Prep Your Home for Spring Break Savings

If you're headed out of town, make sure your home is set up to save energy.

Going away for spring break is an opportunity to soak up some sun—and to save! Here are some simple tips to help reduce your home's energy consumption while you're away and perhaps help you save money that's better spent on souvenirs.

Water heater
  1. Set your thermostat to a lower temperature. Your furnace consumes more energy than any other appliance in your home. But it doesn't need to be cranking out heat while you're gone. Turning your thermostat down to 55°F is generally considered safe, but some manufacturers require temperatures no lower than 60°F. Check the owner's manual. If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure it's holding a constant temperature and not running its programmed settings.
  2. Turn off your electric water heater. If your water heater is gas, set it to vacation mode. A standard water heater accounts for up to 25% of all energy consumed in your home, but it doesn't have to be running at full capacity if you're not there. Some gas water heaters already come with a vacation mode setting, while others can be manually adjusted to the lowest temperature setting.
  3. Unplug all electrical appliances except those that must remain on. Even electronics that have been turned off still use a small amount of energy known as "phantom power" if plugged into outlets. Unplugging those devices not only saves energy but protects them from damage in the event of a lightning strike.
  4. Lock windows, lower blinds and close curtains. Keep cold air out of your home by making sure all of your windows are closed and locked tightly. Lowering blinds and closing curtains adds an extra layer of insulation, increasing your energy efficiency.
  5. Invest in automatic lighting controls. Investing in low-cost timers that turn indoor lights on and off at set times each day can help reduce your energy use and provide a degree of protection from potential burglars. Outdoor lights also can be set to timers or motion sensors, adding another layer of security. Replacing the bulbs in those lights with LEDs will also cut down on your costs.

Saving energy is practicing good environmental stewardship. If we all conserve, we can collectively make an impact, reduce our footprint and save all of us costs in the long term. Be sure to check out more energy-saving tips at energy2030together.com/energyuse.

published: 03-12-2018