The build-up to a holiday is one of the best parts of going away, and in the excitement, you can miss a few simple ways to make your return home a lot easier, not to mention saving energy whilst you are lying on the beach! Read of for some great energy saving hacks to implement before you go away, so you can benefit later…
- Unplug electronic devices: Many devices consume energy even when they are not in use. Before you leave, walk around your home, and make sure unnecessary electrical items, such as TVs, computers, gaming consoles, kettles, toasters, or any chargers, are unplugged, to avoid standby power consumption. Power surges are not common in the UK, but leaving devices switched on at the wall can run up your energy bill. However, it is a clever idea to leave a couple of lights on timers, so it looks like people are around in the house.
- Adjust thermostat settings: Set your thermostat to a higher temperature in summer or a lower temperature in winter to reduce energy usage while you are away. However, be mindful of extreme temperature changes that may damage sensitive items or plants. Depending on how long you will be away for, you may decide to turn your boiler off completely while you are on holiday.
- Use timers or smart plugs: For essential devices like lights or security systems, consider using timers or smart plugs. These devices can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times, giving the appearance that someone is still home while reducing energy consumption.
- Adjust refrigerator settings: If you will be away for an extended period, adjust your refrigerator’s temperature settings to conserve energy. Ensure it is still set at a safe level to prevent food spoilage, but slightly higher than usual.
- Clean out the fridge: You don’t want to come home to gone off food in the fridge, so make sure you clean it out beforehand. If there is any food that will have passed its use-by date, list it on a food waste app such as Olio or donate to your local community foodbank. This helps avoid food waste and reduces the need for cooling and energy consumption.
- Close curtains and blinds: Close curtains, blinds, or shutters to block direct sunlight from entering your home. This helps maintain a more stable indoor temperature, reducing the load on your cooling or heating systems.
- Turn off water heater: If you have an electric water heater, consider turning it off if you won’t need hot water during your absence. Just remember to turn it back on when you return.
- Seal air leaks: Inspect windows and doors for any air leaks, and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk. This prevents conditioned air from escaping and unconditioned air from entering, reducing the workload on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system.
- Check and adjust lighting: Ensure that all unnecessary lights are turned off before leaving. If you have outdoor lighting, consider using motion sensors or timers to control their operation while you’re away.
- Turn off the water supply to the washing machine and dishwasher, as these are most likely to leak. Make sure other taps in your home are turned off fully, as dripping water may increase your water bills.
It is always a good idea to inform a trusted neighbour or friend that you’ll be away. They can keep an eye on your property and report any issues that may arise if needed. Implementing these energy-efficient hacks will not only help conserve energy but also contribute to cost savings and a more sustainable lifestyle, so it’s definitely worth adding these ten checks to your holiday to-do list!