We’ve all been there. You’ve arrived at the airport or are hanging out by the pool, and you suddenly think, ‘did I turn off the heating before we left?’
Nothing puts a dampener on a holiday like coming home knowing that you have an extortionate heating or electricity bill waiting for you.
Worry no longer; Love Energy Savings has put together the ultimate checklist for your next trip away from home so you can be sure you’re keeping your home safe and energy-efficient while you are gone.
Unplug your appliances.
Make sure everything is unplugged before you leave the house. Electric toothbrushes, phone chargers, microwaves, kettles and other electronic devices can all use energy even if they are not turned on or charging an appliance. Making sure all your sockets are unplugged also reduces the risk of electrical fires.
Don’t forget your modem and television, unless you have a television recording service like Tivo which will need to remain plugged in if you have set your favourite shows to record.
The only exception to unplugging your appliances is your fridge freezer (see below).
Plan to empty your fridge and freezer (if possible)
Fridges and freezers use vast amounts of energy, so it is best to switch them off if you can, but this relies on you having planned ahead and emptied them of food before you leave.
If you can arrange to eat all your food before your holiday, you could switch off your fridge and freezer ahead of your holiday. Make sure you leave the fridge and freezer doors open before you leave so it doesn’t smell when you get home.
You need to budget some time beforehand to defrost, when your freezer defrosts it will empty water onto your kitchen floor and you want to be around to clean up the mess! It can be a good opportunity to give your fridge a good clean.
If you are not able to empty your fridge and freezer, you will need to leave it on. Fridges use less energy when they are full, so fill bottles or jars full of water and leave them inside. The refrigerator doesn’t need to be on the coldest temperature, so turn it down a few degrees to conserve as much energy as possible.
Turn your stopcock off
Turning off your water supply is a sensible move before you go on holiday. Your stopcock is usually found underneath the kitchen sink. Turning it off before you go away protects your home in the event of a plumbing failure. Pipe leaks or a faulty dishwasher or washing machine can result in flooding which can cause extensive damage.
Manage your heating
Depending on what time of year it is when you go on holiday, you need to consider your heating system. If it is winter when you are going away, turn your thermostat onto “eco” mode so that your heating will be on a low temperature while using minimal energy.
Alternatively, set a timer and your thermostat so your heating will be on an hour or two a day while you are away. Either of these actions will ensure that your pipes don’t freeze while you are away. It is smart to check all your windows, internal doors and, curtains are closed if you are leaving the heating on, as it will improve insulation and minimise the energy required to heat your home.
If it is summer, you can turn your heating off entirely. Investing in smart technology allows you to gain complete control over your heating and control the temperature from your phone. Whether it is summer or winter, if you have a hot water tank, you won’t need it while you are away, so remember to switch it off too.
This is a delicate issue. Here at Love Energy Savings, we are concerned about helping our customers to minimise their energy bills; so our advice is to turn your lights off. But, we understand that when you are away from home, you want to ensure that you don’t make it obvious that you are away. Many people ask a friend or a neighbour to pop in each night to switch the lights on. Another option is to use a timer or a mobile app to set your lighting to come on for a few hours each evening.
Reduce your energy bills with the energy experts at Love Energy Savings
Following these simple steps can help homeowners reduce their energy usage while they are away. However, if you’re paying too much for your gas and electricity, you may still be left facing extornatiate energy bills.
All you need to do to find out how much you could save is complete our simple online energy comparison tool.
If you’d like more tips on how to save energy in the home, check out our latest energy guides and advice.