Heading off on a summer road trip, international adventure or family vacay this month? Don’t forget to prep your home before you hit the open road! To lend a helping hand, Earth911 compiled this simple checklist of things to do to save energy, water and waste while you’re out of the house.
1. Set your temperature
The most obvious way to save energy and shrink your footprint while away from home is to power down the thermostat. Many programmable models have “vacation” or “away” settings to make saving easier, but you can cut energy costs even without these features.
In most cases, shutting your thermostat off completely is ideal when leaving for summer vacations. If you live in an especially hot climate, you may want to program your thermostat to a very low setting to avoid heat damage to your home while you’re away. In the cooler months, leave heating systems on a low setting to keep pipes from bursting (no fun!).
For best results, set your programmable thermostat to power on when interior temperatures reach 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (or around 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter). This way, your AC will turn on for a few minutes when it gets too hot or cold and power down as soon as your home reaches a manageable temperature.
To keep your home as cool as possible sans-AC, pull shades, blinds and curtains closed before hitting the road.