Washing Machine Standby Power Consumption: How To Determine It?

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

If you had to choose which home appliance was your best friend forever, which would it be?

My choice would be the standard washing machine. Imagine life cleaning each piece of clothing by hand, in a bucket of water and the time it would take?

This of course comes at a price, and we don’t necessarily mean the initial cost of purchasing the unit, nor the power consumption of running it.

We are talking about a hidden cost that many know about, but choose to ignore. This is happening when washing machines are not in use, in fact, it’s happening even when they are completely switch off.

A silent power consumption that’s so tiny, but yet enough to power up a 5W energy saving bulb for 7 hours a day, over a year!

Let’s take a look at why this is happening, how to avoid it and ultimately save on your electrical bill.

How Vampires Draw Unnecessary Power

Standby power is electricity consumption that’s drawn by household appliances while they are switched off. The appliance needs to draw some power to enable the option of powering it up by the operator.

There’s a difference between leaving an appliance on standby (still drawing power) and when fully unplugged (no way to draw any power).

The main question, how much power does a washing machine draw on standby and how can it be calculated?

But before we answer and for a bit of fun, here are 7 other terms used to define standby power:

  • Vampire draw
  • Vampire power
  • Phantom load
  • Electricity leak
  • Ghost load
  • Idle load
  • Sleep mode

Did You Know?

15% of all U.S. greenhouse emissions comes from appliances left on standby mode. This equates to nearly 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide being released every year.

How Much Does A Washing Machine Consume On Standby?

To find the answer, all you need is a simple device called a Watt meter.

Plug it into the power socket and then plug in your washing machine into the Watt meter and check the reading on the display.

The standby washing machine power consumption will depend on the make and model of the unit. However, for illustration purposes, the guys at NoSkillsRequired apply this very test on an Indesit Innex machine.

In this particular test, the data showed this model of washing machine was drawing 1.6w on standby mode (switched off, but plugged in).

This figure tells us very little, but as mentioned on the introduction, this equates to powering up a 5W energy saving bulb for 7 hours a day over a year!

1.6 watts x 24hrs x 365days = 14,000w

Indesit Innex standby power consumption over a year

With a little added mathematics we can see:

5 watts x 7.7hrs x 365days = 14,000w

5w energy saving bulb power consumption 7 hrs a day over a year

The Complicated Solution To Saving Electricity & Money

You’ve guessed it, the solution is not complicated in anyway. Simply unplug the unit when not in use and plug it in when it’s time to use it.

In no way is the intention to tell others what the should or shouldn’t do, but rather demonstrate this interesting fact about how things can add up considerably over time.

Don’t forget, this demonstration refers to only one appliance out of many in the household. Imagine how much energy can be saved collectively?

My Closing Statement

I often find it interesting how climate change activists and non believers clash over the impact of the environment. But more importantly, I often wonder if common ground could still be met without instantly dismissing one view or the other?

For example, you can save energy to better the environment and you can save energy to save on money… different view points, but still being able to achieve the desired results.

As a result, while doing a little digging around on the subject matter, I stumbled across a video by the NoSkillsRequired guys who demonstrated this simple, but yet eye opening demonstration on energy consumption.

This prompted my to write about this topic – thanks NoSkillsRequired!