Is your home ready for your summer vacation?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
July 26, 2013

Vacations rock. You get to get away for awhile from all your worries and just enjoy yourself.

Well, before you do that, don't forget all the things that run up your utility bill while you're away.

Here are 3 quick ways you can easily keep your energy usage down while you're on vacation.

1) Turn your thermostat setting up or turn your air conditioner off

Most people would say that it's fine to just turn your air conditioner off. However, you'll want to think about if there are any expensive items in your home that could be damaged by extreme heat and/or humidity.

These items include:

  • Fine wooden furniture or cabinets (can warp or crack in extreme heat and humidity)
  • Electronics that are sensitive to heat
  • Plants

If you do decide to keep your thermostat on, make sure you:

  • Set the thermostat at a higher temperature (85-87 degrees)
  • Close your interior and exterior blinds (highly reflective interior blinds can reduce heat gain by 45%)

If you don't want to come back to a scathingly hot home, programmable thermostats are your best friend. Most come with a "vacation mode" where it can be set to automatically get your home back to normal temperatures at a particular date.

You can also get a WIFI-enabled thermostat that will allow you to set your home's temperature from your phone on your way home from vacation.

If you're interested in a programmable or WIFI thermostat, check out our blog post: 4 Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for Programmable Thermostats.

2) Set your water heater to "vacation mode"

Heating your water accounts for 14%-25% of your energy bill due to standby heating.

But since you won't be home, there's no reason to keep it going, so set your water heater to "vacation mode" which will keep the pilot light on and won't heat the water when the temperature in the tank drops.

3) Unplug "energy vampires"

Energy vampires are electronics that, even when turned off, suck up a small bit of electricity. This is also known as a "phantom load."

The energy sucked may be small, but according to Energy.gov, "Americans have anywhere between 20-40 vampire devices throughout their homes."

To slay these energy vampires, unplug any unused and unnecessary electronic devices (like cell phone chargers, laptops, televisions, etc.) If your electronic devices are plugged into a powerstrip, just hit the off switch on the power strip.

Enjoy your vacation

The last thing you need to do is worry while on vacation. That defeats the purpose of the vacation, right? Follow these 3 quick tips and you can go with peace of mind that you won't come home to a high energy bill.

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