I am a Project Envolve ambassador which is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities.
There are so many Vacation Prep Checklists out there that cover everything from “how to pack for infants” to “packing for a mountain vacation” to “keeping kids entertained on long car rides”.
Not a whole lot, though, for how to prep your house for when you leave it behind! I know, I know… you’re scratching your head wondering why on Earth a house needs to be prepped to just sit for a week! But I’m over here scratching my head wondering why so many people want to pay money having their house continue to run as normal when they aren’t there to live in it for a week!
There are a few very EASY, very FAST energy-saving tasks you can check off your to-do list before you leave for vacation that will end up saving you money!
1) Adjust your thermostat! This takes just a minute and is a bit of a no-brainer. There’s no need to continue to cool your house while you’re not there! During a summer vacation, turn your A/C off or set the thermostat to 85-87 degrees before you leave.
2) Turn off all fans! Fans cool people not rooms, so it is an absolute waste of money and energy to have them running when you aren’t home! Go an extra step an unplug any that are plugged in as well!
3) Close your curtains and shades! The sun is the world’s greatest heater, so even though you already adjusted your thermostat, closing your curtains will help keep your house at a more consistent temperature, so your HVAC will have even less work to do. Insulated curtains and blinds will take it one step further even!
You see all that sun pouring in my window? There’s no need for that if you aren’t home! Plus, you don’t need to give anyone access to look inside your windows.
4) Unplug your electronics. Many of the electronics in your house are still pulling electricity even if they are turned off. Take a walk around your house and unplug any small kitchen appliances, gaming systems, TVs, computers, etc. You can’t use them while you’re gone so why pay money to have them running?
5) Set automated timers for lights! I see so many neighbors go for vacation and leave tons of lights on; front porch lights, a living room light, a random bedroom light. While it’s a good idea to leave some lights on to make it appear as if your house is still occupied, there’s no need to be wasting that electricity during the day! By some timers for random lights in your house and have them come on at staggered times.
6) Adjust your water heater. I will admit that this is one I thought my husband was nuts for worrying about the first few years of our marriage. I am publicly announcing that I was wrong and I’m grateful that he was on top of things all those years! Keeping water hot and readily available can account for up to 25% of the energy used in your house!! There is NO need to continue to heat it while you’re away! Turn your water heater to “vacation” or “pilot” mode before you leave to save money!
7) Print out this Vacation Prep Checklist to use before you leave for vacation to save money and energy!