Utilities when traveling

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Dec 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    As I live in second floor flat here in the UK and temps are above freezing, I turned my heat off while was gone for the past four days...it was 54 degrees (F) in here when I got home...burr!

    Does anyone else do this when they go away for more than a couple of days?

    How do you save money on utilities when you and/or your family leave for a decent bit of time?

    :)robin
     
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  2. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    In CT, we leave our thermostat set to 55 F while we're away, especially during the winter. If we don't then the pipes will freeze.

    Otherwise, we unplug every electrical device so help save on electricity.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Heater off. Water heater turned down. File server off. Some lights on random timers to fake habitation.
     
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  4. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    In winter, heat to 60, summer A/C to 85. Server ON, since I use it as a proxy server. That's about it.

    I'd like to be able to at some point make my thermostat location aware, so when I land from a trip, it will kick on and heat the house back up just before I get home.
     
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  5. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    I always turn everything off when I go away on a trip, even if it's a short one. I don't unplug any electrical devices for short trips though.

    When I lived in WI, it was always a problem going away in winter, since I always turned the heat off. Everytime I got back it was always around 20 F outside so the house would be freezing. And it usually took a few days for the house's temperature to become comfortable, even after I cranked the heat up.
     
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  6. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Never do that.. the pipes may freeze and burst
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And the cat will hate you :)
     
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  8. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Cats hate all anyway. Until dinner time anyway :p

    (Posted from my milePoint enabled iPhone)
     
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  9. DAS02135
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    DAS02135 Gold Member

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    I don't have any best practices, other than unplug the things that passively or actively draw electricity.

    I do have a question for anyone who knows: Is there any benefit to or harm done by flipping the switch on the fuse box rather than going around and unplugging things individually?

    Seems like it would be faster at both leaving and returning
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Should be no different than a power outage, which we have way too many of here in the US. Fragile/expensive electronics I have protected via UPS and/or surge protector. But there are things I don't want to shut down. Fridge, answering machine, a few lights, ...

    What surprised me is that if I unplug the Comcast Motorola cable box/DVR, it forgets its TV guide data. Whoever designed that is an idiot, *especially* given the massive hard disk in the DVR.
     
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  11. DAS02135
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    DAS02135 Gold Member

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    You just saved me from a very dumb mistake! The fridge is the only thing in the house I need to stay on while I travel. And, while i think I would have been smart enough not to flick the switch for the kitchen, I honestly can't be sure it would have sunk in! Many thanks.
     
  12. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    in winter , when gone for a long time , i have the pipes blown out-- i pull plugs on everything except ans. machine , i turn of electric to my well water( just in case !) , as far as the fridge since i know when i will leave i work down the food and get rid of what is left over as cheaper to by new may,o mustard etc , need to keep my alarm system and heat set at 55 so i do need some electric power --also since i keep car in a garage , i change my auto insurance to min.state requirement , when get back switch back --also disconnect battery cables in car
     
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  13. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    FWIW, I just got a new programmable thermostat that can change temperature settings four times per day and also has a vacation mode to allow for reducing (or increasing) the temperature setting while away, and resuming normal operation in time for your return so you don't come home to a cold (or hot) home. I think it's programmed in terms of X days. Haven't tried that feature, and now won't have the chance, as I'm moving in two weeks.
     
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  14. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Yes, I should've known better. Luckily nothing happened in over 7 years I lived there. Did it make any difference that I lived in a rather large apartment building instead of a stand alone house?
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sure, if you are surrounded by heated apartments it probably didn't go below freezing in your apartment and walls.
     
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