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Saving Money and Energy: Preparing for Vacation

Christmas is almost here, and many of us may travel for a holiday or take a well-deserved vacation afterward. Preparing for a vacation is a lot of work, from packing, purchasing travel-sized items, and ensuring all loose ends in the home are tied up. Before leaving, you want to empty the trash cans, clean the fridge, and leave a light on while you are away.

In addition to being a lot of work, planning and taking a vacation, even to visit family, can be expensive. So you want to make sure that you are as energy-efficient as possible in your home while you are gone to save money. Here are five tips to save money while on vacation.

Turn down the thermostat

Why should your furnace heat an empty home? Save money by turning down the heat while you are away. With a smart thermostat, such as Nest, you can turn the heat back on as you head home, so it will be nice and toasty when you arrive. However, do not set the thermostat below 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Turn Down the Hot Water Heater

Just like your furnace, your water heater does not need to heat and keep water warm when no one is there to use it. Turn down the temperature on your water heater before you leave. Some newer heaters even have a ‘vacation’ setting.

Use an electrical timer on lights

For safety purposes, you should leave at least one light on in your home while you are away. However, for efficiency purposes, we recommended that you put that light on a timer so it only turns on at night when outsiders will see it.

Shut the Chimney Flue

This time of year is filled with cozy nights in front of the fire, and when using a fireplace, the chimney flue should be open. But double-check to ensure it is closed while preparing for vacation so warm air is not escaping and costing you money.

Unplug Electronic Devices

Many devices will use ‘phantom energy‘ while plugged into your outlets, even when they are turned off. These devices include computers, printers, stereos, TVs, microwaves, coffee makers, etc. Unplug these things before you leave to save electricity.

While preparing for vacation, asking a neighbor or friend to check on your home while you are gone is never a bad idea.  They can gather any mail or newspapers if you don’t have them held, and during the winter, they can ensure that none of your pipes have frozen or burst.

For more information about saving energy this Christmas, contact FLAME!

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