When you’re preparing to go away on vacation, it’s easy to forget that many energy-guzzling appliances continue to use energy, even when they’re switched “off” and no one’s at home. Certain devices may even run more than usual because of the temperature change in the house or lack of maintenance while you’re away. That just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Luckily, it’s fairly easy to avoid these unpleasant and costly surprises when you return to your home here in the Wichita area. A little advance preparation is the key. Before you leave on summer vacation, be sure to:
- Turn off the heat pump or air conditioner – Don’t rely on setting your thermostat higher as you leave on your trip for big savings. However, if there’s something in the house that could suffer heat damage, set the thermostat at 85 to 90 degrees.
- Empty the refrigerator and unplug if possible – A manual-defrost refrigerator may run twice as much as usual, and self-defrosting models can run an additional 20 to 30 percent, trying to keep food cool as the house’s temperature gets warmer. Clean it out thoroughly and prop open the door to prevent mildew growth.
- Empty the freezer as well – Left on, it can eat into your energy savings from the air conditioner’s decreased usage.
- Set the timer or turn off your swimming pool pump – Otherwise your pump could run 24/7 while you’re away.
- Cut power to your water heater – Turn the unit off at the circuit breaker or fuse box, or it will keep the water in its tank hot the whole time you’re gone. If you have a tankless model, this is not an issue. When you return, run hot water from the faucet to be sure there’s still water remaining in the tank, before restoring power to the unit. Some storage tank models have “vacation” modes for this purpose.
- Unplug lighting – Use timers to control lights left on for security purposes.
- Unplug televisions and other electronics – These can use power even when switched “off.”
Questions about saving energy while on summer vacation or otherwise away from home? Talk to the experts at Comfort Systems. We’re happy to advise you. Visit our website to learn more about all our HVAC services or just give us a call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about summer vacation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.