With Independence Day just around the corner, the summer vacation season is in full swing. While you’re figuring out how to budget for the family getaway, don’t forget you can save money on what you already own.
Here are seven ways to save energy while on summer vacation:
- If you’re taking the family car on vacation, be sure it is tuned up and the tires are properly inflated. If your car does not have fuel injection, a clean air filter will also improve fuel economy.
- Unless you leave pets in the home, turn off your cooling system or set it to a higher temperature – up to 85° F.
- Either turn off your home’s water heater, turn it down to 80-90° F, or put it in vacation mode. Consult your water heater’s manual for instructions on how to operate the thermostat. Some water heaters may have thermostats positioned behind screw-on plates or panels. As a safety precaution, always shut off the electricity to the water heater before removing/opening the panels.
- Unplug as many electrical items as you can. Most of them – especially cable TV boxes – continue to use power even when they are not in use. This includes computers, modems and routers, printers, coffee pots, microwaves, toasters, plug-in chargers, TVs, surround sounds, DVD players, and game consoles. A simple way to do this is to plug these items into a power strip that can turn off multiple devices at once.
- Make sure all lights are turned off. For lights on a security timer, use CFLs or LEDs, which use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Keep your window shades or drapes drawn to keep the house cool in the afternoon sun.
- When you arrive at your vacation destination, check with your hotel or local tourism office to find out the walking, biking, and bus routes so you don’t have to spend money on a rental car or gas.