6 Tips for Winterizing Your Home & Saving Money
If you’re like most Americans, you’re overdue for a vacation. This winter is a great time to get away and relax. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or heading to a warm beach, a lot goes into planning a great getaway. While you’re making preparations for your winter vacation, it’s a good time to think about how you can save on your energy bills while you’re away. There are a few simple steps you can take to winterize your home and save money.
Here are six ways to prepare your home before you go on vacation and save money on energy costs:
- Lower your thermostat: Living in New England, you must keep your home warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing, but you don’t need to heat your empty house as much as you would if you and your family were there.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater: There’s no need to have your water heater working as hard when no one is there to use the hot water, especially since heating water is responsible for almost 20% of your home’s energy costs. Modern water heaters usually have a vacation setting. If yours doesn’t, lower the temperature 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Really unplug: Energy vampires are devices that consume energy even when they’re not being used. Appliances with a digital clock (like your microwave or coffee maker) or indicator light (like your television or printer) use energy even when you’re not using them. There’s no advantage to leaving certain items plugged in, it’s just costing you money and wasting energy. Unplug items that tend to go on standby rather than turning off. Unplug chargers, TVs, washers and dryers, printers, and gaming systems. Unplug anything that can take a vacation when you do. Just be careful not to unplug anything that you do want functioning non-stop (your DVR, for example).
- Leave a light on (just not 24/7): Unplugging your appliances can save you money, but leaving your home dark the whole time you’re away can also be an invitation to burglars. Install motion sensors on your outside lights to add security without adding a lot to your energy bill. Install timers on a few indoor lights. Again, you’ll get some security without the expense of leaving your lights on all day and night while you’re gone.
- Contact your fuel provider: Especially if you’re an automatic delivery customer, contact W.H. Riley to let us know you’ll be away. That way, your dip in usage won’t throw off our calculations and we can schedule your deliveries to best suit your family’s needs.
- Seal air leaks: Making your home as airtight as possible is a great cost-effective way to lower your energy bills all year long. Caulking windows and weatherstripping doors will help your home better maintain the desired temperature and save you money on your energy bills for heating and cooling your home. To save even more during the winter months, add plastic coverings to your windows for additional insulation.
You can go away on vacation, but W.H. Riley & Son will always be here to take care of all your fuel needs. Click here to see if your home is in our service area.