Peace
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Peace asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Does turning off your breaker switch (for your heaters) Save electricity during the summer?

The breaker switches are for the base board heaters in my apartment. If I turn those off during the warm months will it save electicity? enough to even matter or lower my electic bill?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    I'm not really sure about this.

    It is true that many electronics should be unplugged to cut down on the ghost charge they leech even when turned off. This is because these electronics are basically on standby. For instance, anything with a remote control on/off button has to have some charge so it can receive and react to the signal from the remote.

    However, if your baseboards are controlled by a thermostat that you have turned off, I don't see why that would need to leech electricity.

    On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt anything, so it might be worth a try. You should do an experiment this summer!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Peace. I doubt it, but it can't hurt either. The thing about the thermostat, if the apartment gets to cool, it is possible that the heaters could turn on, but that is also a rare situation because of how those thermostats are configured for heating or cooling.

    One point that needs to be made here, during the winter, I would not turn off the AC system completely. There is a small heater in many compressors that keeps the oil that is in the bottom of the compressor case warm enough to keep the refrigerant from mixing with it. By allowing the oil to cool, and is not allowed to warm up when warm weather returns could destroy the compressor which would wipe out any money saved from turning the AC system completely off.

    In your heater circuit, if there is no complete path for the electricity to travel from the breaker for the heaters, to the heaters, and back again, then the heaters are drawing no power, and are costing you nothing. That said, if you still feel that it would be helpful to turn off the breakers for the base board heaters, then by all means, turn them off. What a person thinks is always more powerful than what may actually be true.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is a very good question! You actually will not save any electricity by doing this. Let me try to clarify this for you. Pretend a table lamp (incandescent) is the baseboard heater (A regular bulb is just like a heater, it is called a resistive load, although one is designed for giving light and the other for heat) and the on-off switch on the lamp is the thermostat (a switch does the same exact thing as a thermostat only the thermostat is operated by temperature). And finally, we will pretend the cord is the circuit breaker, when you unplug it, you have disconnected the power source just like turning off a circuit breaker. For electricity to flow, you must have a complete circuit. With the switch being in the off position (or thermostat) the circuit is not complete. Hence no flow of electricity and no bill from the utility company! You should always turn the thermostats to the OFF position in the summer, this way it will prevent the heat from coming on accidentally if the temperature drops! Your best bet with Electric Heat to save energy, is to keep rooms that are not normally occupied to as low a temp as possible without endangering your plumbing. Also, try to keep the heat settings to 68 when you are home and drop it to 62 when you leave for work! Hope this helped!!!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    probably won't save any energy It depends on the thermostat in the heater.

    A typical bimetallic "spring" and contact (or mercury in a glass bubble) thermostat for relatively low wattage heaters will completely break the electrical circuit. No power will be wasted as long as the thermostat is operating properly.

    If the thermostat has a relay... the relay should be completely de-energized when the spring (or mercury) thermostat has its portion of the circuit open.

    If the Thermostat ha an LED or LCD indicator then it will be drawing a few watts of power. Nothing really significant... about the power used by a single bulb in a 100 lite string of mini Christmas lights. Turning that off might save a few cents a month.

    But it won't hurt anything to turn off the breakers.

    *****************

    Edit:

    RE Jimmy_K's response below.

    It CAN NOT harm the heater.

    *************

    RE Kerry's response...

    Only some large HVAC systems have a heater to keep the refrigerant from dissolving in the oil. Household units... its extremely rare. You'll never see it in a window unit. I've never seen it in a unit using R22, R-12 or R-134a

    Source(s): Former Whirlpool, Frigiair, Maytag, Hotpoint, GE, Kenmore... (and other...) Appliance repair technician. US Navy Electrical Safety Inspector Qualified.
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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on if you have a thermosat or not. I know in the apartments and homes I have lived in that had baseboard heaters they did not have thermostats. So, with that being said I would turn off the breakers simply because it would make me feel like it was saving energy. Most likely it won't be saving anything but its peace of mind that it offers that is nice.

  • 1 decade ago

    it would save a little.. it would just save the electirity that is usually wasted when it passes though the wires and into the heater. everything uses electricity, even though they are off. but by shutting the breakers would infact save money. my guess...maybe.. $3 to 10 cents range. depending of if it has a standby mode or not. if does then it will save closer to the $3 range

  • 1 decade ago

    might break your heater

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