Everyone likes their house a certain way. Some people like their house cold and others prefer it a little but on the warmer side. What we do not know is how much money our preferences actually cost us. We do not pay much attention because we want to feel good in our own homes. However, this is the time of year when many people across the nation go out on vacation. When leaving our homes to go on a trip, there are steps we can take to lower our energy usage. These tips will save you a good amount on that month’s energy bill. Saving energy can be as simple as changing the thermostat or something more tricky like turning off your water heater. Here are the five best vacation energy saving tips.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips: Air Conditioning
When going on vacation, there is no reason the thermostat should be at the same temperature it normally is when people are home. During the summer months, you can set the thermostat to either 85 or completely turned off. Every degree your thermostat is raised can save 2-3 percent on your electric bill. If going on vacation in the winter this step is a little different. When leaving during the winter, the thermostat should be a nice 50 degrees to keep pipes and appliances from freezing. No one wants to return home from a relaxing vacation to see a flood from a cracked pipe, or one of the major home appliances is frozen.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips: Water Heater
A part of the house no one thinks of enough is the water heater. The water heater is usually tucked away in a convenient part of the house like the attic or basement. Water heating can account for 14%-25% of the energy usage in a single home. Much of this energy usage is from the “stand-by” mode. Stand-by mode enables your shower to be hot shortly after turning it on. When leaving on vacation, however, this setting is unnecessary. There are two ways to stop this wasting of energy, and they depend on whether your water heater is electric or gas powered. If you have an electric water heater shut off the circuit breaker to the water heater, or if your water heater is electric turn the gas valve off. Turning off your water heater is one of the best vacation energy saving tips.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips: Lights
So many families will leave a couple of lights on when going on vacation to give the appearance someone is home. The reason people do this is to deter and potential home intrusions. Although, it is a good safety idea it is a waste of energy. Especially, with advanced light technology, we have today. You can go to any home appliance store and get lights that are on automatic timers. This sounds like it could cost a pretty penny, however, this is not the case. You can find lights set on automatic timers for as little as ten dollars. This vacation energy saving tip is a little tricky as you are balancing home safety against saving a little extra money on your energy bill.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips: Phantom Energy
Almost everyone across the country does not know that whenever you have something plugged into an outlet, it is using electricity even if it is not in use. For example, if your phone charger is plugged into an outlet, but you are not actually charging your phone the charger is still draining energy from your home. This type of energy usage is known as phantom energy use because no one is really using it. Studies have shown Americans waste approximately one month’s electric bill every year on phantom energy. Before leaving for your trip go around your house and unplug everything even if it is already in an off position. Not only is this a great vacation energy saving tip, but it also prevents a fire hazard in case you have a power surge while no one is home.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips: Refrigerators
This step does not always apply when going on vacation. If you are leaving your house for only a couple of days, then this step is not necessary as some items in your fridge will still be good when you get back. However, if you are leaving for a longer period of time, then this is a step you should think about taking. If you do decide to take this step, take out all the food from both the refrigerator and freezer and leave the doors open to air out. Lastly, leave a box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to suck up and moisture.
Vacation Energy Saving Tips Overview
When going on vacation, it is easy to get very excited. However, do not let yourself get caught up in the excitement too much. Make sure you go through your house before you leave and apply each one of these energy saving techniques. You would not go on vacation without your suitcase and you shouldn’t either without using these energy-saving tips.