Keep your home safe and your energy cost in control while on vacation

Its summertime and the temperatures are consistently rising in San Antonio. The kids are home, bored and you are in desperate need of some down time. Are you getting ready to hit the road and head out on that much needed vacation?  If you are like me, you are running through your lists of things to do before you leave town to make sure you don’t forget anything. Is conserving energy on the list?

Most people don’t think about saving energy while on vacation, but doing so, can help pay or offset some of your costs and expenses. Before escaping the hustle and bustle and unplugging, add these simple summer energy tips to your to-do list that you can quickly do before you leave.

  • Adjust to conserve! Set your thermostat at a higher temperature than usual or to 85-90 degrees to conserve even more. Programmable thermostats are convenient, super easy to use and install plus they are a great tool in helping manage your energy consumption and cost. For ultimate convenience and control, consider investing in a smart thermostat, and one that allows you to adjust it from your phone. And if you are leaving any pets behind, be sure to maintain a safe temperature for them!
  • Lower the temp. According to the Department of Energy, one way to reduce energy consumption while you’re away is to lower the water heater. If you’ll be gone for three or more consecutive days, set the water heater to the lowest or ‘vacation’ setting if it has one.
  • Unplug to save. Unplug from it all but before you leave, unplug electronics, gadgets and appliances. These items waste electricity just by being plugged in even if they are turned off. Plug electronics and small appliances into a smart power strip so when you aren’t using them, you can save time by turning the power off to everything with just one switch.
  • Cover up. Windows are a major source of heat gain, so cover them up. Close the shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun’s heat out.
  • Fill the fridge. Refrigerators run more efficiently when they’re full. No need to go out and buy groceries, just fill empty soda bottles or milk cartons with water.

Beyond getting your home more energy efficient, take a few minutes to ensure your home and valuables are safe and secure before you head out.

  • Lock up your home: Set your home security system and always double check doors and windows to make sure they are shut and locked.
  • Stop your mail: Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home, and collect your mail while you are away or you could have the post office stop your mail from being delivered until you have returned.
  • Make your home look occupied: Set a couple of lights on a timer both inside and outside. This will make it appear like someone is home plus its more energy efficient than leaving them on the whole time while you are away.
  • Avoid posting on social media: I know it’s tempting to post vacation photos right away, but it is recommended to wait until you return. This will help protect your home and valuables.

Taking these simple steps will help you save energy and keep your home safe while on vacation. Safe travels and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.

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