Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Does unplugging things help your engery bills and other bothersome things you hear

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There is a lot of information being tossed at you right now! If you've ever read my profile you will see I DON'T like themes or catch words. 'Going Green' is driving me crazy. I have heard tons of poorly stated information in the act of promoting 'Going Green' lately. Bleach boy has a degree in Electrical stuff so I asked him to give me the real scoop!

What if you want to save power costs? Many shows are telling you to unplug everything when it's not in use. Have you had the winter power outages we endure here in the Pacific Northwest? What do you have to completely reset? Clocks, radio settings, T.V programming etc. It's not fun to redo all your presets on the TV. Or loose your radio presets. If you unplug these items you will forever be resetting most preset items. Yes they do have some power they draw all the time, a little bit. If they have plug ends like the ones below they are drawing power. If they have any kind of little light, or a clock setting that shows when they are off then they are drawing power. Remember if you unplug those you will have to reset everything. I hate blinking clocks!

If your plug looks like this it is drawing power when plugged in even if it is not connected to your item, like phone etc. This goes for docking stations also, they are always drawing power.

Things I do unplug: my cell phone charger, my sewing machines (all on one plug strip)

Things I do not unplug: my TV, DVD player, my surround sound, my radio clock, my computer (what a pain to redo my power back up) When I travel I do unplug the computer stuff.

I'm sure there are more I can't think of but THINKING is what you need to do on this. If I really want to save power, I don't use my dryer or my oven often. I use the lower power use appliances over the big draws. I will put the PUD's list of power use items in the blog after this one so look below.

NEXT ISSUE that bothers me is the energy saving bulbs. They do save a lot of energy. Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. The approved energy florescent bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer. What bothers me is the ever small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing makes it so that you must take it to a disposal site. Yes you can't toss these bulbs in the trash usually and you have to clean up any broken ones as if you are a hazard team. YIKES. Keep that in mind when going Bulb Green! I also find the older ones come on so slowly that there are many places they are useless to me, as in the front porch. I hear a noise at night, I quickly turn on the front or back light to check on what's happening. A dim glow comes from the light. Useless! I've been told the newer ones are better.

HOW about the TV stations going digital?

Oh this is a can of worms. I hope I can clearly explain this for you.

1. IF YOU have Cable TV or satellite TV you don't have to worry at all. DO NOTHING

2. IF YOU get your analogue TV now from an antenna you will need one of the following

A: a digital TV and perhaps a new antenna OR

B: An Analogue TV with a Digital box and perhaps a new antenna

We put in our Digital box for our analogue TV some months ago. It has not been a happy experience. The frequency band for analogue seems so much more stable and we get great TV on our analogue TV with our roof top antenna. WE do not get great Digital. A slight breeze, a little snow, anything will keep us from getting a clear signal. Right now we just switch back to Analogue and watch what doesn't come in with digital, but that comes to an end in Feb. 17Th.

You need to be in a good sight line to the signal with digital TV or you will not get a good signal. There will be frozen pictures and pixel's bits or no picture at all if you are not picking up a good enough signal. A lot of people are going to be very surprised when they figure this out.

Our digital box works well it's just the signal is so hard to catch and not as stable, but it does look very good if you get it and there are additional stations as in 7.1 and 7.2, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 etc. Lots of extra programing! These are side band stations.

Our DVD player said it had a digital receiver but it works very poorly so we use the converter box on the TV. Our converter was $60 but we had a Govt issues coupon that took that down.

So remember just because you get analog on your antenna doesn't mean you will get digital. You can spend a lot of money trying to find out what works. Our local stations are providing a directional listing on where to find the stations for our viewing area. That helped a lot as we use an antenna we can rotate from in the house. So if I watch channel 4 digital I will have to turn the antenna to watch channel 5 digital and again for Channel 7 and 9 etc.

You might solve a lot of problems using an antenna that you can change directions with. A router mounted directional antenna, the rotor system is sold separate from antenna. Ours has a box that comes into the house and I just turn the dial to the different degrees the stations can be received in.

Our antenna is many years old but we bought a large one as we live out a ways and so it does pick up the digital. Bleach boy tells me what you need is a good antenna. It's not a matter of analog and digital antenna's, there are small antennas for close to the transmitter and large for distance. All antenna's receive digital and analog. Bleach boy says they all receive radio waves that's the point!

Oh what we go through for the Governments whims! The analog transmissions will be used for emergency issues but the majority will be sold for broad band use. The Government will make lots of money on selling this spectrum. That is why they offered you coupons to buy your converter boxes which I understand they are now out of. It was a great help to us! I'm so glad I live in a free country where I can say this!

I'm happy to answer any questions on these issues. I've only glossed by the information to get you started. Don't believe everything you hear!

http://telecom.hellodirect.com/docs/Tutorials/AnalogVsDigital.1.051501.asp This site explains the difference in the two signals, digital verses Analog. Easy to understand.

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