Preparing Your Home For An Energy Efficient Vacation
Whether you’re leaving for a week away, or are taking months away to explore someplace new, a vacation can be hard on your home. Why leave everything ready and waiting for a house that will sit empty for days (or weeks.)
The primary reason to get your house in top shape is for safety. You don’t want to advertise to a criminal that your home is sitting empty. You also don’t want a pipe to break, filling your home with inches of water.
How do you ensure safety from the minute you walk out the door? How do you do so in an energy efficient way?
Start with the outside of your home
The first place to start is by looking at how well lit your home is. Are there dark corners for people to hide? Is it dark and gloomy when people drive by? With today’s technology, there are a lot of options to ensure your home stays well lit all hours of the day. Install motion-sensor lights to light up every corner. Path lighting is a great way to extend lights throughout your landscape. And using LED will keep your costs low while improving the way you light your property at the same time.
Prepare the inside of your home
Lighting the outside is important; maintaining the look you’re home is equally important. Consider putting your indoor lights on a timer to create the illusion of someone being inside. Move beyond just one light in one room. If you usually use several rooms each night, consider adding timers to multiple lights.
If you’re going to be gone for a while, it might be a good idea to turn off the water valves to the appliances with the biggest problems. Dishwasher, washing machines, and even bathroom plumbing to showers and sinks can create extensive water damage if they break.
You should also walk around and unplug appliances that are creating “energy vampires” within your home. Many home appliances use small amounts of energy, whether in use or not. They can cost you hundreds of dollars a year when left plugged in. While you might leave them plugged in when you use them every day, now is the time to give your energy usage a break. Unplug coffeepots, hairdryers, toasters, and phone chargers. Clocks and entertainment units drain energy too. If not essential, unplug it for energy savings.
Finally, adjust your heating and cooling system for maximum savings. In the summer, you can set your thermostat as high as 85 degrees. As long as you don’t have pets in the home or other sensitive items, why keep your house comfortably cool? The winter is a bit trickier. Never lower the temperature beyond 50 degrees. This can make appliances and pipes vulnerable to freezing.
Heading out on vacation soon? What energy efficient tips do you follow to save money while you’re away?