Energy Saving Tips on Vacation

Taking a vacation—it’s lovely, and you may be surprised that it’s the opportune time to reduce energy costs, too. With no one at home to run the air conditioner, watch TV, or constantly use the lights in your home, you will most likely save a bit of money on your next utility bill.

Simply being away will save you money, but there are several additional steps you can take to maximize the amount of money you’ll save. Use these tips to save as much energy as possible while you’re on vacation

preparing for vacation

Heating and Cooling

There’s no reason to keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit if there’s no one home to enjoy it. If you’re traveling during the summer, you should set your thermostat so that your house is hotter than your normal average temperature. In the winter, set it so that your house stays slightly cooler than your average. Just a few degrees difference for a few days can save you several dollars.

Of course, there is one caveat: If you have pets in your home, you shouldn’t make severe changes to the temperature. Instead, simply adjust the thermostat slightly so that you save money without increasing the risk of harm to your pets.

During the summer months, you’ll save around two or three percent on your typical utility bill for every degree higher your thermostat is set. So, if you normally keep your thermostat at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and you raise the temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re gone, you’ll save about 32 percent on your utility bill during your vacation. If you prefer, you can turn your air conditioner off completely while you’re away to maximize your savings.

During cold winter months, you can reduce your ambient heating temperature by a few degrees, but be cautious of reducing temperatures too far. Doing so can cause your home to become too cold in the winter, and that can lead to frozen or busted pipes. Set your thermostat lower so that the heat doesn’t kick on as often, but make sure you aren’t setting it below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or turning the furnace off completely.

Hot Water Heater

Did you know that your hot water heater consumes enough energy that it adds up to between 15 and 20 percent of your monthly utility bill? There’s no need for your hot water heater to maintain a supply of hot water while you’re on vacation. Shut your hot water heater off at the breaker to save both money and energy or greatly reduce the maintenance temperature instead. When you get home, turn it back on and wait about an hour before using hot water to make sure it’s properly heated.

Unplug Unnecessary Items

When you have appliances plugged in, they’re drawing energy from the outlet regardless of whether they are in use. To save money while you’re away, make sure everything in your house is unplugged. This means electronics, lamps, smartphones, cordless phones, and yes, appliances, too.

It’s also a great time to clean out your fridge. Get rid of as much food as you can, and set your refrigerator’s temperature a bit higher while you’re away. If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, unplug it completely; just make sure you stick baking soda in the fridge, first, and prop the doors open to prevent odors. If you are planning to unplug it, make sure that all food has been removed from the fridge and freezer to prevent a nasty surprise when you return.

Saving Tips on Vacation

When preparing for vacation, you probably think about things such as packing a step up or step down voltage transformer to ensure your electronics charge properly while you’re traveling. While it’s good to be prepared, you don’t want to concentrate on packing so much that you forget about preparing your home.

The information in this article is an excellent reminder to focus on both your needs while away and your needs at home. For more information on all types of voltage regulators, feel free to browse our site for the latest products to help you as you travel around the country, or around the world.


The History of American Electricity and Its Spread Around the Globe

In today’s modern age how lost would we be without electricity? We take for granted the presence of lights, computers, rechargeable batteries and voltage regulators because, as a generation, we have always had them. The history of American electricity shows us that each of these items we use daily is truly a wonder of innovation and imagination combined with science and experimentation.

110 to 220 transformer

Edison Creates the Pearl Station

While Edison had previously created the light bulb, the actual use of electricity required a system of generation and distribution before it could become usable by American people. In 1882, Thomas Edison’s team opened the Pearl Street station in Manhattan. The high cost of electric service and the limitation of using direct current (DC) caused the station to not be a money maker for several years. This type of station was built in several cities, but the limitations meant that each one only powered a few blocks of homes.

Westinghouse Uses Alternating Current

The first commercial alternating current (AC) power system was the Westinghouse Niagara power plant. Designed in 1886, the plant didn’t come to fruition until 1896. The invention of the Tesla coil in 1891 made it possible to transmit electricity over long distances. Most large towns and cities had electricity by 1930, but farms and rural areas did not.

Part of the reason for this was that there was no regulation on electric services and the companies were privately owned. These companies felt it would be too expensive to run power lines to rural areas where the farmers were too poor to afford the service.

Rural Electric Administration

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Rural Electric Administration in 1935 to help regulate electric service and help farmers get electricity and electric appliances. By 1939, 25% of the country’s rural homes had electricity. Regulation of electricity rates angered many power station owners, but the President acted in the best interest of all the citizens and made electricity affordable for all.

Continuing Changes

While there are different currents used all around the world for electricity, these first milestones helped the world become what it is today. Further advances in electricity have been discovered and are becoming more popular as different countries work for a greener and more environmentally friendly way of powering the people. Clean water acts, clean air acts, and constant studies of how to more efficiently use renewable energy sources have led to changes in everything from how we fuel our cars to the types of light bulbs we use in our homes.

If you travel the world you may find that you need a 110 to 220 volt converter or vice versa to power up your electronic devices, but, overall, electricity is available in all countries and even remote areas where you wouldn’t expect it.

Does every mile of the globe need to have access to electricity? Not necessarily, but the convenience of using electronic devices has led to some pretty surprising and innovative powering options for the places where there is no electricity. No matter to where you are traveling, make sure you visit 110220Volts to get your voltage converters and regulators so that you can take advantage of the electric service at your destination.

Voltage regulators

Can You Bring Your Appliances When You Move Overseas?

In our previous blog post, we discussed the differences between plug shapes and types for various countries when you are moving overseas. Moving to a new home within the United States is simple enough: just pack everything you need into a moving truck and drive to your new address, but what about when you move overseas? Can you bring all of your belongings, including your appliances, with you? Knowing which appliances will work in your new home and if you need voltage regulators will help answer these questions.

The simple fact is that the appliances you use now, including small home electronics, are built to work in your current home. When you move overseas you will encounter new voltage standards that can render your devices inoperable. Here are a few reasons why:

  • In North America, outlets have a normal voltage of 110/120 V and 60 Hz. Most countries in Europe have outlets with 220 V and 50 Hz.
  • You will not be able to plug in your appliances in a foreign country without an adapter that fits the new outlet type.
  • Plugging in a device with an adapter, but without a voltage converter, can cause sparks to shoot out and lead to damages.

Taking all of this into account, it is important for you to make a list of items that you absolutely need to bring with you when you move. Invest in voltage regulators that will work in your new country so that you do not have to start from scratch and add more to your moving budget. Learn more about what you need when you move overseas by contacting a representative from Overseas Best Buy today at 800-827-9978.

Moving overseas


Power Outlets and Moving Overseas

Whether you are an American looking for a change of scenery in Europe, a student studying abroad for an extended period of time, or a member of the military, getting adjusted to living overseas can be overwhelming. One of the main problems that trips up those moving to a new country is power conversion. The fact is, when you go on a vacation in your home country, it is easy to grab your chargers and have everything you need. However, moving overseas requires you to learn about various voltages and the types of power outlets you will find so that you can get the necessary adapters and converters. Voltage converters allow you to use your devices purchased in North America overseas and should be at the top of your list of needs for moving overseas.

Plug Shapes and Outlet Sizes

The first thing that you will notice when traveling outside of the United States is that the shapes and sizes of outlets can vary from country to country. For example, you will find that you need a different type of plug for North America, Europe, the UK, Australia, and Africa. Some countries offer crossover, where you can use the same plug to charge your devices. However, you can see that moving to a new country and visiting other countries after you move can create a predicament if you do not have the right types of chargers.

When you are in the process of moving, be sure to create a checklist and know which converter you need to buy in order to get your phone, computer and other electricity-powered items to work in your new home. Learn more about converters and other items you will need for your move overseas by contacting a representative at Overseas Best Buy today at (800) 827-9978.

outlet photo

European Outlets

European Outlets