Summer is a time when Georgia homeowners notice their energy bills rising along with the temperature, but it’s also a time for many families to take a well-deserved vacation and be away from home for a while. Energy savings and vacation should go hand in hand — after all, what’s the use in spending energy on home comfort when you’re not at home to be comfortable?
Here are some ways that you can save energy while on vacation this summer.
Turn Up the Temperature to Save Energy
Turn the A/C up, but don’t turn it off. Setting the temperature up by four degrees or as high as 85 degrees takes a load off the air conditioner and lowers energy costs. But you don’t want to leave your home to bake while you’re away. The high temperatures can damage fixtures in your home. Keeping the air circulating can also help keep humidity down and protect your home from moisture damage.
Turn Off the Water Heater
If you have a tank style water heater, you can save energy while on vacation by turning it off at the fuse box. Tank water heaters continually shed heat into the surrounding air — heat which needs to be replenished as it’s lost. This standby energy loss is a small but constant drain on your home’s energy usage, which can be cut out entirely when you’re away from home for a while.
Shade Your Windows
As noted before, you don’t want to leave your air conditioner completely off, so reducing the amount of work is has to do is an energy-saving strategy. When you shade your windows with curtains, blinds, awnings or other window treatments, you cut down on the passive solar heat entering your home. In fact, you may want to keep some shade up even after you get back!
Use a Programmable Thermostat
When you set your thermostat up, you can either find a way to set the temperature back before you come home, or you can come home to a hot house, which isn’t the way you want to end your vacation. A programmable thermostat can get your home ready for your return while still keeping it in an energy-saving mode while you’re away. If you already have a programmable thermostat installed, make sure to use its vacation feature. If you reprogram the daily settings, you’ll have to reprogram them all again once you get home.
Unplug Appliances When You Leave
Electrical appliances draw a small current as long as they’re plugged in, even when they’re not in use. You can save energy while on vacation by slaying these energy vampires. Turn off power strips, unplug computers and televisions, and turn larger appliances off at the fuse box if necessary.
Leave Your Indoor Lights Off
If you want lights on at home for security, use timers to control when lights turn on and off. Use compact fluorescent bulbs; not only will these draw less power, but they also produce much less heat than incandescent light bulbs, plus they have a longer usable life. That means less chance that they’ll burn out while you’re away.
Clean Out the Fridge and Turn Up the Temperature
If there’s anything in your refrigerator that will spoil once the temperature is raised a few degrees, odds are that it won’t be good after a long vacation anyway. That said, keep this in mind. While raising the temperature on your refrigerator will save you money while you’re gone, remember that a full fridge is more energy efficient than an empty one because air doesn’t hang on to its temperature as well as denser foodstuff. If it’s not likely to go bad while you’re away, leave food in your refrigerator when you turn the temperature up.
For more information on how you can save energy while on vacation, as well as air conditioning solutions, contact the home comfort experts at Indoor Solutions. at 706-225-8241. We’re proud to serve Columbus and surrounding communities.