The 5 household appliances experts warn you should always unplug during the summer

You might experience issues with overheating if you don’t unplug them entirely…

blue kitchen with oven, washing machine and kettle
(Image credit: Future PLC)

The summer appears to have finally arrived in the UK, and of course, that typically brings with it much higher temperatures than we’re usually used to. But amongst all the long lazy picnics and evenings spent at the pub during the summer, you’d be forgiven for forgetting to consider the impact hotter temperatures can have on your household appliances. 

In the same way that we need to be a little more careful about taking care of ourselves in the heat, our appliances also require more care and attention during the summer – as some of our most often-used devices can be prone to overheating during the warmer months. Not only is this not good for their functionality, but it isn’t safe either. In fact, in the most severe cases, an overheating appliance can catch fire.

So which appliances should you be looking to unplug during the summer when they’re not in use, both in order to save energy and save money, and to ensure the safety of you and your home?

5 household appliances you should unplug in summer

1. Electric hair tools

Wooden dressing table in blue painted corner with round mirror in corner beside shelves with make up and hairdryer

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

'One particular appliance that you should always remember to unplug instead of simply switching off, especially in the heat of the summer, is hair straighteners,' David Rees, an appliances expert from HomeSupply explains.

He shares that in summer, hair straighteners or other electric hair tools can reach even higher heats due to the warm weather, so it’s more important than ever that they are unplugged to prevent any possibility of overheating.

'Hair straighteners can reach a high heat that can damage the surface that they are left on, and they can also cause burns if you pick them up without remembering that you have left them on,' he notes.

2. Phone and headphone chargers

SurfaceSnap cable organiser on a desk holding headphone chargers

(Image credit: SurfaceSnap)

If you’ve ever placed your mobile phone, headphones or tablet on to charge throughout the night and woken up to find that the phone itself feels much hotter than normal, it’s a worrying sign – and something that is even more likely to be a problem in the hotter temperatures of a summer night.

'Though it’s not technically an appliance, phones and chargers but can seriously overheat and use a lot of excess energy in the summer if not unplugged,' David Rees points out. 

In fact, it’s usually pointless to charge your mobile for the entire night, too. David continues, 'try to avoid charging devices overnight, as the majority of these electronics do not need to be charged for the full length of time that you are asleep.'

Fantastic Services' appliance technician and licensed electrician David Miloshev agrees, pointing out that, ‘many people plug their devices to be charged overnight, but they typically only need 1 to 3 hours to be fully charged, so leaving them plugged in for 7 to 10 hours is actually unnecessary and wastes quite a lot of energy.'

David Rees proposes an alternative, saying, 'instead, charge them throughout the day, so that they can be unplugged as soon as they are fully charged, and this will help to save money and prevent overheating in summer.'

3. Countertop kitchen appliances


(Image credit: Future PLC)

Our countertop appliances in the kitchen – such as our kettles, toasters and microwaves – can also be prone to overheating in the summer, especially if they are sat close together and used frequently.

That's why unplugging them when they aren’t in use is important – and it's also wise from an energy and money-saving perspective, too, David Miloshev says.

'I'd highly recommend unplugging the small kitchen appliances which you don’t use very frequently (especially if you’re not at home during the day) as an energy conservation practice, even if they are energy-efficient ones, as these will likely surge in usage throughout the summer. So unplugging this appliance can actually lead to some significant savings!'

4. Fans

russell hobbs scandi wood effect desk fan on a desk with a computer

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

In the UK, our electric fans play a vital role in keeping us and our homes cool in the summer, especially as most of us don’t have air conditioning. 

But if you do rely on a fan, it's a good idea to unplug this appliance when you aren’t home or simply when you aren't using it, as they can present a potential fire risk in the heat – especially if they haven’t been properly prepared for it.

There can be a larger fire risk with a fan if the vent and motor within said fan have become clogged with dust over the years, or during the winter. This dust can put the motor under stain – and may result in even more overheating, and a higher chance of a fire ensuing. In fact, Electrical Safety First even advises that we turn our fans off before sleeping, to avoid this risk.

5. TV’s, computers and entertainment systems

a blue and pink bedroom with a laptop open on the dressing table desk

(Image credit: Future/Simon Whitmore)

The entertainment and gaming systems our families love so much can unfortunately be real energy-drainers, so it’s a no-brainer to unplug these when they’re not in use over the long summer holidays.

'Some appliances can consume standby power even when turned off which can lead to higher electricity bills if you’re not careful. Instead, by unplugging these appliances you can help save on your electricity, especially during summer when energy usage tends to increase,' Gwilym Snook, appliance expert at explains.

'Some appliances you should consider unplugging include your TVs and entertainment systems, where even their standby modes consume power, and game consoles; your Xbox, PlayStation or Switch all often remain on standby to enable quick startup,' she says. 

'Also, your PC and its monitor can draw power even when turned off, so its vital to unplug this as much as you can.'

How to keep unplugged cables tidy

Summer is the time to enjoy the warm weather (when it makes a surprise appearance) so make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your electricals and home safe. 


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine