While away from your home on vacation you might as well save some money by reducing energy consumption. Also, it is good to take some security and emergency precautions. That last thing anyone wants is to have to deal with is a repair or security issue remotely.
Since you will not be home, the heating and cooling systems can take a little bit of break. It isn’t a good idea to completely shut off the HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system. If temperatures get very cold, pipes could freeze. Conversely, the air conditioning system is needed to keep the humidity in check.
- Lower Thermostat – Drop the temperature inside the house to about 50 for the winter and 90 for the summer. This adjustment has the possibility of cutting 30% off the energy bill!
- Lower Water Heater Temperature – Turn the temperature dial on the water heater to the lowest setting for gas-powered units and turn off electric units. Even though no hot water will be used, since nobody is home, the water heater still has to work to maintain the temperature of the water in the tank.
- Manage Sunlight – The sun is a powerful source of energy. Use it to your advantage. During the winter open blinds and curtains to let sun into the house to lighten the load on the furnace. Close them during the summer to keep the inside of the house shaded to give the air conditioner a break.
- Vampire Loads – Almost all electronic devices draw a small amount of current while being plugged in. Unplugging televisions, game consoles, and computers will help to reduce electric usage. The easiest way to manage this task is to plug groups of electronics into power strips. When you leave on vacation all you have to do is unplug the power strip instead of each individual device.
- Empty Refrigerator -Okay, this tip doesn’t exactly save you money on the energy bill but it can on food and save a mess when you return home. Avoid buying any perishable items 2-3 days before leaving and toss any food that will go bad. If you are leaving for an extended period (2+ weeks), you can defreeze the freezer and empty the fridge the week leading up to the vacation. Leave a small box of baking soda in the frig to capture odors.