Unplugging appliances?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Grumpy'sWife4Ever, May 25, 2008.

  1. Grumpy'sWife4Ever

    Grumpy'sWife4Ever DIS Veteran

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    Have you heard that if you unplug your appliances/lamps etc when not in use, you can save up to HALF on your utility bill? (Or other reports say $50 or so....) I have heard this off and on for a while but never put much stock into it. However, with the price of everything going up, up, up lately I am considering giving it a try. Does anyone do this as a usual practice, and if so, do you see a difference in your monthly bill? My biggest problem is that we have an old house with out-of-the-way outlets, and to dig around to unplug cords and then plug them back in again may get to be somewhat of a pain.....

    But if would be worth it if we saved $50 or more a month!
     
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  3. PiperPizzaz

    PiperPizzaz DIS Veteran

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    It depends on what it is. There is a device that you can get that can read how much power it uses even when turned off. I have heard the worst for this are Tv's (especially the plasma ones), vcr/dvd/stereo stuff basically all the peripheries of the TV. Microwaves take hardly any power when not in use. Some plugged in tools take a lot. It really varies.
     
  4. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    Would it work if several small things were plugged into one power strip and then you just turn off the strip?

    My computer, printer, a lamp and an air filter are all plugged into the same strip. When I shut the computer down for the night, I turn off the strip. I had thought if this would save on the electric bill just the same as unplugging everything, I could use a strip in the kitchen for small appliances and a couple in the living room--like one for the TV, DVD player and satilite box.
     
  5. Grumpy'sWife4Ever

    Grumpy'sWife4Ever DIS Veteran

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    I am wondering about the power strip thing too. We have a few things plugged into them, and I wonder if it is enough to turn the strip off, or if it would have to be unplugged? I wonder if my local utility co. has a website I could visit? Hmmm......
     
  6. rockyroad

    rockyroad DIS Veteran

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    I don't think that everything that is plugged in uses electricity while it's off.

    It's things like tvs and computers and stereos.

    With my tvs, if they are unplugged they have to be entirely reprogrammed.
    So it would be worth unplugging if it was going to be off for weeks or months.
    But otherwise it would be a lot of hassle.

    The same for my computer.
    It takes so long to boot back up that I don't shut it down unless it will be for a long time.
     
  7. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    If you find any answers, please let us know. Saving anything on my light bill during the summer will be a huge blessing!!
     
  8. Maggie'sMom

    Maggie'sMom DIS Veteran

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    From what I've read, turning off a power strip will be effective in limiting the "vampire" power use. Having those appliances plugged into an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch will also work. As others have mentioned, it isn't every appliance but computers, tvs, dvd players, vcrs, and chargers for laptops and cell phones are big culprits. I've never heard statistics about 1/2 our electric bill or $50/month, but I think it's more like a couple hundred dollars a year or something like that.
     
  9. Grumpy'sWife4Ever

    Grumpy'sWife4Ever DIS Veteran

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    I Googled it, and found out that yes power strips work, and the biggest culprits are TVs, VCRs, Satellites, Phone rechargers, and computers and their components. The overblown idea of $50 a month had to be the nightly news' way of getting viewers to watch their segment, because a more realistic amount is about $9 a month. Still, that does average out to over $100 a year, and in today's economy every penny counts. So I think we'll be unplugging our rechargers and turning off our computer more often....
     
  10. iamthedog

    iamthedog Earning My Ears

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    I unplug appliances, but I am not really sure it saves me any money. Maybe I am not unplugging the right ones LOL
     
  11. Plantlady

    Plantlady <font color=darkorchid>I eat a lot of pringles whi

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    On Living with Ed, he installed a switch, next to his door, that when they left the house, it turned power off to the outlets to anything non-essential. He picked what it turned off and on.

    so, simpler than unplugging. But perhaps more costly.
     
  12. OlyWaguy

    OlyWaguy Needs more leg room!!

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    If you were leaving the house and did not worry about security you could shut down all the breakers in your circuit box.
    Water heaters are large electrical culprits so definitely shut those down if gone for more than 3 days. If you had some type of security system then find out what breaker(s) those are on and leave those be. Simple solution and no fumbling behind things.
    Cut it where it comes into the house. Of course you'll have to reset alot of settings upon re-energizing.
     
  13. FoggyToad

    FoggyToad DIS Veteran

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    This has nothing to do with the main topic of the thread, but it brought to mind what happened to us back in 1978. Our house was a total loss due to a toaster that was plugged into the electrical outlet but wasn't even being used that morning. It started on fire after we left for work; the fire spread to the cupboards above and into the wall of the kitchen. Although the fire didn't spread to other rooms, there was so much heat damage and smoke damage that the insurance company declared the house basically a total loss. One of the worst parts was one of our dogs died and our tropical fish were scalded to death. PLEASE unplug your toaster whenever it is not in use.
     
  14. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    Even if it only saves about $9 a month, adding that with everything else I have been trying to do to save on the light bill sure would help! I think I will make sure both TVs, DVD players and satlilite boxes are on strips. That way I can turn off 3 strips at night and/or in the mornings and get all the electricity wasters! I'll have to start reminding everyone to unplug those phone chargers too!
     
  15. suzimar57

    suzimar57 Miss my Happy Place.

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    just shut off your main breaker when you go on vacation (unless you need to keep security on) as well as turning off your water - except for the refrigerator....
     
  16. vegasnative

    vegasnative DIS Veteran

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    I disagree, I think if it is plugged in, no matter what it is, even if in the off position it is pulling electricity. It may not be a large amount or close to the same amount as if it were on, but it still has electricity to it.

    For OP, I have never been one to unplug things. I have always left everything plugged and just turned them off. But, like you, with the high prices of everything else I too am starting to unplug things to see if it makes a difference in my electric bill. We just moved into this house 1 month ago, so I can't really compare it to anything. But, I can say, that I am now in the habit of unplugging my curling iron and hair dryer, and putting it away in the cabinet for that matter, something I never did before. It always used to sit on the counter. Also, I do not have the TV or lamp plugged into the guest bedroom, they are both unplugged and I will plug those in before guests arrive, otherwise I see no need for them to be pulling electricity. Most other things, as people have mentioned, is a matter of conveneince to leave them plugged in. However, I am trying to do what I can to see if it will save something (anything). :thumbsup2
     
  17. Sandy321

    Sandy321 <font color=darkorchid>Crazy enough to want to do

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    if you shut off your breakers, you better have your refrigerators and freezers empty!

    We are using more and more powerstrips for everything and turning off the powerstrips....

    also, we have taken to have minimum one day each week of NO driving!! Of course it helps that dh can ride his bike (usually every day nice weather) and we can take the train to Chicago... (of course today was the bike the Drive day and there was lots of info on this, how not driving is a better impact on our "carbon footprint...etc... all I know is I'm beginning to feel like the "hippy era" is upon us again!!

    and I loved Living with Ed show!! Esp the episode with Bill Nye and Ed!!! :rotfl2:
     
  18. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

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    I can't turn off the power strip for the t.v. because the Tivo is on the same strip and needs to have power to record shows. I have just recently started turning off the computer and associated electronics at the power strip so that they are completely powered down when not in use. I'm not sure how much money it will save, but I have noticed that I'm spending less time on the computer because of it (now tend to wait and power everything up when I NEED to use the computer).

    Also, this month I changed the company the provides the generation of my power. Should save me $10 a month over the company I had been buying from (the default company).
     
  19. GoldenOldie

    GoldenOldie DIS Veteran

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    Anything that uses a remote control will actually be on even when it is turned off. That's so it can receive the signal from the remote to turn back on. Besides the biggest offenders previously mentioned (tv, DVD, satellite, etc), remote controlled fireplaces, remote controlled air conditioners and remote controlled ceiling fans also will draw a lot when plugged in but not in use.

    Another thing to consider is that some newer central heating systems that use heating oil are designed to run periodically for short periods during the day even in the summer. Supposedly this short burst of running helps keep the burner in shape but it is really not necessary. It will be costing you both electricity to run the burner and heating oil, too. So unless your hot water is tied to your central heating boiler, turn the red emergency switch that's probably in your kitchen area somewhere off for the summer months.
     
  20. rockin_rep

    rockin_rep <font color=royalblue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=d

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    Oh i'm so very sorry to hear this happened to you!! :( :hug:

    Thanks so much for sharing; i'm sure you've helped many others avoid a similar experience!!!

    :hug:
     

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