intended uses.
Below is a list of common kitchen appliances and their average Watt consumption while not in use:
Microwave – 3.08 W
Range – 1.13 W
Traditional Coffeemaker – 1.14 W
Keurig Coffeemaker – 6.00 W
That last one might shock you. If you have a Keurig, or similar single-cup coffee machines, you know that most don’t have a digital clock. But they do have a heating element that constantly keeps the water in the reserve warm so that you can quickly brew a cup of coffee whenever you want. Though not in use, these single cup coffee makers can use more energy in standby mode than all of your other kitchen appliances combined.
So what do you do to ward off these energy sucking vampires in your kitchen? Just like in any other room in your home, you should group the standby power-intensive appliances together on the same power strip. If you have a traditional power strip, just unplug that or switch it off when you’re not using these devices. It’s likely that you only use these devices three times a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – so the rule should be “after you are done consuming food, your kitchen devices should be done consuming energy”. But for those that prefer not to have to remember when to turn off these devices, invest in a smart power strip that will automatically cut power to non-critical devices in standby mode.
Finally, when you go to purchase your next kitchen appliance, check to make sure that it is Energy Star certified. Energy Star appliances are required to use a low amount of standby power. Energy Star doesn’t rate every type of appliance though, so you may have to do a little homework to compare Watt consumption during standby mode for the various products you are considering.