Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s one thing you should never forget to do before you go: make your home more energy efficient. Unless you make certain changes, your home can waste a lot of energy while you’re not there, meaning you’ll be greeted with a massive utility bill when you get back from your trip. Make sure this doesn’t happen by following these tips to save energy on your home while you travel:
Adjust your programmable thermostat.
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, install one before you go so you can save energy year-round, not just when you’re on vacation. The Honeywell LineVoltPro Digital Thermostat is a great option, since it features 7-day preset programming. Before you leave for your trip, adjust the temperatures so your heating and cooling system does not click on while you are gone.
Turn off the water heater.
Water heaters lose a lot of energy through standby losses, which occur even when the appliance is not being used. Therefore, if you leave your hot water heater on while you’re not home, it will still consume energy despite no one being in the house to enjoy the hot water! If you have an electric heater, turn it off right at the breaker. But, if you have a gas heater such as the ProMax Power Vent Residential Gas Water Heater, switch it to the pilot setting until you return home.
Change the refrigerator temperature.
Refrigerators and freezers consume energy at all hours of the day, so there is a big opportunity to save energy on these appliances. Before you begin traveling, adjust the temperature of the refrigerator to 42 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not enough of a change to impact the food you have stored inside, but it is enough to see a difference in your energy consumption while you are gone. Use a NSF Refrigerator & Freezer Thermometer for help finding the perfect temperature.
Electronic devices and appliances can consume energy even if they are turned off and not in use, as long as they remain plugged into an electrical outlet. Cut the power of these non essential devices by completely unplugging them before you go. Or, if there are no devices or appliances that need electricity while you are out, use your home’s disconnect switch to disconnect all power from entering the home.
Switch to programmable lights.
Homeowners often prefer to leave a few lights on while they are away to fool people into thinking they are still at home. But, leaving lights on the entire time you are away is a huge waste of energy. Instead of doing this, switch to programmable lights that can be preset to turn on at a certain time everyday. This will help you cut down on the energy you use protecting your home while still making everyone believe you are inside the house.
Follow these tips and you don’t have to worry about coming home to a pile of energy bills that have racked up while you were away.
-Written by guest contributor, Uma Campbell-