Relax and kick back – you’re going on vacation! But don’t take a vacation from saving energy at home. While you’re lying on a beach or exploring a new city, your empty house is still using energy.
Here are some tips to help you save energy while you’re away:
1. Change your thermostat: Set the thermostat temperature much higher than usual. No need to spend money to cool a home when you won’t be there, unless you have pets that will be staying behind.
2. Adjust your water heater: Turn down your water heater to “vacation” or “pilot” mode. Water heating can account for up to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home, and a large percentage of this cost is to have hot water ready to use, according to ENERGY STAR.
3. Unplug your electronics: Even when your electronics and appliances are turned off, they still use small amounts of power. Unplug your computer, TVs, video game system, coffee maker, etc. Or if these items are plugged into Smart Strips, you can turn off the strip to power down everything at once.
4. Use automated timers: Set an automatic timer on a few lights instead of leaving a light turned on. Consider installing motion-activated lights outside your home. These lights turn on when there is movement near your home.
5. Be shady: Keep your window shades closed. Draw your curtains and close your blinds to shield the air inside your house from the sun. When you return home, let in the fresh air!
6. Turn off fans: Remember, fans cool people, not rooms. When you’re not home, be sure to turn off the fans.