Vacation Energy Savings Made Simple

Hopefully you’ve got some vacation time planned for this summer – a little bit of time to relax and unwind with family and friends, or maybe a daring new adventure.  Either way, one thing that never goes on vacation is your electricity bill.  And while most of us can’t just flip a switch and turn the power off as we walk out the door, there are simple ideas that can reduce your usage when you’re out of town or away from the house for long periods of time.

Mind Your Machines
Dozens of electricity hungry devices live in your house at all times, many of them are always on and ready to serve.  Use technology to your advantage to tame these greedy beasts and save money while you relax on vacation.  Win win!

  • Turn your thermostat up while you’re away.  Turning the A/C up (not off) keeps temperatures consistent and comfortable enough for pets while saving you money.
  • Put standalone air conditioners and humidifiers on timers.  This allows you to run them for shorter intervals and reduce usage while you’re gone.
  • Use the right bulbs.  Any lights left on should be powered by a new greener bulb.
  • Turn down your water heater.  Nobody at home = no need for hot water!
  • Kill all vampires.  Most devices continue to draw electricity even when they’re switched off.  Unplug televisions and other electronics while you’re away.  Put them on power strips to make it all easier.

Low Tech Success
It’s not all just about smarter electronics.  There are some other common sense ideas that can help reduce your electricity usage (and costs) while you’re away on vacation.

  • Close your drapes.  Light = heat.  Less heat, lower A/C.
  • Keep internal doors open.  Houses with central A/C cool more efficiently across large spaces.

Did we miss anything?  Is there anything else you do to keep your costs down while you’re on the road?

Thanks to Flickr user Ron Wiebe