Summer is the perfect time for trips and traveling. But nothing will bring you back to post-vacation reality like a high energy bill. While you’re off relaxing, here’s how to set your home up for an energy-saving vacation of its own.
Adjust your thermostat
Your largest energy expense is hearing and cooling your home, accounting for about 50 percent of your electric bill. Before your vacation, turn your thermostat up by 7 to 10 degrees. It is better in Florida to keep your A/C on rather than completely shut it off because it controls humidity levels.
Turn off your electric water heater
Water heaters account for about 17 percent of your electric bill, making them your second largest energy expense. If you are gone for at least three consecutive days, lower your water heater temperature to the lowest setting. For every 10-degree reduction, you save 3-5 percent on water heating costs.
Have a fully stocked fridge
We normally try to empty our fridge before traveling, but consider keeping yours full to cut down on electric costs. Items in a fully stocked fridge keep one another cold, reducing the strain for the fridge to remain cool. To avoid food spoilage, fill your fridge with large, non-perishable items, like water jugs. For cost efficiency, only unplug your fridge if you will be gone for at least four weeks.
Pull the plug before heading out of town
TVs, computers, radios and coffee makers are notorious for “phantom loads”, which is when appliances or devices consume power when turned off or in standby mode. Make sure to turn these off before your next vacation.
Turn off your fans
Fans are great at saving money by taking the load off of your air conditioner, but, just like your thermostat, there’s no need to keep them running when you are away. Ensure your fans are switched off before you leave!
Close your curtains
While turning off your fans and adjusting your thermostat, contain the temperature in your house by closing all of your curtains. This will add another layer of insulation (and security!).
Set yours lights on a timer
Instead of leaving lights on in your house as a security measure, set a couple of lights on a timer. This still gives the illusion of someone being home, but reduces wasted energy.