A high energy bill is the last thing you want to discover when returning from a relaxing vacation. Believe it or not, there are plenty of things around the house that draw electricity and reduce efficiency when you’re not at home. Before you leave for a much-needed break, take the time to implement these strategies to conserve energy.

1. Set a timer

Leaving a few lights on around the house is a common practice used to deter potential thieves, but you can pay a steep price for 24-hour illumination. Invest in a timer that cycles lights at specific intervals to cut down on electricity usage.

2. Moderate the temperature

If you’re taking a summer vacation, shut off your ac or turn the thermostat on it up to a more moderate temperature. In the winter, dial the heating system down to 50 or just high enough to prevent pipes from freezing. Installing a programmable thermostat lets you “tell” either system when to turn back on and make the house comfortable for your return.

3. Unplug appliances

Appliances and electronics draw a small amount of electricity whenever they’re plugged in, especially if they operate in “standby” mode. Pull the plug on anything that you can, including small appliances like coffee pots and toasters. Unplug computers and turn off power strips as well. Don’t forget to check your garage and other outbuildings to make sure that nothing is accidentally left on.

4. Don’t heat the water

Your water heater may be responsible for anywhere between 14 to 25 percent of the energy used in your home. Many new models come with a “vacation” setting that you can switch to when you’re going to be gone. If your heater doesn’t have this setting, turn the unit off when you take trips that last longer than three days.

5. Cover the windows

Summer heat gain and winter heat loss are big problems when it comes to energy conservation. Shutting blinds and curtains around the house helps to minimize fluctuations in temperature and prevents your air conditioner or furnace from running when you don’t want it to.

6. Clean out the fridge

A long trip can be a great excuse to clear all the food out of the refrigerator. Use up perishable items, wipe down the interior and leave the doors open to air it out. Start with fresh food and a “clean slate” when you get home.

7. Stop the flow

Outdoor fixtures like fountains, hot tubs and pools all require energy to stay clean and operational. When you’re not around to enjoy them, shut off unnecessary functions like hot tub and pool heaters. Put the pool pump on a timer and make sure that the lights aren’t set to come on for any reason. Shut off your fountains and unplug decorative lighting to conserve more energy.

Whether you’re gone for a few days or a few weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation more knowing that you won’t get a nasty surprise when the next electric bill comes.

wiremasters electric has been providing residential and commercial electrical services in south florida for years. Our goal is to operate above industry standards and provide quality services to meet your needs and surpass your expectations. Contact us today to find out more information and to set up an appointment with one of our miami electricians.