User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Steps to Take Before a Vacation to Ensure You Don't Waste Energy While You're Gone

Home safety and security are often foremost on a homeowner's mind prior to going on vacation. To be able to fully relax and enjoy themselves, people should tend to these issues before leaving. Likewise, considering energy conservation while they're away is also a good idea.

Individuals and families can avoid wasting energy while they're away having fun with a few simple steps. By making these steps part of every pre-vacation checklist, no one will have to worry about appliances that were left turned on or anything else that might waste energy and result in a high utility bill.

Before going away for the weekend or an extended length of time, use these steps to ensure savings and smart energy use.

It pays to ensure all electronics are turned off before leaving for vacation.
Pre-Vacation Energy Checklist

    • Turn Everything Off.

      Appliances that aren't going to be used while the family or individual are on vacation should be turned off or unplugged. Included in this list should be items such as radios, clocks, televisions, and any lamps. Since no one will be in the home to use these items, unplugging them won't be an inconvenience. This would be an appropriate measure to take the day a family leaves for vacation.


    • Set Timers.

      A home that looks lived in is less likely to be broken into than one that's dark the entire time a family is away. Rather than waste electricity by leaving a light on the entire time, timers can be used to turn lights on and off throughout the house during times of normal use.


    • Hire Someone to Water.

      A timed sprinkler system is fine for when the family is home, but may result in unnecessary watering while they're away. Conserve water by hiring someone to come water the lawn or garden if it needs it. There's no point in having the sprinkler system water the lawn if it happened to rain the day before.


    • Change Temperature Settings on HVAC System.

      A home doesn't need to be kept as warm or cool if no one's there to inhabit it. Before leaving for vacation, the temperature setting on the person's HVAC system should be changed to a more conservative setting. It can also be set to make the home more comfortable on the day the family returns from their getaway.


    • Don't Forget the Water Heater.

      Water doesn't need to be heated if no one's there to take a shower, wash clothing, or do the dishes. Turning off the water heater is an excellent way to save on utility bills and conserve energy when on vacation.


    • When You'll be Away for a Month of Longer...

      Those who are going to be away for an extended amount of time, such as a month or more, should consider emptying their refrigerator and freezer, and turning the appliance off to conserve energy and avoid returning to spoiled food.

Energy conservation on vacation helps everyone.

Good for the Environment and Bank Balance

      Being mindful of energy usage while away is beneficial to the homeowner and the environment. It takes minutes to ensure that appliances and lights are off, settings have been changed, and lawn care has been arranged. But the benefits of doing so go well beyond the time invested.


      Saving energy each time they go away will help homeowners enjoy accumulated savings that can be added to the vacation fund. Additionally, the good energy conservation habits that are developed in conjunction with vacation can help homeowners and their family members learn to be more energy-conscious all year round.

Mary Ylisela is a freelance writer who writes about green living, reputation management, and how to remove information from people-finding sites such as Spokeo.