Computers and electric bills...

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lord Blackadder, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    I'm going to be moving out soon (grad school), and I've been doing a little research into exactly what sucks the most power around the house, with a view of keeping my electric bill lower. :p

    We have 4 Macs and one PC that are used regularly, 2 of which generally run 24/7, although they are usually idle. I also have a LaserJet 4M which is always on, as well as the necessary ethernet hardware for everything. Surprisingly, All these computers seem to draw much less power than our two TVs (27" and 32"), which draw the most electricity of any device in the house. I can actually see our meter speed up when the TVs get turned on. :eek: Looking at our electric bill, leaving the Laserjet and 2 computers on (and using the other 3 daily) seems to have had little effect on power usage. I was under the impression that it would have made a bigger difference.
     
  2. theonenonlyjoey macrumors member

    theonenonlyjoey

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    Aug 26, 2004
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    San Jose, CA
    #2
    i've read somewhere that the printer constantly being on will pull a lot of power. could be wrong though. i always shut mine off anyway.
     
  3. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    Memphis, TN
    #3
    electronic devices, even when turned off, will draw power as long as they are plugged in. not that they draw a lot of power, but if you are being very environmentally- or money-conscious it might be a good idea to unplug appliances you do not use often.
     
  4. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #4

    Depends what type of printer you have. I have a laser printer and you can tell when that takes power since the lights dim for a second when its turned on. I would not even consider to keep that ON all the time. :)


    I also like notebooks for this very reason, since it uses and can run off the battery, I have no problem when the electricity flickers or down since I can still keep on working. Plus some notebooks do not take much energy so its all good. :)
     
  5. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #5
    This advice is only good for devices that are not used on a regular bases. Last thing I need is to plug and unplug my toaster and microwave to save a few cents on my electric bill. :)
     
  6. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #6
    It's also important to remember that turning a computer on and off regularly is more stressful for the components than leaving it on, just like with a light bulb - they last much longer if you leave them on, although of course you need to be aware of wasting electricity. I remember reading about a light bulb that was on for decades in a fire station, it was in the Guinness Book of World Records.
     
  7. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #7
    More useless accomplishments recorded in the Guinness Book. ROTF :p :)
     
  8. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    LOL, I'd do that just to get in the book. :D Except it was on for 30 or 40 some years if I remember correctly, so I'd better hurry if I want to beat it and live to see my name printed. :p :rolleyes:

    EDIT: All right, this proves it's a slow day at work. :p I found a link about that light bulb - it's a lot older than I thought.

    Link
     
  9. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #9
    I mean how do you KNOW its been ON for so many years, there is no proof. electric bills will only say that you have used so many Kilowatts, not tell you that THIS particular light was ON.

    People can always lie about if it was ON or replaced.


    I have my doubts about this one. :p :)
     
  10. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #10
    Heh, you actually picked kind of a bad example with the toaster ... that should be unplugged because of the fire hazard!

    I had a toaster oven short on me once while I was at work. Fortunately the fire department got in there before it actually caused any open flame (and judging by charred books close to it, we were very close to disaster).

    Microwave is good though.
     
  11. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #11

    Does your toaster have a ground prong. I know most only have 2 not 3. Some of the expensive ones have 3 prongs.

    I leave it plugged on and never had an issue. I know accidents can happen however I know people who are careful and have lost a lot while others were the utter opposite (not considering that you do it on purpose).

    I know work appliances tend to be abused a lot, cheap and not maintained. That could have been part of the problem. :)
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Watt meters are a really good tool for measuring how much power each device uses - they only cost about 20 bucks and have a little lcd readout of how many watts the electrical device that you plug into it is using at that time. Some slightly more expensive ones also offer averages.
     
  13. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #13
    like i said...
     
  14. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #14
    No, this one didn't have a ground prong.

    All applicances have a chance of failture, but toasters are a higher than average danger, because a toaster is really just a giant short circuit (with a large enough resistor in the middle to generate heat from it).

    Most other items it they accidentally turn on for some reason just act like a little space heater (plus whatever they are supposed to do). Toasters are the exception, because their design will start fires if left on too long, even if they are working properly.

    Of course there are probably newfangled toasters with IC's in them for current cutoffs, max temperature cutoffs etc.
     

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