Staying stress-free while on vacation begins at home. Here are four questions that can help save you money, prevent wasting electricity and ensure your appliances are protected while you’re on vacay.
Before you unplug, make sure your electronics are as well. It’s important to locate any electronics that could be using phantom power. These are devices that aren’t actively being used but continue to consume energy, even in standby mode.
To spot phantom power in your home, turn off the lights of any given room and look for glowing lights from electronics. This could include your speaker dock, video game console or your satellite cable box.
Instead of unplugging all phantom power emitting appliances, you could purchase a smart powerbar to do it for you. These inexpensive devices automatically turn off power to electronics connected to secondary outlets when the main device is powered down.
Being conscious about these types of electronics pre-trip can help prevent power surges that can occur when you’re away, ensuring you don’t have unwanted issues waiting for you when you return.
If safety is a concern, there are some great energy-efficient ways to ensure your home looks “lived-in” that don’t call for having the lights turned on for all hours of the day.
Think about installing smart lighting, which has features and controls like scheduling a different light to turn on around the home to better simulate that someone is home. A great bonus with these gadgets is being able to control them remotely from your phone. Keep in mind however that these devices work with WiFi so it’s important to not turn off the router before leaving. There are also analog outlet timers, which use a counter to turn lights on and off at a certain time.
Think about the outside of your home, too. Add motion-activated sensors or an outdoor floodlight for added security. Motion sensor lights that use LEDs are also a great, energy-efficient option.
If you’re leaving your home for an extended amount of time, it’s a good idea to consider putting your water heater on vacation mode. This setting reduces the energy consumption of the appliance and ensures that it is not continually heating water when no one is home. If you’re going away in the winter months this setting is particularly useful as it helps keep pipes from freezing while you’re away.
Whether you’re off escaping the heat or the cold, it’s important to consider the temperature inside your home. If you have a smart thermostat, you can set it to ‘away’ or ‘eco’ mode to ensure your home is kept at an energy-saving temperature.
If you have sensors for your smart thermostat, they can help determine whether you’re at home or away and adjusts the temperature accordingly. It can even override your pre-existing schedule to provide even better savings, which is a big benefit when you accidentally forget to set up your smart thermostat before leaving.
Before coming back, you can disable the ‘away’ or ‘eco’ mode remotely from your smartphone or computer and set your thermostat to the perfect temperature for when you return.
Implementing some simple tricks can help you save in the long run which means more money to help fund your next getaway.