Summer, especially the month of August, is vacation time for many. This is the perfect time to get away, enjoy beautiful weather and get back in time to prepare the kids for the next school year.
While the excitement of vacation lays over your head, do not forget the ever most important steps of prepping your home for your time away to ensure you take advantage of energy savings!
Take the time to plan these simple steps to save. The money you save can help pay for your next trip!
Step 1: Turn off or Program Air Conditioner
Unless you’re leaving your pets at home, you can turn the air conditioner off. If there is not one around to enjoy it, there is no reason to have it on.
If you have pets, or prefer to leave your ac unit on, program the temperature setting to a higher degree to avoid the unit from continuously running while you’re not away.
Use a mobile app or ask a neighbor to change the temperature setting before you return home to avoid walking into an uncomfortable home.
Step 2: Turn off Water Heater
The water heater is one appliance that many people do not always think about. It’s out of site (and mostly out of mind). It’s always easy to forget about this while leaving for vacation.
According to US Department of Energy, water heating can account for 14 – 25% of the energy consumed in your home and a large percentage of the cost of running a water heater is due to the “stand by” losses.
If you are going to be leaving your house for more than three days, turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater. If you do not feel comfortable disconnecting the breaker to the water heater, turn your water heater to vacation mode (if available) to cut standby heat losses.
Step 3: Unplug any unnecessary appliances
Even when appliances are turned off but plugged in, they are still using electricity. Before you leave, have someone walk around the house and unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronics.
This includes the larger items, but do not forget about the smaller appliances – razors, coffee pots, digital clocks, cell phone and laptop chargers. These appliances are referred to as “energy vampires” since they utilize a small amount of energy even when turned off, call phantom loads.
You do not need to move the appliances, simply unplug them.
This not only save money, but also reduces the risk of fire hazards if there would be a power surge while you’re not home.
Step 4: Lighting Timers
Some people do not want to leave their home in the dark for the entire time they’re on vacation. Having a light on creates the impression that someone is home, deterring burglars from scoping out your home. The easiest thing to do is leave one or two lights on in the home.
With the invention of lighting timers, you do not need to waste energy by having the lights on the entire time. Set the timer to turn the lights on during a specific time (i.e. during the evening) to give the illusion someone is home while preventing the energy from being wasted during the day.
Step 5: Blinds & Curtains
Saving energy doesn’t always involve electrical items. You can help save energy by using blinds and curtains to prevent the sun from beating through the windows and heating up the house.
Using blinds, coupled with raising the temperature on your A/C system, prevents the home from heating up and, as a result, decreases the amount of time the air conditioning system turning on, saving energy all around!
Step 6: Keep Your Propane Tank Full
If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, be sure your propane tank is full and set-up for automatic delivery.
CES offers tank monitor solutions that allow us to track your usage and automatically deliver when the tank is getting low.
By learning and planning these energy saving tips while on vacation, you can save money in your home, create efficiency in your appliances and heating systems and reduce your carbon footprint!