Give your electric bill a vacation

Prep your home for an energy-saving spring break

If you’re taking a spring break and heading out of town, be sure to give your electric bill a vacation of its own by prepping your home before you go with these travel tips:

  • Set your thermostat to energy-saving temperatures. Some thermostats have “vacation” or “eco” modes that make it easy, but you can manually set an efficient temperature if yours does not. In warmer weather, you can safely set your thermostat up to 85 degrees; if it is going to be cold, you can set it as low as 60. Your thermostat may also be able to set minimum and maximum temperatures at the same time.
  • Just like your thermostat, your water heater may have a vacation mode for easy energy savings while you’re away. If it doesn’t, don’t fret! You can simply adjust the temperature to the lowest available setting until you return.
  • Unplug energy vampires — the small appliances and electronics that can draw power even when in standby mode. We recommend using surge protectors; they will keep your things safe when the power is on and make it easy to shut them off completely with the flick of a switch.
  • Draw the window shades to better insulate your home from outside temperatures.
  • Don’t forget to turn out the lights! If you use a security light, put it on a timer so it isn’t wasting energy during the day.

Save year round

Slimming down your electric bill isn’t just for when you’re away. Use these simple tips to save any time:

  • Check your HVAC filters monthly and replace them when dirty or damaged.
  • Have a licensed technician service your HVAC every year.
  • Use weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows, and caulk around gaps and holes where things like wires, cables, and pipes enter your home.
  • Set your water heater to 115-120 degrees and install a timer that shuts it off during times you don’t need hot water.

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