Vacations over the summer are often the perfect time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. This relaxation will come even easier if you know that while you are gone, you are saving money on your home utilities. So before you pack up the suntan lotion and beach chairs in to the minivan, remember to do these few simple things to ensure you will be saving energy at home.
Turn Up the Air Conditioning
Since no one will be at home, set your air conditioning thermostat to 83-85 degrees to maximize savings during the hot summer months while you are away. It is often advised not to completely turn off the air conditioner to limit extremes in temperature, especially if you live in a hot or humid area. Air conditioning can be one of the most expensive utilities, so cutting back on its use during the summer months can be especially beneficial for your energy savings.
Unplugging all electronics before leaving is also a great way to save money while on vacation. You are probably taking many of your electronics with you but make sure the ones that you leave at home are not wasting energy. Electronics such as TVs, cable boxes, DVD players, printers, coffee makers, clocks and chargers all consume “stand by” power and should be unplugged until you return from out of town. If you are vacationing for an extended period of time, a great energy saving method is to completely clean out your refrigerator and leave it unplugged. If unplugging your refrigerator is not an option or you are going on a shorter trip, then slightly increasing the temperature is a great alternative to save some energy. Just be sure not to increase the temperature too much so your food doesn’t spoil! Usually only a couple of degrees should be sufficient. Water heaters can also be turned down to “vacation mode” to increase your savings because they account for 14%-25% of the energy consumed throughout your home. While you are enjoying your vacation and your water heater is not being used, it still runs and creates “stand by” losses if not adjusted to “vacation mode”. These “stand by” losses can account for a large percentage of the overall energy use from your water heater.
Keep the Lights off
Many homeowners prefer to keep some lights on around the house while on vacation to prevent break-ins and to decrease the stress of leaving their home unattended. A low cost and easy alternative to leaving the lights on is to install a timer that turns your lights on and off at set times. Or, a higher cost alternative would be to install a security system which will ensure maximum protection for your home and belongings.
Energy conservation around your home is a vital part of saving money for your utilities. With these few things taken care of, you can enjoy your vacation time as you save money and energy at home. Have more ideas about conserving energy while away on vacation? Let us know!
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Author bio: Mitch Seibert writes about saving money around the home.