7 appliances you need to stop leaving on standby

Keeping appliances on standby: here’s how much it’s actually costing you…

Someone turning on a washing machine
(Image credit: RDNE / Pexels)

One of the main things that wastes a huge amount of energy, as well as hiking up your monthly and yearly bills, is leaving your appliances on standby. Even if your TV, oven or air fryer is switched off, if they’re still plugged in, they can still use up a huge amount of energy, despite not actually being in action.

If you frequently forget to turn off your appliances properly, you’re definitely not the first or last person to do so. But while there are some appliances that need to be on all the time – no one is going to turn off their fridge completely when they go away! – there are some others that are energy guzzlers, like these seven appliances that you should never leave on standby.

1. Your TV

When you’re not watching a series or a movie on your TV, it’s turned off and not using any power, right? Wrong. The best TVs are one of the most energy-guzzling appliances around your home, even while it’s on standby. Leaving your TV on standby can massively rack up your bills each month, as the continuous power being sent to it can be used by the TV, like keeping the on/off light on and bright. Your TV will also use this passive power to turn on quicker, but by turning it off by the mains and waiting an extra couple of minutes for your TV to turn on, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save.

2. Your kettle

Moving into the kitchen, your kettle or coffee machine is probably one of the most commonly used appliances in your home, making countless cups of tea and coffee at all times. But leaving them on standby can start to get expensive, as well as constantly boiling your kettle to the highest heat possible. Many of the best kettles on the market today have temperature gauges so you can adjust the heat of the water. Rather than always boiling your kettle to 100°C, try to go for a lesser heat, which actually brings the flavours out more in certain teas and stops burning your coffee grounds.

Swan Alexa Kettle

(Image credit: Swan)

3. Your microwave

Most of the best microwaves have a clock display, which is powered by your electricity, even when it’s not in use. Keeping your microwave on standby means it still drains energy as it uses this power to keep the time display showing, which isn’t always needed. 

4. Your dishwasher

Number four on this list (and five and six as you’ll discover below) is one of the most wasteful appliances to leave on standby. Most of the time, people put on their best dishwashers overnight or when they leave the house so they don’t have to listen to it while it’s on. But while that might save you a headache, it means your dishwasher will still be on when you wake up or get home, draining plenty of energy as it does so. Instead, as soon as your dishwasher is done, turn it off immediately, even if you leave the plates and mugs inside it for a while to let them fully cool down.

5. Your washing machine

The best washing machine is another appliance that’s often kept on for longer than it should be. Not only does this negatively affect your energy usage but leaving damp clothes inside it isn’t recommended as it can cause your clothes to smell. Once a wash cycle has been completed, it’s best to turn off the machine and remove your clothes to avoid this.

Miele TWR860 Tumble Dryer

(Image credit: Miele)

6. Your tumble dryer

Since I’ve already talked about the washing machine, it’s only logical to talk about the dryer too. The best tumble dryers are one of the most expensive machines to run. Take it from me: I was shocked to see that my smart meter had recorded a 30p price increase after I’d used my tumble dryer for 40 minutes. Now that the weather is getting warmer, you shouldn't need to use your tumble dryer as much, but turning it off at the mains can help even more.

7. Your smart speaker or display

Your smart speaker or display might sound like a weird entry, as having a smart speaker or display on and at your disposal at all times is what they’re designed for, especially if you have a voice assistant like Alexa. But realistically, you don’t need your best smart speaker to put on at all times, especially if you’re not at home. It might not be the most energy or money draining device on this list, but it can definitely become one if it’s plugged in constantly.

For more money-saving advice, here are three vampire devices that are adding money to your energy bill, and how to save money on your energy, electricity and water bills.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!