Are you taking a vacation this summer? When you return home from vacation, the last thing you want waiting for you is a large electric bill. Whether you are heading our of town for a weekend or weeks at a time, preparing your home before you head out can save you money on your electric bill!
Believe it or not, small kitchen appliances like toasters, coffeemakers and blenders use electricity when plugged in, even when they are not in use. Be sure to unplug all of these non-essential appliances before you leave.
The biggest source of energy in the kitchen (in the entire house in some cases) is the refrigerator.
Some sources suggest unplugging the refrigerator while you are away but that can lead to mold and mildew. We suggest turning your refrigerator to its lowest setting. This will allow you to keep food in the refrigerator and freezer while you are gone, instead of wasting it or having it spoil.
Completely turning off your air conditioner or heater, depending on the season, can have adverse results on your house. If you turn off your heater while you are away in the winter, your pipes could freeze. If you turn off your cooling system in the summer, you could cause humidity in your home, something it is not used to and also force the refrigerator to work harder and use more energy to cool itself.
We suggest setting your automatic cooling system to about 80 degrees and your heater to 55 degrees. Remember it will take some time for your home to adjust to a comfortable temperature when you return home.
Also, in the summer, keep your blinds and window treatments closed to keep the house from warming in the afternoon sun.
The Rest of the House
Like the kitchen appliances, televisions, computers, DVD players and cable boxes, can all use energy even when not in use. Unplug anything with a digital display or lights.
You may want to leave some lights on while you are away for security purposes. Direct Energy suggests using energy-efficient bulbs and putting these lights on a timer so that each will only come on at a set time for a set time.
Your hot water heater is another source of energy, even when you are away because it will continually keep water at a specific temperature. Put your water heater in “vacation” mode or the lowest temperature setting to keep from being charged the standby energy costs.
We hope these tips will help you keep your energy usage down and your electric bill low. And with your savings from your electric bill, you can go ahead and extend that vacation a day or two longer!
Thank you Super-Structure for the awesome thermostat photo!