Thursday 12 December 2013

10 Ways To Prep Your House Before Travelling

It’s finally time for that holiday you’ve been planning for months. Perhaps you’re going overseas. Perhaps you’re planning an extended family visit. You are leaving for a week or more, affordable energy tariffs are increasingly hard to come by, and you do not want your house to be wasting money while you’re gone. Here are ten energy saving tips that will help.

Energy saving tips for while you're on holiday

1. If the heat’s going to be left on, adjust your thermostat
If the temperature might go below zero and you don’t plan to drain your pipes, then you should leave your gas heating system running with a reduced temperature setting on the thermostat. Otherwise, your pipes could freeze and burst.

2. If a gas-fired heating system isn't needed, then turn off the gas supply
If the temperature is unlikely to go below zero while you’re gone, if you plan drain your water pipes or if your heating system isn't gas powered, then turn off your gas supply at the main service entrance.

3. Turn off non-essential appliances and electronics
Switch off the power supply at the outlets for all of the electronics and appliances that you don’t need to have switched on while you’re gone. This may include entertainment systems, computers, washers and dryers and and air conditioning systems. Most electrical appliances use power even when they’re switched off.

4. Consider switching off the refrigerator and freezer
If you plan to be gone for more than a few weeks, then consider emptying your refrigerator and freezer and shutting them off. They’re probably your biggest energy users.

5. Switch off the hot water, if possible
If you have a hot water tank or separate water heater, then switch it off. If you have a combo boiler that keeps a supply of hot water and you need to leave the heat running, then switch off the water heating feature, if you can.

6. Shut off the water supply to the dishwasher, ice maker and washer
It’s not a bad idea to switch off the water supply to major appliances, even if you don’t plan to drain the pipes. It reduces the risk of flooding.

7. Check the cooker
Make sure that the cooker and the oven are off.

8. Lock and seal the windows
Make sure that all of your windows are firmly closed and locked. If it’s cold, then consider adding temporary draught proofing around the edges. They won’t need to be opened while you’re gone.

9. Close the blinds and curtains
Closing the blinds and curtains saves energy. They help to prevent heat loss through convection.

10. Make sure that the doors are shut, locked and draught-proofed
Like the windows, the doors should be shut, locked and if possible, draught-proofed.

There will be other things to attend to, as well. You’ll want to arrange for a neighbour to pick up your mail and deliveries or stop them for the duration of your holiday. You may need to make arrangements for pets and plants, and it's a good idea to inform neighbours and police about where you are and when you’ll be back. There are a few systems that you may need to switch on rather than off, as well: your security system and timers for lights and music, if you have them. They’ll cost you a little in energy use, but security is important, too.

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