Summer is here, which means road trips, camping excursions and family vacations—and more time away from home. To help ensure your house isn’t using unnecessary energy and costing you money while you’re gone, follow these four easy tips.
1. Make sure indoor lights and electronics are shut off.
We’ve all returned from vacation to discover a closet light left on or a stray television or gaming console still active. It might seem like a minor miss, but little oversights can add up quickly in terms of energy and dollars. Double-check those easy-to-miss rooms — garages, closets, bathrooms, storage sheds — to make sure all lights and nonessential electronics are off. Make sure your electronics aren’t secretly using energy while you’re gone by switching off power strips and disconnecting any electronics plugged straight into the wall, especially televisions, stereos, gaming consoles, and computers.
2. Program your thermostat and your outdoor lights.
It’s important to keep your home safe and comfortable, but leaving lights on 24/7 or an A/C unit running while you’re away can waste a considerable amount of energy. Consider installing a timer on outdoor lights and programming them to come on after sunset and automatically shut off at sunrise. During the summertime, set your thermostat to 85 degrees to save on cooling costs while you’re away from home.
3. Don’t clean out your fridge or freezer before you leave.
It might seem like a good time to clear out the excess clutter in your refrigerator, but did you know an empty fridge actually uses more energy than a full one? Maximize your fridge’s efficiency by waiting to clear it out until you’re back home and have new goods to replace what you’re discarding.
4. Consider an energy audit.
A home energy audit can help you locate and seal costly air leaks across your home. Proper sealing and insulation could help you save up to 30% in energy costs — and help you rest easy while on vacation.