While you're Away on Vacation, Save Money at Home
Headed out to enjoy the scenic Northern California coastline? Taking a week off to go camping in the Sierra Nevadas? No matter where you’re headed for vacation, leaving home can be a hectic process. Managing your home’s energy while you’re away often gets left out of vacation planning. What people often don’t realize is going away can be a great opportunity to save energy with a couple, simple steps. At California Energy Services, we’ve assembled several helpful tips to make saving energy easy while you’re away.
When you’re far away from El Dorado Hills or Greater Sacramento, you don’t want your air conditioning system to be cranking away, wasting energy on a space that nobody is in.
That’s where Nest thermostats come in.
Nest substantially increases your comfort when you are home, and also cuts down on usage while you are gone on work or vacation. Unlike many “smart” thermostats, Nest is easily programmable, so before you head out, you can set what temperature the house should be at and when.
If it’s the winter and you want to protect what’s inside from the cold, you can program Nest so the house doesn’t get heated all day. Just set it, and during the night when the temperature drops, the furnace kicks on to keep it at a safe temperature. This doesn’t waste energy when heat isn’t needed, and keeps your home and everything inside at your desired temperature.
But that’s not all. If you need to, you can change the temperature right from your smartphone. For example, you know it's getting hot at home and your cat can’t change the temperature? Right there from the beach, you can easily adjust the temperature, keeping Mr. Whiskers comfortable and giving you peace of mind knowing that you are in control of your home.
As a safety precaution, many people leave lights on while they’re gone to make their house look inhabited. This might not be the safest decision. According to a survey of 100 reformed burglars, a light on 24/7 is a clear indication that nobody is home. In addition, leaving lights on 24 hours can waste a lot of unnecessary energy. Luckily, there’s a simple and easy solution that will save you money: an outlet timer.
An outlet timer allows you to decide when to have your lights on and off when you’re not home. Just plug a lamp into the timer, set your on/off times, and everyday between the times you specified the lamp will turn on. This way during the day and the early morning hours you won’t be wasting electricity and inviting unwanted attention.
If your air conditioner is on the way out, you might consider replacing it with an efficient unit. Programmable air conditioners can make going away a breeze. If a heat wave is coming in while you’re gone, you are a few button pushes away from cooling your home for a few hours during the middle of the day when it’s the hottest. They also won’t rack up your utility bills while you’re off on vacation.
Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are often under-valued for their role in energy efficiency, and represent large sources of lost energy in homes. When they are properly installed and are made of durable, efficient materials, you'll see diminished costs and a substantial increase in comfort.
Go Forth and Recreate!
How does this help you on vacation? The smarter and more energy efficient your home, the less your air conditioner has to work to keep your home at your desired temperature.
A vacation away doesn’t have to cost you money at home. With a few changes, you can be saving money on your bills, and make vacations easy and worry-free.