Before you unwind on your vacation, unplug these appliances - HMS National, Inc.

Before you unwind on your vacation, unplug these appliances

May 13, 2014

The summer is traditionally a busy travel period, and it looks as though 2014 will be no different. Travel company TripAdvisor says that some 92 percent of families will be hitting the roads or the airways this year, up from 85 percent in 2013. Warm weather vacations should be a time for people to "unplug" - both figuratively and literally.

Besides the obvious benefits of rest and relaxation, the icing on the cake is that your electricity bill will probably be a fraction of what it normally is, depending on how long you'll be away from home. However, you can cut your bill to practically nothing by unplugging some of your appliances.

Even when you're not using your TV, computer or refrigerator, the fact that they're plugged into the wall means they're still using electricity. It may not be a whole lot, but with various outlets occupied, the dollars can add up.

So before you head out on your vacation, think about unplugging or reconfiguring these appliances.

1. Television. Of course, when they're on, TVs suck up a lot of energy - more than 1,000 kilowatt hours on average. TVs burn the midnight oil even when they're not on, too. Be sure to take the plug out of the socket before you leave.

2. Computer. Whether it's for work or leisure, it's understandable why the computer is left on throughout the day, for no other reason that to check your Facebook wall. But plugged-in computers can cost nearly $40 in the average year. Might as well give your computer's plug a tug while you're away.

3. Refrigerator. Now, if there's anything in the house that should probably stay plugged in, it's gotta be the fridge, right? No one wants to come home to sour milk or soupy ice cream. However, if you take a look at your refrigerator's owners manual, there may be vacation settings, which you may want to use depending on how long you're going to be away. Take a look at the table of contents to find the instructions.

Other appliances to unplug include entertainment systems like DVD players, cellphone chargers and the microwave oven.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.