I have learned so many easy ways to save money on our electric bill and love sharing these with you. This time we’re talking travel, and how you can prep your home to save money on energy while you’re not even there. Tis the season to squeeze in those last minute summer vacations, so let’s talk about what you can do before you leave home to save (because more money for vacation is a good thing!).
6 Ways to Save Energy at Home
While You’re on Vacation
Adjust or Program Your Thermostat
When no one’s home, there’s no need to spend money cooling an empty house. You can either turn the AC completely off or set the thermostat to 85-87 degrees.
Little caveat here: If you have pets you leave home, be reasonable about how warm you let it get. We do have pets that we leave at home (under the care of a petsitter, of course) so we might set it as high as 79-80 degrees while we’re gone. Use your best judgement with your animals. We have one cat that’s diabetic and we don’t mess with her comfort too much but even a few degrees makes a difference in your bill – as much as 3% per degree. And if we travel in the winter? We can definitely lower the heat and not worry about the pets! Benefits of a fur coat, right?!
So when you’re on your way home, start cooling down the house and it will be comfortable and ready for you when you get there. Here’s a screen shot of the app on my phone. So easy to manage the temps. I love this!
This is a money-saver on a day-to-day basis too. Adjust the temps based on your family’s schedule and when people are home and away at work and school. Easy!
Turn Off The Fans
This is a really simple one but I didn’t really ‘get’ this until I learned these ways to beat the heat. Turns out fans cool people, not rooms. So unless someone is home, turn the fans off and save the money it costs to run it.
Close Your Curtains & Shades
I live by this one whether we’re home or away. We have SO MANY windows in our house and if the sun beats in you can feel the temperature rise immediately. I keep the blinds and curtains closed up (like a cave, we’re cavemen here people) until the sun has moved in the sky and isn’t shining right into the house. This makes a HUGE difference. Close ’em up while you’re away and keep that heat out! (Tip: Blackout curtains are the best for keeping heat and cold out!)
Unplug Your Electronics
This is also amazing. You’d think that if they’re off, they’re not sucking juice, right? Wrong! Look at this post I wrote on how to find your ‘vampire’ appliances, those that are using electricity when they’re not even on. A Kill-A-Watt monitor is a seriously handy tool for this job. Unplug things before you leave: toaster, coffee maker, TV, computer, etc.
Adjust Your Water Heater
Obviously when you’re not home, you don’t need hot water for showers and washing dishes, so don’t spend money on heating it up! Turn the temp down on your water heater so it doesn’t go on as often while you’re gone.
Use Automated Timers or Solar Lights Outside
For security reasons, in addition to locking up the doors, you probably want some lights on here and there. We keep the house looking occupied with solar lighting and motion lighting outside. To avoid keeping lights on all day long, we set a couple of them up on timers to go on at night. Then we’re not paying for lights during the day and also not worried that our house looks vacant.
Click the image for a printable size reminder to hang on the fridge as a vacation checklist!
What do you do to save on energy costs while you’re away on vacation? These are my best tips and they’re really practical and easy. Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment and let us know!