Just because you’ve packed up the family and stepped out the front door to go on vacation doesn’t mean that your home automatically shuts itself off in anticipation of your eventual return. Your home will still use electricity the entire time you’re gone. But there are a few things you can do to lower your energy usage while away, especially if you’re going to be gone for more than a few days.
Adjust your thermostat but don’t turn it off during the summer
Did you know that it’s best to leave the air conditioner running during the summer even while away for days at a time? No, we’re not saying that you should run the a/c like you normally would. During your summer vacation you should set the thermostat to 85 degrees or higher.
The natural question is, why leave the a/c on at all? Wouldn’t that just make your electricity usage higher than needed?
The reason to leave it on is because turning it off may make your refrigerator to work too hard. Leaving it off may also spoil food in your pantry.
Turn down (or turn off) your water heater
If your vacation will be longer than three days, you should either turn your water heater down or off depending on the type of model you have.
If you have a natural gas water heater, then turn it down to a low setting or set it to vacation mode.
If you have an electric water heater, lower the temperature or flip the switch on your circuit breaker panel.
Just remember that when you return home and turn it on or back up, it may take a few hours to heat the tank.
Unplug all your electrical equipment
There’s no reason to leave your televisions, video game consoles, coffee machines, computers and DVD players plugged in. To make this task easy, use power strips to power all your electronics. This makes them easier to switch off.
There are obvious exceptions of course. You will most likely want to keep your DVR plugged in to record your favorite shows and movies while away. But don’t hesitate to unplug your digital clocks even though you know you will need to reset them when you get back. Every little bit of saving helps.
Think of security when it comes to your lights
It’s a no-brainer to suggest that you turn off your lights while away on vacation. But many people like to leave certain lights on for security reasons.
If you’re one of those people, then consider investing in programmable timers. This way, lights could turn on and off on a pre-defined schedule.