Should we unplug our chargers each night?Tech Radar, January 17, 2015
If you own a smartphone of any description then you’re probably familiar with seeing the battery warning level light flick on at some point during the evening. It’s now become standard practice for phones to be charged up at least once every 24 hours, and the easiest time to do that is overnight when they’re sat still doing nothing but waiting for the morning.
Is this really the most sensible option, though? Are we causing permanent damage to our handsets by keeping them charged for much longer than they need to be? (Assuming you get more than two hours of sleep each night, that is.) And just how much unnecessary power is being drawn by our chargers while we’re snoozing away oblivious?
The charger facts
The good news is that a lot of progress has been made in the efficiency and performance of smartphone chargers in recent years, thanks to organisations like the International Energy Agency and the manufacturers themselves.
The IEA’s One Watt Initiative helped get standby power usage down below a single watt and then below half a watt in 2013 for many electronics. What does that mean? Well, when your charger is plugged in but not connected to a device (while you’re out at work say) it’s only using the equivalent of a few pence worth of energy over an entire year.