Summertime means vacations are in full swing. If you are planning an extended vacation – one wee or more, there are several simple steps you can take to save energy.
Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Water heating accounts for as much as 20 percent of annual energy costs. No sense heating the water if you are not home to use it. Instead of the recommended setting of 120 degrees F, lower the temperature 10-20 degrees or turn the control knob to “vacation mode.”
Set your thermostat (programmable or manual) at a higher temperature than usual. Again, no sense cooling your home if you’re not there. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends setting your air conditioning system thermostat at 85 degrees so the AC will occasionally turn on to remove the humidity. Turning up your thermostat to 85 degrees could lower your bill by 35 percent a week. If you have pets, 85 degrees will still be cool enough to keep them comfortable while you are away.
Some smaller things to lower bills include shutting the blinds and curtains to keep the sun from heating up your home. Turn off power strips and unplug small appliances.
Make sure all lights are turned off. For lights on a security timer, use energy-efficient LED lights. The timer will ensure that your lights will be on for a short amount of time versus using energy all day.