Adjust your thermostat before you leave on vacation.
Some people like to take in many activities while on vacation, while others prefer to just kick back and relax. Whatever you do on vacation, your goal should be to leave worries behind.
You can if you follow these tips to lower your electricity use and help keep your home safe while you are away. Take care of the items on this list before you leave, and your home will be fine while you’re gone:
- Unplug appliances and electronics. Performing this task keeps “energy vampires,” a source of energy drain, at bay. You will not use your computer or television while you’re away, but left to their own devices, they’ll continue to use energy and waste money. Unplugging them saves energy, and also reduces the chances of a power surge and associated fire hazards.
- Change thermostat settings. When temperatures are warm outside, it’s unnecessary to keep your home as cool as you normally do since no one will be living in it. You will save money on electrical costs when the indoor temperature is as close to the outdoor temperature as possible. Turn the thermostat up to a warmer temperature (but don’t turn your air conditioning off entirely). The Department of Energy warns that you shouldn’t set your temperature higher than 90 degrees, because at high temps, appliances such as your refrigerator can sustain damage.
- Set window coverings on "vacation mode." Securing all window covers, including lowering blinds and closing curtains, will slow the temperature climb inside your home.
- Adjust your water heater. Water heaters continue to use energy to keep stored water warm. Since you are not using hot water while you're away, you can either adjust the water heater temperature to the lowest setting, or turn it off (turning it off makes sense if you will be gone for more than three days). Once you return home, it’s essential that you run the tap before turning the water heater back on. This will avoid potential damage to the water tank.
- Leave the lighting (timer) on. Leaving lights on can give the appearance of someone in the home and can deter burglars. However, no one is fooled if the same light is on continuously for a few days or a week. Instead, put lights on a timer. You can save money by not having lights on constantly and make it appear that people are home by varying the times the lights turn on and off.
- Bonus tip: If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust it to cool down the house just in time for your return home.