Pre-Vacation Energy Tips For Your Home
Summer is the best time to go on vacation. Across North America, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the beaches are ready to enjoy. Before you run out the door, consider these tips to save money and conserve energy at home, giving you peace of mind.
When your home is vacant, many appliances are still using electricity. Often called ‘energy vampires’ these electronic items will continue to cost you money even when not in use. Before you leave for your sunny adventure, you should walk around your home and unplug every unnecessary appliance and electronic device. Computers, the coffee pot, lamps, televisions, cellphone chargers, the microwave, sound systems and especially video game consoles require unplugging. Video game consoles like Xbox, PS4 and Wii U will use electricity even when not in use. Do not leave your console in standby mode. Consoles spend most of their time in connected standby mode and this soaks up more energy over the course of year than the console uses gaming. Unplugging also eliminates a possible fire hazard if there is a power surge while no one is home. Another tip is to remove batteries from alarm clocks, remotes, controllers and radios (if you still own a traditional radio that is). Over time batteries will corrode and in the summer months, the heat and humidity will cause batteries to deteriorate faster. Store batteries in their original packaging if possible.
Air conditioning! It is an awful feeling coming home and realizing that the inside of your home is hotter than it is outside. If you’re planning a weekend getaway, shutting off the A/C is a smart way to reduce your cooling energy costs to zero. If you’ll be away for a week or longer, it is wise to leave the A/C on but increase the temperature setting to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 28-29 degrees Celsius. Each single-degree temperature adjustment can curb the air conditioner’s energy consumption by two to three percent and will help save you money. By maintaining a maximum temperature of 85 degrees, you’ll also prevent an excessive buildup of heat and humidity that can damage electronics, computers, furniture and structural components such as drywall, wood floors and trim. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now’s the time to have one installed so you can put your thermostat in vacation mode to maintain a consistent temperature while you’re away. To ensure your house is not a sauna when you come home, set the temperature back to normal for the day you return so the house is comfortable and cool when you arrive home. Smart thermostats like Nest are a great investment because there is a downloadable Nest app allowing you to keep an eye on the temperature and adjust it.
For More Tips On Staying Cool This Summer Check Out Our Article “Beat The Heat”.
It is always better to come home to a clean and uncluttered house. Pour half a cup of chlorine into your toilet bowl to keep it from growing bacteria while you are away. This will ensure you will have less to clean up around the house upon your arrival home. Another thing you don’t want to come home to is rotten clothing in the dryer. Never leave wet clothing in your dryer – even when you are not going on vacation. Wet clothing spawns mildew and mold quickly. The clothes will require another washing and thorough drying cycle to get clean again, using an excess of energy. Emptying the fridge and freezer is also another great pre-vacation task. You will come home to a clean, fresh smelling kitchen and it gives you the opportunity to unplug your refrigerator or at least turn up the temperature to ensure those condiments are still edible upon your return. While you’re at it, make sure the dishwasher is empty.
Suite metering enables each resident to pay only for the electricity they use. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to help you save towards your next vacation!