A holiday abroad might still seem like a thing of our dreams, many of us are looking to explore the UK. The trend for staycation holidays allows us to get out of our homes and into a new environment, changing the view out of the window and allowing space to relax. But we all still need to be cautious with our finances and conserve our resources. `
We hope you enjoy your holiday and experience peace of mind from knowing you are saving money at home. These steps will also increase your contribution to the race to carbon neutrality.
To help, we have put together some essential tips.
Be aware of vampire power
Vampire energy is the culprit for consistently high electricity bills. They are appliances that leech power even when they are switched off. If the device is still plugged in, they are still pulling amounts of electricity consistently. It is highly unlikely pulling the plugs out on one or two of your devices will make much of a difference. However, if you leave the whole house plugged in, it will cause a drain on your energy. This vampire energy is also known as phantom energy.
Why does this happen? Well, modern devices are lying in wait to jump into action when needed. They will also perform updates. Therefore, they constantly eat up a small amount of energy to power this responsiveness. Therefore, the advice is easy; unplug as many devices as you can in your home before you leave for your holiday.
For those items, you need to keep plugged in, try using a smart power strip that will prevent this phantom draw on your energy. These smart power strips are also known as advanced power strips, and some allow you to time when electricity is drawn into the device and not. Therefore, if you are worried about missing your favourite TV programmes by unplugging your satellite box, you can use this strip to save energy and your viewing pleasures.
A checklist of items to pull the plug on include PCs and any display screen, printers, satellite TV boxes, music devices, TVs, microwaves, video game consoles, amongst others. Your toaster and microwave alone will make a decent amount of difference. For some of these devices, the amount of electricity used by the devices is similar, whether on or off.
Use a smart thermostat and reset the schedule
A smart thermostat allows you to set the temperature for each room and on a schedule that suits you. Whether you are away on holiday or not, a smart thermostat will save you money. When you are away, you can set this thermostat to holiday mode, and it will override your normal daily schedule.
Another bonus of a smart thermostat is that you can still do this via your smartphone or tablet if you forget to change the settings. Then, imagine, on the day you are set to return. You can use your phone to set your hot water and heating temperature to a comfortable level, welcoming you home.
If your thermostat powers both heating and air conditioning, you might want to set the temperature at a constant level and avoid fluctuations. Setting it around 16C will offer the most energy-saving value. If it is a short trip, you can switch this off completely, but if your holiday is for several weeks, the control of temperature will prevent mould and avoid frozen pipes if you are going in the winter months.
Fill up your fridge
An almost empty fridge will take more energy to maintain the temperature than a full fridge. The items in a fridge, when cold, will help keep a consistent drawing of energy rather than fluctuating. You can fill the fridge with jugs of water if you do not want to waste food that might go out of date. Again, this measure won’t make a significant difference to your energy savings, but it can all add up in conjunction with other actions.
If you are going away for more than four weeks, you might want to empty the fridge and freezer and unplug it completely.
There are great reasons to believe leaving lights on will act as a deterrent for someone looking to attack your home. If you use LED lighting, this could be done at a relatively low cost. Generally, if you are looking to save energy and money, LED bulbs are the way to go – saving up to 75% on each bulb in your home. However, better still would be to invest in a timer that turns on a few lights for a couple of hours in the evening. In some ways, this timer is much more effective at securing your home, as the switching on and off looks like you are at home.
Close the blinds
It would help if you also considered drawing your curtains or blinds. Keeping the radiant heat out of your home will help you keep it cool and a bearable temperature for your return. By keeping your home cool, you won’t need to switch on air conditioning units and fans, which can be a huge drain on your energy bills.
Turn off the water heater
Most homes have a gas boiler and an electric immersion heater as a backup. It is a good idea to switch the electric water heater off at the breaker box to prevent leaching of energy. If you are worried about not having hot water when you get home, your boiler will provide heat within an hour of your return.
The small things add up
Energy consumption not only costs you money but also puts pressure on global resources. We are all the time damaging the environment while we waste electricity and gas. Using these tips therefore not only saves you money but also prevents climate change. Added to this, many of these tips will make your home safer while you are away. A light on a timer looks far more like someone is home than a porch light left on 24/7.
If you want to save energy costs even when you are at home, you might want to consider buying energy-efficient appliances or switching your energy supplier.
Remember, all these actions alone are unlikely to show a great difference in your bank account. However, a combination of these efforts could save you a small fortune.