June 26th, 2023
Summer is in full swing and you’re probably making plans for a weekend getaway or family vacation. Vacation is all about escaping your daily routines and spending quality time with family or friends. However, just because your house is empty doesn’t mean the appliances have stopped increasing your electric bill.
Before you get out of town, don’t forget to prepare your home for energy savings while you’re away. Use these tips to ensure your vacation won’t be ruined by a high utility bill.
Water heating can account for 14%-25% of your home energy. Turn down your water heater to the lowest possible setting, or set to “vacation” mode.
Unless pets are left at home, there is no reason to keep your air conditioner running all day. During hot summer months, the thermostat can either be set at 85 or turned off completely. If you have a programmable thermostat, set the temperature to change on the day of arrival so you can come home to a comfortable home. If you are leaving a pet at home for a few days, be sure to keep the temperature at a safe setting and have a neighbor check on the animal frequently.
“Energy vampires” are items that still use a significant amount of electricity even when they are turned off. Before you leave, walk around your home and unplug every unnecessary appliance and electronic. Pay close attention to televisions, lamps, entertainment centers, coffee pots, digital clocks, cell phone chargers, electric razors, and anything else that isn’t in use while you’re away. This also eliminates possible fire hazards.
Close curtains and blinds to block out direct sunlight during the summer. This useful tip will prevent excess heat from entering your home.
Most importantly, make sure all lights are turned off. While leaving a light on is a good safety idea, it is a complete waste of energy. Invest in an automatic timer ($10-$20) so specific lights will turn on and off at designated times. This can discourage burglars by giving the illusion that someone is home. You can also ask a neighbor to visit your home and turn a light on at night and off during the day. It’s a simple task if they are already feeding pets or watering plants.
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