There’s still plenty of summer left. What plans do you have for it?
If you are planning on taking a well-deserved vacation or a long weekend getaway, we have some tips to cut the energy usage in your home while you’re away—helping you to save some money in the process.
Did you know that cooling makes up about half of your energy costs in the summer season? That means it’s important to be cognizant of adjusting your A/C—setting the temperature to at least 85º—while away for more than a day.
This is a perfect opportunity to utilize your smart or programmable thermostat to set it back to your preferred temperature, right up until several hours before returning home. You can additionally help keep the house from getting too hot while you’re away by closing curtains or blinds. This helps insulate the current temperature, and keeps from passively increasing the temperature from sunlight through exterior windows.
Nearly all modern water heaters have a vacation setting. It’s true! Go look at yours. You may have overlooked it! This turns down the heater so it isn’t running at peak capacity while you are gone but will quickly heat water when your return. If your water heater does not have a vacation setting, turn it down to “low.” Considering that heating water makes up about 20% of your home’s energy costs, this tip can help you save big—with nearly no noticeable difference in your day-to-day usage.
Want to continue the savings when you get home? Keep your water heater set at 120˚ Fahrenheit rather than the manufacturer’s setting of 140˚. Your water will still be plenty hot, and you’ll reduce your family’s risk of scalding, too.
What are “energy vampires” you ask? Energy vampires are those appliances and electronics that are sucking up energy—even if they’re not being used. Examples of energy vampires are everyday appliances like computers, TVs, media players, ovens, gaming systems, coffeemakers, toasters, multicookers, blenders, electric toothbrushes, and chargers. Unplug or power off any you can. If you have a smart power strip, turn that off as well.
If you use propane in your home and are a PitStop Fuels Automatic Delivery customer, let us know if you are going to be away from home for more than a few days—especially if it’s multiple weeks or even longer. Your deliveries are based on your usage history calculations, so notifying us can avoid an unneeded propane delivery and allow us to adjust accordingly.
Your refrigerator is one of the single biggest energy users in your home. If you are leaving for a short period, you can easily conserve energy by adjusting the thermostats on your refrigerator and freezer to slightly higher settings—38°F for the refrigerator, and 5°F for the freezer.
For trips lasting four weeks or more, consider emptying your refrigerator entirely or even unplugging it. Your energy bill will thank you when you return!
PitStop Fuels can help you keep your home’s heating and comfort equipment running at its best efficiency to keep your energy costs under control. Contact us today to learn more about our equipment and fuel services in Southeastern Maine!