Perhaps one of our biggest worries when going out of town is making sure our home is secure. This goes way beyond remembering to close that one window or making sure none of the faucets are dripping, but rather that we’re not going to come back from vacation with a hefty energy bill. And whether it be a trip across the world or just to New York for the weekend, making our house more efficient can be a challenge.
However, this process doesn’t have to be nearly as bad as you might imagine. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to save money in general, leaving you with a solid peace of mind. Check out how to get it done below:
Invest In Energy Efficient Appliances
If you want to lower your energy bill consider investing in energy-efficient appliances. They will allow you to save a ton of money over time, which makes them an investment that basically pays for themselves.
By converting to energy efficient appliances you will be able to save some extra cash that can go towards your travel fund.
For example, by replacing your washing machine you could save around $110 per year on your energy bill. By replacing your lights with energy efficient light bulbs you could save around $75 per year.
Overall, for each appliance, you trade in for an energy efficient appliance you are saving yourself money and that $75 here and $110 there adds up over the course of a year, which means more travel money available for you.
Turn Off Every Electronic
Before you leave, always make sure you turn off and unplug every electronic in your home. While I know that sounds excessive; it can actually save you quite a bit.
For example, as noted by The Atlantic, leaving something like your cable box on can run up your bill approximately $8/month. Plus, according to the Energy Information Administration, 52 percent of the average energy consumption at home comes from appliances, electronics, and lighting.
Yes, the little items around your house you might think are harmless might be eating away at your energy quite a bit.
Things to Make Sure to Cut off/Unplug Before Traveling
- Washer and dryer
- Gaming Systems
- Heating and air conditioning system (If you’re traveling during the colder months and are worried your pipes may freeze set the thermostat between 50-60 Fahrenheit. For warmer months, between 70-80 will suffice).
Lower Your Hot Water Heater’s Temperature
Lowering your water heater’s temperature is an excellent strategy for reducing your costs. According to The Department of Energy, hot water accounts for 18 percent of your total utility bill, which can be brought down quite a bit by simply adjusting the temperature. And regardless if your heater is electric or gas, this is one practice you should definitely implement.
Look at the bottom of your heater and try to find the temperature gauge. The instructional manual should be able to tell you where the thermostat is, as well as how to adjust it. Some heaters have a “vacation” setting, which is basically down to the lowest setting. All-in-all, your water heater can save you quite a bit when turned down and is something you should look into ASAP.
Close Your Blinds
Another important tip to consider is lowering your blinds all around the house. Not only is this a good safety measure, but the sunlight that bleeds in during the summer can make power-draining utilities like your A/C and fridge work overtime to stay cool. And if you find yourself with blinds that don’t really cover enough to keep your home cool, it might be a wise idea to grab some or throw a sheet up over your windows while you’re away.
Final Thoughts on Having an Energy Efficient Home While Traveling
As you’re looking to wrap up any details around the house, remember to be safe when dealing with any electrical or gas appliances. Always check the instructional manual to find the best way to make any adjustments, as well as unplug any electrical equipment if you need to go inside any panels or underneath.
Finally, while saving money can be great, keeping your home safe is also imperative, so leaving a light on or two (or grabbing an automatic timer) will help deter thieves without adding too much to your bill. Because once everything is set up, let it be and enjoy yourself. After all, you’ve earned it.
What are some ways you’ve saved on your energy bill when on vacation? Comment with your insights below.