What you should switch off when you go on holiday – and what you should always leave on

Wi-Fi, TVs, kettles... we have so many appliances and gadgets in our homes, but which ones should we switch off when going away?

range cooker in 1700s New England farmhouse
(Image credit: John Gruen)

Suitcase packed (neatly, Marie Kondo style, no doubt), passport ready – you're good to set off on your summer holiday. But have you remembered to switch off your  appliances? How about the Wi-Fi? It may seem insignificant, but switching off some (or even most) of your electrics before going away on holiday can help you make good savings on your next energy bill, as well as reducing the risk of fire.

Speaking of which, toasters and electric kettles are especially prone to causing fires, so always, always make sure you unplug them before going away. Wi-Fi routers and TVs are less of a fire risk, more of a drain on your wallet – so unplug these too, and enjoy a lower electricity bill when you come back. Unplugging your Wi-Fi router has the additional benefit of preventing hackers getting into your Wi-Fi while you're away. Got a phone charger constantly plugged in? It too is constantly drawing energy, so, once again, unplug. 

What about things you should never unplug? That would have to be the fridge: even if you regularly defrost it and think there won't be a puddle of water on the floor when you come back, it will likely begin to smell if it's not on. If you're going away during the cold time of year, don't unplug your boiler, either, and leave on timer to come on for a bit every day to prevent your pipes bursting. Besides, leaving a couple of things switched on is a good burglar deterrent, as burglars are known for checking out people's electricity meters to see who's away.  

Got a smart video doorbell or home security system? Do leave them on, always. And if you think you'll forget to switch off the rest, you might consider getting a smart plug that you can control remotely from your phone.

Unplug*:

  • Toasters
  • Kettles
  • Wi-Fi router
  • TV
  • Chargers
  • Mobile heaters and fans

Don't unplug:

  • Fridges and freezers
  • Boilers
  • Security systems

*Checklist compiled with the help of MyBaggage.com.