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Dealing With Energy Usage When You Are On Vacation

March 24, 2015

Many people leave their home for a few months during the year on vacation. It’s natural to want to decrease electricity and other energy sources while you are on vacation, since you won’t be home to use them. This can be done in a limited way, but you should always follow safety rules when doing so. Here are some ways to balance energy frugality with safety.

Set Your Thermostat Correctly For The Season

In winter, you can turn your heat down to a minimum of 50 degrees. If you set it any lower, particularly in a cold climate, you are risking that your water pipes will freeze and burst. It is a good idea to turn your water supply off at the source valves until you return. You can also set your water heater to low. Just remember to turn it back up when you get home.

For those who live in warm climates, particularly those who live in humid locations, there is an opposite safety concern. The air conditioning should be left on, with the thermostat set at 85 degrees. Turning off the air conditioning in a warm climate causes the refrigerator to work harder. In some moist climates, it will also facilitate the development of mold in the home.

Turn Off Unused Appliances

Television sets, computers and other machines that do not need to be kept on continuously should be unplugged from the outlet. Don’t just turn them off. Appliances use a passive amount of electricity when plugged in, even when they are turned off. Unplugging them will also avoid problems with unexpected power surges during a storm.

If you have a garage, remember to turn off the power to the garage door when you leave. Sometimes electrical storms can trigger the door opener to malfunction, opening it when you aren’t around.

When You Return

Problems can sometimes occur, even with the best of precautions. When you return, if you discover something is not working properly, have it repaired or replaced promptly. Utility services such as Columbia Utilities will come to your home to check on utilities if they don’t seem to be working properly. Some utility companies also offer repair service for common large household appliances.

Taking the right precautions before you leave for vacation will allow you to enjoy your time away from home unhindered.

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