Every homeowner who pays bills worries about the costs of maintaining their home while they are away. Although holidays can seem few and far between sometimes, many of us still plan trips away. If you are a Snowbird going away in the Winter especially for long periods, consider the advantages of a live in housesitter. And how best can you manage your energy bills? Here are some top tips.
Tips to Manage Energy Bills While on Vacation
The time has finally come… It’s time for your vacation! Vacation is the very reason you work so hard, show up to work on time, and rarely call out… all in the name of vacation. Whether you’re going to Hawaii, Paris, or Greece, you’ve probably made yourself a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything… There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and realizing you’ve forgotten something important.
If you’re like most people, you make a packing list. This list is to make sure you don’t forget to pack certain items for your vacation, like sunscreen, your passport/ID, medications, and toiletry accessories. And while this list is important, it’s also important to make sure you make a checklist for your home as well.
Most people will make a list with reminders to have a neighbour check their mail and feed the dog, but can you guess the one thing that people forget about before going on vacation?
You might be wondering how energy can be used when you’re not home… Well, it can be done in many different ways but this list is here to help you reduce or eliminate your energy usage while gone on vacation. Remember, when you save energy, you’re also saving money. So, before you pack your bags and jet-set off to your destination, remember to implement these energy-saving, and money-saving, hacks.
Tips to Help Manage Energy Bills Before Going on Vacation
Unplug Energy-Draining Electronics and Appliances
Did you know that electronics and appliances still use energy, even if we’re not using them? These energy-draining appliances are commonly referred to as “energy vampires.” To prevent this “phantom” occurrence from happening before a vacation, you need to unplug those appliances.
Things like your television, lamps, desktop computers, and game systems will all use your home’s energy while you’re gone, leaving you with an expensive electric bill for a time frame that you weren’t even home for.
Switch to Alternative Energy
Making the switch to alternative energy is something you’ll want to do to lower your monthly energy costs whether you’re going on vacation or not, but going on an extended vacation couldn’t be a better time to make the switch!
When you switch to alternative energy, you’re choosing energy that’s generated from renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Now, you’ll have to check your area to see if this is offered. For example, Massachusetts has a Massachusetts community solar program for its residents. By making the switch, you’ll be able to manage energy bills year-round, not just while you’re gone on vacation.
Close Your Blinds and Curtains
Closing your blinds and curtains before your vacation is a great way to keep your home at its current inside temp. If you’re going on a summer vacation, keeping your blinds and curtains closed will keep it cooler in your home. The same goes for winter… keeping your blinds and curtains closed will keep it warmer.
While leaving your curtains and blinds closed while on vacation will lower your monthly energy costs, it will also keep your home more secure. Open blinds and curtains expose your home’s interiors. Unwanted passers by will see your televisions and other valuable items in your home, so to not give them a reason to visit while your gone, keep your windows closed.
Some other ways to keep your home secure while on vacation include having a neighbour look after your home, hiring a housesitter, and to keep normal maintenance of your home going on if you’re going to be away for an extended amount of time… this will give the appearance that someone is home, warding off intruders.
Change Your Thermostat Settings
In your mind, you might be thinking “why not just completely turn off the thermostat?” Well, it is important to manage your energy bills. And you could do this, but who wants to come home to a home that’s unbearably hot or cold? Doing that is going to make your heating and AC unit work even harder to reach the setting you put it on when you come back. Instead, find a happy medium that won’t have your heating and cooling unit running too long at an extreme temp while you’re gone.
You also don’t want to turn off your thermostat in case you have pets. If your pets will be staying home while you’re gone, you definitely want to make your home comfortable for them. If you’re unsure of the right temp to set it to, consult with your pet’s veterinarian.
Managing vacant property efficiently
When you are leaving your home to go on holiday, resist the urge to leave all the lights on while you are away. This can be very expensive and waste energy especially if you are on holiday for several weeks at a time. Naturally, you will be concerned about the security of your home and property. A better way to manage the security of your home and the energy bills is to find housesitters. Join a housesitting website to find live in housesitters who will guard your home.
Free sitters – Yes, free housesitters!
If you choose the right sitters from a professionally run website you can also find free housesitters. These sitters will move into your home as live in house and petsitters. So they can also offer petsitting to look after any resident pets. They will pay their own way and care for your home and pets as if they were their own. The people who choose to do this are often retired or semi retired folk who like to travel and have active holidays. They exchange their time and services for free accommodation. It’s a fair exchange. And in this way you can find free housesitters. Plus they offer added advantages…
Snowbird home protection
If you live in a cold climate and your home must cope with very cold weather housesitters can help. Regular Snowbirds who seek sunnier climes in the colder months know the value of live in housesitters. They can manage your property and the snow gathering outside your front door. They also will be present to manage any extreme weather situations such as burst pipes in your home which might happen in your absence. Housesitters can be hugely beneficial in your absence.
Garden sitters help eliminate signs of an empty property
One real giveaway sign of an empty property is a neglected garden. Your housesitters can also act as garden sitters to help you maintain the condition of your garden so that opportunists do not think it is abandoned and therefore worth breaking in.
Finding these garden sitters to act as plant sitters will also help you nurture your plants in your absence. This will not only maintain your plants saving any money you had spent in costly nurseries, but it also means you can return to a well ordered garden, thriving rather than parched, overgrown or neglected.
Managing energy bills – The takeaway
There are so many ways you can manage energy use efficiently today in your home. If you have the ambition you can build a smart home where you can monitor energy uses via an app, no matter where you are. You can switch to more sustainable energy sources for the benefit of the planet and your wallet. You can also use live in housesitters to keep energy use and the results of extreme weather in check when you are away from home. It’s great to know that you have so many options to manage energy expenditure in your own home today.
HANDY REFERENCES ABOUT KEEPING HOME AND MAINTAINING PROPERTY
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on renovating, keeping and maintaining a home.