01/17/14 : Alexandra Straub

3 Energy & Money Saving Tips to Remember While You're Away from Home

A reminder to power off when leaving town.

With a holiday weekend just hours away there is a great chance that some of you have plans to get out of dodge. But before you lock the door to hail that taxi, or get in the car and scroll to the road trip playlist on your iPod, don’t forget to shut down your house.

Here are 3 quick and extremely easy steps to shut down your house or apartment before a weekend trip:

Set your thermostat

The polar vortex may be gone (that thing sure did overstay its welcome!) but it’s still freezing in parts of the country. After all, it is winter. Before you leave set your thermostat to between 50-60°. Make sure you leave the thermostat at a comfortable setting for any pets that will be staying home sans owners.

This way, you won’t be heating an empty home (and wasting money) and your pipes won’t freeze or burst in the event of a sudden drop in temps.

Unplug those appliances!

I don’t mean you need to unplug your refrigerator (if you’re only going to be gone for a few days). But we’re suckers for informing our readers about vampire energy - so don’t forget about the other energy-wasting culprits around your home.

That toaster oven sitting on your counter and the automatic wine opener your fiancé's mom bought you for Christmas--they don’t need to be constantly plugged-in. I have a habit of only plugging in my toaster oven when I use it, and only plugging-in the wine opener (yep, I’m talking about my own appliances here), when it needs a charge.

Clear some space on the counter and shave money off your electric bill by only plugging in appliances when necessary.

Use a power strip

I’m sure you can think of at least one person (maybe it’s you?) with a desk or media console table tangled in cables and cords like Medusa’s hair. Do yourself a favor and plug your computers, TVs, tablets, game consoles, set-top boxes and any other home office or media electronic you might have into a power strip.

When you leave for the weekend turn off the power strip and you'll lower your electric bill at the same time. Easy peasy!

Bonus! Think home safety

If you’re concerned that your house will look too dark (and inviting to would-be robbers), consider plugging your lamps into a programmable timer, which will turn lamps on and off at specified times, making it look like someone is home.  

Visit our EE Tips page for more ways to save money and have an energy-efficient home. Happy travels!