Most people don’t think of a summer vacation as an opportunity to save money, but that’s exactly what it is if you take the proper steps before heading out the door. You don’t need to waste money and contribute more CO2 to the environment powering an empty home. Reduce demand to the minimum necessary for security and maintenance while you’re gone—and avoid coming home to an electricity bill that looks like you never left. Take these simple steps before leaving on your summer vacation:
- Shut down the air conditioner unless particular items in your home are heat-sensitive. If you need to leave the A/C on, set the thermostat up to 85 to 90 degrees.
- Turn off your storage water heater at the switch or the circuit breaker box. Or as an alternative, many newer water heaters feature a “vacation” setting on the thermostat dial you can select instead. When you return from summer vacation, run the hot water briefly to fill the tank before restoring power.
- If you’re taking a short trip, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator up a few notches to a warmer setting. If you decide to shut it down entirely for a long vacation, prop the door open to prevent mildew growth. Don’t leave any food inside that will spoil.
- Use plug-in timers to operate designated lights for security purposes while you’re gone. Turn off other lights.
- Put the swimming pool pump on a timer so it’s not circulating water 24/7.
- Unplug the television. A power interruption or other electrical disturbance may cause an “instant-on” TV to turn on while you’re gone.
- Studies show that even devices that spend most of their time on standby, like computers and monitors, printers, and satellite and cable boxes, can account for as much as 10 percent of your electricity bill. Power down all those that are unnecessary.
Ernst Heating & Cooling is proud to keep Metro-East homeowners up to date with the latest HVAC technology. We’re ready to help with all your energy conservation and home-comfort needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about summer vacation maintenance and other HVAC topics, visit our blog.