Tips for Saving Money On Energy Bills While Away on Vacation
One of the worst things about coming home after a week's vacation in the summer is returning to a sweltering hot house because you turned the air conditioning off while you were gone. Yes, doing that will save money on energy bills, but there's a few other things you can do too so you can leave the air on.
If you would like your home energy bills to take a vaca too while you're away, the Energy Education Council advises taking these five steps before heading out the door:
- Unplug your devices to avoid "phantom power draws." Unplug all appliances that won't be used like computers, microwaves, TV's, etc.
- Turn down the water heater. Experts say water heating accounts for about 15% of a home's utility bill, and it will continue to heat water while you are away when you don't need it.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat warmer than you typically have it to cut cooling costs, then program it to cool things down again before you return home.
- Use your blinds and curtains. Keeping your window coverings closed while you're gone will prevent solar heat gain, and reduce the use of your air conditioner.
- Instal programmable timers for lights. It's not safe to leave your lights off for an entire week, but leaving them constantly on is a huge waste of energy and a big fire hazard. Set timers for when you want lights on, and for when they should go off.