Whether you’re headed off for the weekend or taking a two-week vacation, prepping your home for your time away is an important part of vacation planning. Maybe there are some things you already do, like empty the dishwasher and water the plants. Did you know that incorporating energy saving habits into your vacation preparations will help you save money while you’re away? It will also play an important role in keeping your home safe.
Home heating and cooling
Depending on the time of year, heating and cooling your home can make up a significant part of your energy bill. In summer you can turn off your cooling system while you’re away. In the winter, set your thermostat to the same temperature you would for nighttime. This will save energy while ensuring your home stays warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.
Both interior and exterior lighting is easy to adjust when you're going away. Smart lighting features make it simple to monitor lights at home, and sometimes you can turn on lights remotely. Set reminders on your phone to ensure all lights are off before hitting the road - especially exterior lights.
What You Can Unplug
Unplugging electronics, chargers, and small appliances like coffee makers, while you're away isn't only an energy saving tip, it's a safety habit as well. Severe weather can cause power outages anytime of the year. Unplugging items like gaming consoles or computers can help prevent costly power surge damage.
Gaming consoles, TV boxes, PVRs, and computers all “sip” power when they’re not in use. These are often refered to as “vampire” loads. If the devices are connected to a power bar (the ideal), remember to turn off the power switch. Or, unplug them individually before you head away.
Unplug televisions, computers, and all entertainment devices. Unplugging your electronics can help protect them from power surges.
Chargers and Charging Stations
You don't need to keep your tangle of charging cords plugged in while you're on vacation. Unplug all chargers before you go, especially if you have carpeting in your home. Although rare, chargers left plugged in too long, or resting against carpeting, bedding or drapery, may be at increased risk of fire.
Small kitchen appliances like coffee makers, toasters, and air fryers, may use standby energy even when not turned on. Unplug them while away to save energy waste.
Make Use of Timer Settings
Many newer appliances and fixtures come equipped with timer settings. Intelligent timer settings are great for reducing standby energy usage, which can make up from five to 10 percent of your home energy bill.
Some smart lighting systems easily integrate with artificial intelligence (AI)software like Google Assistant. For security, you can schedule lights to be on certain times of the day when you’re away from home. Schedule one lamp facing a window to remain on through the evening or schedule kitchen lights to turn on around 5:00 PM, so it looks like someone is home.
Smart thermostats, like smart lighting systems, help you control your environment from afar. If you're on vacation during winter, reprogram your thermostat to remain at your nighttime setting while you’re away. Optimal temperatures hover around 15 to 18 degrees - high enough to ensure your pipes won’t freeze and low enough to conserve energy.
Your energy saving checklist
Creating a list of energy saving reminders makes it easier to stay organized in the rush before you head away. Simple things like unplugging small appliances and charging stations helps prepare your home for your time away and also helps ensure you won't return to any unpleasant surprises.
What is the easiest way to save energy at home?
Save energy by unplugging small kitchen appliances and using smart lighting. Set thermostats to a lower temperature and unplug entertainment units and charging stations.
How can I keep my energy cost down when I go away on vacation (summer or winter)?
- Unplug small and medium-sized appliances such as toasters, microwaves, and coffee makers.
- Ensure your thermostats are programmed between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius.
- Turn off lights before departure or monitor smart lighting through software.
- Unplug electronics, entertainment units and charging stations
What are 3 ways you can reduce energy and save money on energy bills?
- Turn off lights
- Unplug unused appliances
- Set your thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius.
What can I turn off to save electricity?
Turn off lights and power bars to help save energy. When you’re away during summer, turn off your cooling system.