4 tips to save money at home while you’re on vacation
To make getting out the door a little easier, here’s a check list of quick things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t waste energy while you’re out exploring the world.
- Save money at home while you’re on vacation.
- Turn off the A/C and water heater, and unplug your electronics.
- Fill your fridge with pitchers of water to help it run more efficiently.
Getting ready for vacation is exciting and, well, exhausting. Packing everyone’s clothes, not to mention diapers, snacks and toys is a lot of work. And don’t even think about trying to leave behind any one of the five plush toys that your 2-year-old needs to sleep. “They need me!” she says. Yes, Annie, Lambie would be very sad without you.
To make getting out the door a little easier, here’s a check list of quick things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t waste energy while you’re out exploring the world:
- Turn off the A/C — There’s no reason to cool an empty house this summer. Instead, you can set the thermostat to 90 or just turn it off completely. You can save 2-3 percent on your electric bill for every degree you raise your thermostat while you’re gone. That could result in some pretty substantial savings, especially for longer vacations. But if you have a pet, don’t do that. Leave the house at a temperature that will keep Whiskers happy. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to set it to the “vacation” mode before you leave.
- Pull the plug — Your electronics use energy even when not in use. So, unplug your TV, lamps, coffee maker, digital clocks, cell phone chargers, computers and game systems, to name a few.
- Give your water heater a break — Shut off the circuit breaker to the water heater. This will save lots of energy by not heating water you won’t be using while you’re away. If you have a gas heater, turn the gas valve off to be safe. (This tip is for summer vacations only. During a winter getaway, set your water heater to its lowest possible setting to keep the water from freezing in the lines.)
- Prep the fridge — You likely tried to eat all the groceries before leaving home, but a full fridge actually takes less energy to run. If your trip will take fewer than four weeks, consider filling the fridge with things like bottles of water. If you’ll be away for more than four weeks, it might be worth cleaning out the whole fridge and unplugging it until you get back.
Now back to packing. Wish me luck fitting Lambie in the suitcase.
Sarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.