Any time of year is a great time of year to get away for a few days. Escaping your day-to-day routine is a great way to renew your spirit. But getting away can be expensive. Hotels, transportation cost, eating out… it all starts to add up. Does that mean you should skip the trip? No way! Instead, focus on ways you can save money so you don’t have to feel so guilty.
While you’re away from home, your home still draws power – power you’ll have to pay for and didn’t even use! Here are tips to lower your energy consumption while you’re away so you don’t return to a whopping electric bill.
- Unplug. Things like your microwave, coffee maker, TV, and anything else with a display will be drawing power when you’re not there. If you can, unplug these items. If you have power strips, unplug those, too, since they will also draw power even when not in use.
- Automate. If you’re going to be leaving a light, use an automatic timer rather than leaving it on all day. A light that never turns off might be as suspicious as one that never turns on. If your goal is to deter thieves, set the timer to turn lights on in the evening when you’d normally be home.
- Regulate. In the summer, set your air conditioner higher. In the winter, set your heat lower. You need to keep the house functional and safe, but you also won’t be there and it doesn’t need to be as cool or warm as when you are home.
- Cover. If you have window coverings like shades or blinds, now is the time to use them. Not only will it keep people from peeking in, it will also keep out the sun and wind. Sun will make your AC work harder and windy drafts will kick your heat on more frequently.
- Adjust. You can also turn down your water heater. Some even come with vacation settings. If no one is home to use the hot water, you don’t need to keep it so hot.
- Prepare. It’s tempting to empty the fridge before you go away, but your refrigerator will run more efficiently if it’s full than if it’s not. This doesn’t mean you should buy a bunch of food that can spoil. Instead, use water bottles to help keep the fridge cool. Also, since no one will be opening the door and letting the cold out, you can adjust the thermostat to 38 degrees and the freezer to 5 degrees. This is a little warmer than usual, but the cold air won’t be escaping so the fridge doesn’t have to work so hard to keep cool.
These tips probably won’t earn you back the cost of your trip, but they’ll certainly let you pick up that cute souvenir you’ve had your eye on!
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