Away for the holidays: Energy-saving strategies

Vacations, family events, business trips…once the cold weather sets in and the holidays unfold, there are lots of reasons that you may leave your home or business for an extended period of time. While it’s much more intuitive to be thinking about where you’re headed, we’d like to provide you with some important energy conservation tips to consider for your vacant home or business. 

A woman behind the wheel of a car with presents in the passenger seat

General energy-saving tips:

  • Adjust the thermostat:
    • Lower the thermostat to a minimum comfortable temperature to save on heating costs. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to help automate your preferred settings.
  • Unplug electronics:
    • Unplug non-essential electronics and chargers to prevent standby power consumption. It also gives peace of mind over those things that you always wonder if you turned off before leaving. 
  • Use smart plugs:
    • Layer on the automation and consider using smart plugs to control and monitor energy usage remotely. Turn off connected devices when not needed. 
  • Turn off lights:
    • Ensure all lights are turned off before leaving. But, for security reasons, leave the impression that you are still present by using timers or smart lighting to mimic your usual patterns.
  • Close curtains and blinds:
    • If you have them, keep curtains and blinds closed to insulate your home or business and reduce heat loss.

Heating tips:

  • Set water heater to “vacation mode”:
    • Believe it or not, your water heater may have a vacation mode - this setting will enable it to reduce energy consumption.
  • Seal leaks:
    • If you have time, inspect and seal any drafts around windows and doors to prevent heat loss. This is good due diligence for the whole winter season anyway. 
  • Insulate pipes:
    • Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing and reduce the energy needed to heat water.

Safety tips:

  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:
    • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Replace batteries and test them before leaving. Unless you have some trusted individuals who can keep an eye on things, you may also want to consider a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector, which will send a notification right to your phone if anything comes up.
  • Secure windows and doors:
    • Double-check that all windows and doors are securely locked before leaving for an extended period.
  • Inform trusted neighbours/friends/family:
    • Let the trusted people in your life know about your absence, especially if they live close by. They can keep an eye on your property and alert you to any issues.
  • Consider smart security systems:
    • Invest in a smart security system that allows remote monitoring and control of security features.
  • Turn off water supply:
    • If you're leaving for an extended period, consider turning off the water supply to prevent potential leaks or frozen pipes.
  • Hold mail and packages:
    • Arrange for mail and package holds to avoid signaling an empty home or business. Otherwise, reach out to someone who can regularly check for mail for you.

Implementing these energy-saving and safety tips will help you enjoy your winter holidays with peace of mind, knowing your property is secure and energy usage is optimized.

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