Taking the family on a holiday vacation? Before you do, prepare your home for taking a little break of its own from unnecessary energy and water use. Here are some tips for putting your home in “vacation” mode while you’re away:

  • Set the thermostat low if you’re heating or high if you’re cooling the home. For example, setting the heat to turn on at 65 degrees or the AC to kick in at 80 degrees, uncomfortable indoor temperatures for most, keeps your HVAC system working but only sparingly. If you have a smart thermostat, you could change temperature settings with an app and monitor the relative humidity level in your home. The recommended relative humidity range is 45% -55%.
  • Consider turning off your water heater or placing it in “vacation” mode if that’s an option. If you have a standard electric water heater, turn it off at the breaker.  If you have a heat pump water heater, set it on “vacation” mode for the number of days that you are away from home.
  • Consider installing a timer or using an app to automatically turn on/off your interior and exterior lights while you’re away. And make sure your lights bulbs are LEDs. For exterior lighting, consider installing fixtures with built-in motion sensors or photocells and use only LED bulbs.
  • Unplug or turn off unused devices such as computers, gaming systems, phone chargers, fans, lights, etc. Consider installing smart power strips for these types of devices.
  • To guard against water leaks, turn off the water supply at the meter, or the main house shut off valve if one is installed. Another option is to turn off the water supply to the clothes washer, dish washer and toilets individually. Inspect your home for leaks before leaving, and as a last precaution, check the water meter to see if its gauges are moving. If they are but no water is being used, you have a leak.