After you finish packing for your vacation, you are still not quite ready to leave. Part of your pre-trip planning needs to include readying your house for vacation. With a few steps, your house can efficiently consume energy while you are on vacation. Continue reading for tips that will also help you learn more about managing your air conditioner.
- Temperature Settings
You can adjust the temperature while you are on vacation if you can access your thermostat remotely. However, this entails checking the weather and adjusting the settings daily. If this will be cumbersome to perform, then it will be more efficient for you to enter the vacation mode on your programmable thermostat. This setting will override what you already have programmed in your thermostat.
If you have a manual thermostat, take a long at the long-term forecast. Set your temperature accordingly. Usually, you do not need to leave your house as warm or cool as when you are there. If the forecast is for mild weather without humidity, you might be able to turn your heating/cooling system off. Be sure to set the fan to the setting of auto. You will not need to run it continuously.
- Unplug Appliances
Many smaller appliances consume energy even when they are not in use, even when you are not on vacation. This is referred to as phantom or vampire power. Appliances such as TVs, computers, coffee makers are always in the standby mode. This draws continual energy. Unplug these appliances and their power strips before you leave for vacation to eliminate vampire energy consumption.
- Set Timers and Change Settings
All lights in your home should be turned off before your vacation starts, including all the light fixtures that have LED bulbs. Use timers to have some of the lights in the house turn on and off while you are away. This is an energy efficient way to make it look like you are still at home.
Water related devices should also have their settings changed. The length of time that you run your pool filter and/or heater should be lessened while you are away. Temperatures in hot tubs and spas can be lowered to save energy. Lastly, do not forget about your water heater. They can be a significant consumer of electricity. Turn down the temperature of your water to save additional energy.
- Use your Window Treatments
The sun streaming through your windows might feel great while you are at home. However, for your vacation time, use your window treatments to help lower your energy consumption and cost. Lowering and closing your blinds and/or curtains will reduce the amount of sun and radiant heat that is entering your house. This step keeps the temperature in your house cooler, which will reduce your energy needs.
- Fill your Refrigerator
Before vacation, many people try to use all the food in their refrigerator, so that it will not spoil. However, a full refrigerator is a more efficient consumer of energy than an empty one. You do not want to stock your refrigerator full of perishable foods. Instead, fill your refrigerator and freezer with containers of water or ice trays.
These tips will reduce your vacation energy cost, but you can learn more about managing your air conditioner and reduce your energy usage all year.