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Does anyone do this? I am wondering how well it works

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:26 PM
  • 41 Replies

Do you unplug appliances when they are not being used? (fans, lamps, standing mixers, toasters, coffee pots, hair dryers, etc) If you do, have you noticed a saving in your electric bill?

by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
beethann
by Beth Ann on May. 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Bump
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
christina0607
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I unplug anything that gets put away after it's use...which is most of the items you mentioned. I don't like all those things all of the counters.

It's not going to make any difference if it's an item that isn't drawing power...like a hairdryer. Something like a microwave that has the time on it...or any appliance that has a light on it while off(those little green and red dots) will make a difference. ?How much, who knows.

Mrs.Miller11
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM

ALL appliances draw energy, even when not being used. They just use less energy.

Quoting christina0607:

I unplug anything that gets put away after it's use...which is most of the items you mentioned. I don't like all those things all of the counters.

It's not going to make any difference if it's an item that isn't drawing power...like a hairdryer. Something like a microwave that has the time on it...or any appliance that has a light on it while off(those little green and red dots) will make a difference. ?How much, who knows.


PinkyPan
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I unplug most things when I am not using them. I can not tell you if I am saving money or not. I do not like things on my counters and I put hair appliances away when I am done using them.

taKENheart
by Flovely on May. 2, 2012 at 4:34 PM

 When we first started we kept everything unplugged all the time.  Now we leave certain things on that we tend to use daily such as the coffee pot.  When we go out of town we unplug everything.  I don't remember it saving much though.  I just asked my dh if he remembers and he doesn't lol

christina0607
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Not all of them do...some do yes. Lamps and toasters don't. Unless they are the "always on " type. Hairdryers don't. Your microwave does, tvs do, any appliance that has a lit power button does.

Quoting Mrs.Miller11:

ALL appliances draw energy, even when not being used. They just use less energy.

Quoting christina0607:

I unplug anything that gets put away after it's use...which is most of the items you mentioned. I don't like all those things all of the counters.

It's not going to make any difference if it's an item that isn't drawing power...like a hairdryer. Something like a microwave that has the time on it...or any appliance that has a light on it while off(those little green and red dots) will make a difference. ?How much, who knows.



Make someone happy today, mind your own business.

Fairegirl33
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

 all of those things get unplugged at our our house... they have a hiding place when not in use.

AmberMerrell
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Yes & yes. It wasn't a whole lot, but every little bit counts.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mrs.Miller11
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM

everything that I have been able to find, indicated that all items that are plugged in still use power even when turned  off. Not saying you are wrong, jut that I have found otherwise.

Quoting christina0607:

Not all of them do...some do yes. Lamps and toasters don't. Unless they are the "always on " type. Hairdryers don't. Your microwave does, tvs do, any appliance that has a lit power button does.

Quoting Mrs.Miller11:

ALL appliances draw energy, even when not being used. They just use less energy.

Quoting christina0607:

I unplug anything that gets put away after it's use...which is most of the items you mentioned. I don't like all those things all of the counters.

It's not going to make any difference if it's an item that isn't drawing power...like a hairdryer. Something like a microwave that has the time on it...or any appliance that has a light on it while off(those little green and red dots) will make a difference. ?How much, who knows.




christina0607
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Some good info on this.


Some appliances do use small amounts of power.

Instant ON, televisions have the tube electron gun always warm, so it can produce an electron stream very quickly when you press the POWER button.

An old toaster, with no other electronics doesn’t use any extra power, off is off.

Regular old light bulb lamps don’t use any extra power.

But many appliances have front panel power buttons, that are monitored by a small micro-controller on a circuit board.
When it detects you pressing the button, it pulls in a large relay, and powers the rest of the appliance. This circuit board requires a power supply, which means transformer is required across the line 24x7. This operates the small power supply, micro-controller etc. To save cost, the main power supplies needed for the appliance are on, up an running, which un-necessarily consumes power. They draw more power when the appliance actually operates, but the idle currents can be substantial.

However, many small appliances have wall transformers that operate the small appliance. The transformer itself ideally doesn’t use power, but there are losses which do cause these transformers to use some power, and I suppose it can add up. Feel the wall transformer, it is warm, due to the losses in the transformer.
You are paying for that heat.

Feel the back of your TV, or other appliances. They are probably warm, even when off.

One reason people are getting excited about this, is because of global warming, pollution, and the waste of energy.

In a house full of appliances, stoves, stereos, wall adapters, chargers, AC heating controller, VCRs, DVDs, game systems power supplies, PC sound system power supply, TVs, PC power supplies ( yes they produce constant power even when off), etc.

I would expect it to total about 100W. ~ $10 per month
0.15* (100W*24*30)/1000 = $10.80
15cents per kw times watts used per month divided by 1kW.

Transformers:
A transformer, is just a large coil of wire sitting across the power line. It would be a short circuit, except that the coil is wrapped around an Iron core which concentrates the magnetic field energy. It would quickly reach its maximum magnetic storage energy limit ( saturation), but the power line is AC ( alternates the voltage direction 120 times per second ( 60Hz) ). This causes the magnetic energy stored from the line power to collapse back into the line 120 times per second. So energy is briefly stored in the iron core, but a few milliseconds later, is dumped back into the line. It is designed as a resonate circuit element at the 60Hz line frequency, so the energy comes in, but goes back out in resonance. If the appliance needs power, it is siphoned off from the magnetic core, into a second winding coil, and doesn’t return to the line.
Losses occur in the resistance of the winding, and also in eddy currents in the core material that are dissipated as heat.
This is why the transformer gets warm, and why it looses power when not in use.

Transformer Core:
The core material is made of ferrite, which is iron powder mixed with Silicon, which makes it much less conductive. This reduces the eddy current losses, because to the higher resistance of the core, limits electrical current (power) being wasted in the core material. ( This has nothing to do with the electrical current in the two Copper transformer coils.)

The core is also broken up into thin slices like a pre-sliced block of cheese. The slices are insulated from each other, so that they can not sustain that current path between themselves, reducing eddy current losses. Eddy current losses increase with the square of the applied frequency, so lower frequencies are better to reduce loss for that reason. The problem is that the core then must be very large to hold enough magnetic energy to support the appliance during the slow 60Hz cycle. This means that a 500 Watt power supply may be almost too heavy for many people to lift.

For this size reason, modern power supplies are designed to "switch", and oscillate at very high frequencies ~ 70kHz, to 500KHz, so that the size of the core can be very small, but transfers that small amount of power at a much, much faster rate. It is like trying to fill a bath tub with a 5 gallon bucket of water once per minute, or using a Dixie cup at a rate of 5,000 per minute.
This means you don’t have to carry around the large 5 gallon bucket where ever you go, only the Dixie cup. Your power supply can be very, very small, yet produce large voltages, current and power. As a consequence, modern appliances are light weight, and can use almost any battery voltage. The required voltage is "switched up" or down to the needed voltage and current.

May the force be with you. . .

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