Summer vacations can be costly, but one great way to offset the cost is to make your home more energy efficient while you’re gone. That way, you can get away from the hassles of day-to-day life, and save energy dollars at the same time.
Here are three tips for reducing energy bills while you’re away on your summer vacation:
- Set your air conditioner for savings: Cooling is the single largest summer energy expense in most homes, and you can significantly reduce energy bills by properly setting your air conditioner (A/C) before you leave town. If you’re worried about heat damage in your home, you can leave the A/C plugged in, but set the thermostat somewhere between 80 and 85 degrees. This will ensure that the unit only runs on hot days, preventing heat damage without running up a high cooling bill. If heat damage isn’t an issue, you can unplug the A/C altogether.
- Reduce hot-water costs: Next to heating and cooling, hot water is the biggest energy cost in most homes, and there’s no need to have hot water handy if there’s nobody around to enjoy it. Before you leave, you can turn off your water heater at the circuit-breaker panel or fuse box. If, for whatever reason, you prefer not to turn the water heater off completely, many models have an energy-saving vacation setting. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or website for more information.
- Avoid wasting energy with your refrigerator: How you deal with your refrigerator depends on how long you intend to be away from home. If you’re taking a short vacation, the way to go generally is to leave the fridge plugged in, but set its thermostat on the highest temperature setting (be sure to dispose of highly perishable items, such as meat and dairy products). If you’re going to be away from home for a month or more, you can empty out the fridge entirely, and unplug it. Just be sure to prop the door open so you don’t come home to a thriving mold colony.
To learn more about ways you can reduce energy bills, contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve been serving all of Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding communities for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about reducing energy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.