If you plan to spend time away from home, here are some tips to lower your energy bill and keep your home safe while you are gone.
- Unplug some of your household appliances. Your house has many items that use electricity while plugged in, even when turned off. This is known as phantom power draw. Unplugging these items not only saves energy, but in some cases, can prevent fires in your absence. Appliances guilty of phantom power draw include: television sets, DVD players, cable TV boxes, microwave ovens and toasters.
- Adjust the refrigerator control to a warmer setting. The fridge’s temperature can be as high as 40 degrees without spoiling food; the freezer can reach 5 degrees. On these settings, refrigerators use up to 40 percent less electricity. If you are going on an extended trip, consider emptying the fridge and turning it off (remember to leave the door open to prevent mildew).
- Set the thermostat lower than the typical comfort level, but no lower than 55 degrees. Typically, by doing this your heating will cost 10 to 30 percent less. A programmable thermostat can make these adjustments automatically.
- Turn down the water heater. A large percent of the cost of running a water heater comes from just keeping the water warm. If you are going on a lengthy trip, turn the water heater’s temperature to the coolest setting. This can save you up to $10 a month.
Enjoy your vacation and enjoy seeing the savings on your energy bill!