Conserve while you’re away
If you’re planning to head out of town on that long-awaited summer vacation, one of the last things you should do is prep your home for your absence by taking a few steps to save energy that you won’t be needing or using while you’re gone. Knowing that you’re saving both energy and money while you’re away should make that vacation even sweeter.
Here are seven simple things you can do to save energy while you’re away:
- Turn off your lights. Other than those needed for security, all your lights should be turned off. If you prefer having lights on for security purposes to make it appear as though someone is home, put both indoor and outdoor lights on a timer so they won’t be burning 24/7. You can pick up timers at your local hardware store. They’re an inexpensive investment that will save you money in the long run.
- Adjust your thermostat. You don’t need the air conditioning running as much as it normally does – or really at all unless you have pets who are staying behind and need a comfortable temperature that won’t cause them distress – so consider turning the thermostat up so the air conditioning will stay off.
- Unplug nonessential appliances. It’s not enough to just to turn off appliances like televisions and washing machines while you’re gone. They still draw power from being plugged in – and that costs you money. “Energy vampires” like coffee makers, radios, televisions and other appliances should be unplugged. Just don’t unplug your fridge or freezer!
- Unplug electronics. Clocks, DVDs, VCRs and other electronics with digital displays still draw power even when they are turned off. Like appliances, it’s best to unplug them.
- Close your curtains and blinds. Keeping the hot, midday sun out of your house will help keep the temperature inside cooler and your air conditioning off for longer than it otherwise would be. If you’re concerned about your home not looking lived in if you normally keep your curtains open, you ask a trusted neighbor to open the blinds in the evening and close them again the next morning so the house looks occupied.
- Adjust your refrigerator temperature. If you’re going to be gone for less than four weeks, consider turning up the temperature in your fridge so that it is set at 38F. You won’t be opening and closing the door, so the food will stay safe at a slightly higher temperature.1
- Adjust your water heater. If you’re able, adjust the temperature on your water heater to the lowest possible level. This will help reduce stand-by heat loss.
Even following just a few of these steps will help you save some money while you’re off having a great vacation, and the effort is worth every cent!
415246F CAN/US (07/17)