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5 Ways to Save Energy When You’re Away

Getting out of town for a few days?

Person adjusting thermostat for savings.Consumers often mistakenly think that an empty home will automatically reduce their energy bill. In fact, a home's electrical devices are consuming energy all the time, whether the house is occupied or not.

Empty Home Energy Checklist

1. Adjust the thermostat.
There’s no sense cooling your home when you’re away. To save energy, set your thermostat at 85 degrees. At 85 degrees, you’ll prevent excessive heat and humidity buildup that can damage electronics, computers, furniture and structural components.

2. Close the blinds and curtains.
Windows let in light, which creates excess heat. Closing window coverings provides an added layer of insulation and reduces strain on the AC. It also provides additional security.

3. Set a timer.
Set timers on indoor and outdoor lights to turn them on a few hours each night. This conserves energy and provides added security by creating the illusion that someone is home.

4. Pull the plug.
Unplug the “energy vampires” in your home. Energy vampires are electronic appliances that use energy even when they’re turned off. Even though each draws only a small amount of power, the average home has 20 to 40, so the energy use adds up. Pulling the plugs can also protect your devices from surges and reduce fire risk.

5. Turn off the water heater.
A water heater can represent up to 25 percent of a home's energy bill. The unit’s elements will consume electricity to keep the water in the tank hot whether you’re home or not. Turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker panel when you leave. Upon returning, flip the same breaker back on.