Vacation season is upon us – the kids are out of school and ready for some fun in the sun. Parents are running around trying to get everything they need for a week or two away. Planning, packing, and prioritizing can seem like enough to keep you busy well into the late summer months. If this sounds like you, don’t forget to set your house up to save energy and money while you’re away. The last thing you need when returning from vacation is energy bills higher than your pile of laundry. Below are seven tips that will allow you to live carefree while away and not worry about the energy bill being through the roof when you return!

Tip #1: Turn up the Temperature on the Thermostat

Most people know that they do not need to continue to cool their homes when they are away as they would if they were home. What most people may not know, is the appropriate temperature to set the air conditioner to. It is recommended when you go away to set your house at 88 degrees to limit excess and unnecessary cooling. You may of course adjust this temperature based on your particular circumstances, but even raising it by a degree or two than what you typically keep it at can make a huge difference!

Tip #2: Close Blinds and Curtains

This is a simple and easy tip that will help keep your home cooler while you are out of town. This step will keep the sun from overheating the house and the air conditioner from kicking on more than it has to. You can even purchase energy-efficient blinds and curtains if you really want to go the extra mile!

Tip #3: Turn off Lights

While it is wise to leave some lights on while away for safety purposes, this can waste a lot of energy. Instead of leaving lights on all the time, it is beneficial to purchase a timer to have lights turn on and off at set times. Another simple tip would be to switch to an energy-saving lighting option such as LED lighting. Switching to LED lights and setting them on timers, will yield many benefits, including less work for you!

Tip #4: Water heater

Your hot water heater is heating water 24/7 to make sure it is available when you need it. When you are away, give it a break! Turning off your water heater is the best way to eliminate unnecessary usage. You can simply turn it back on when you get home without missing a beat!

Tip #5: Unplug energy suckers

Unplugging everyday household items while away can help lower your energy bills. The little things add up, so unplug coffee makers, cell phone chargers, clocks, and anything else around the house that may be racking up the energy costs.

Tip #6: Turn off Ceiling Fans

Leaving for a vacation can feel like a whirlwind but don’t forget to do a final check around the house to make sure all ceiling fans are turned off. Not only are fans not necessary when the house is empty, but they use a significant amount of energy. Adding a checkmark next to this task will be well worth the peace of mind.

Tip #7: Stock your Fridge

Yes, you read that right. If your fridge is stocked, the items will keep each other cold, requiring less energy from your refrigerator. While a fridge full of perishable items does not necessarily sound like something you would want to return to – you can use other items such as pitchers or containers of water to fill in gaps.

Summer vacations are a time to reset and regroup for the months ahead; do not waste a second of this precious time worrying about your energy costs at home. Get your savings without having to sacrifice the sun with these energy-saving tips!