While many people are thinking of hosting guests at their homes for the holidays, you might be thinking just the opposite… planning to go out of town yourself instead. If you will be the guest at someone else’s house this holiday season, you will need to make plans to keep your own home safe and energy efficient while you are away. Follow our best tips to increase your peace of mind and lower your energy bill at the same time this holiday season.
#1. Install a Smart Thermostat
At Maki Heating and Air we can help you choose the best smart thermostat for your home, and this means that you can control the temperature even while you are away. It’s a great idea to set the thermostat down fairly low if you are going to be gone for an extended period of time since there’s no need to heat the house if you are not there (if you have pets or a housesitter see exception below).
With a high quality smart thermostat you can not only check the temperature of your house right from your phone or tablet, but you can control it from there as well. Just set it and forget it, or choose to put a reminder on your phone to alert you the day before you come home. You can then change your smart thermostat to start warming up the house just in time for your arrival so that the house is toasty, snug, and comfortable when you arrive.
#2. Install Timers on Lights and Appliances
If you are going to be gone for multiple days it’s a smart idea to put some of your lights (both indoor and outdoor) as well as a couple of appliances such as the TV or radio on timers so that you can make it seem as if you are home.
If you also have smart lights or other technology in your home that allows it, you may be able to control lights and appliances right from your phone or tablet as well. This will give you a sense of safety since you can randomly turn on different appliances on different days so that potential burglars don’t see a pattern.
#3. Stop your Mail and Newspapers While You Are Away
If you’re only going to be gone for a couple of days and don’t want to put a full stop on your mail, ask a trusted neighbor to pick it up for you and to collect the newspaper from your porch or driveway. A sure sign that someone is out of town is newspapers piling up in the driveway, and you don’t want to give any extra advantage to criminals who might be looking to break into a home for holiday loot.
#4. Unplug Major Appliances When You’re Gone
Many people don’t realize that many appliances continue to use energy just by being plugged in. Unplugging appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, televisions, and computers can make a small difference in saving you energy and money when out of town.
#5. Instruct Housesitters to Only use the Heater when Necessary
If you have pets at home and house sitters who might be staying with them or at least coming to check on them daily, make sure you instruct them how to use the thermostat and to what temperature you would like it set. If you have a housesitter staying at your home you’ll need to keep the temperature warmer than if no one is occupying it, but if the housesitter is just popping by rather than staying you can assure them you will control the thermostat from your phone if it is a smart device.
If your home isn’t equipped with a smart thermostat, make sure they know exactly what temperature you’d like it left at for the animals, so you’re not wasting energy or money while you’re away without even realizing it.
#6. Mow your Lawn and Put up Some Decorations
Other signs to burglars that no one is home is an unkempt yard, or a house lacking decorations that normally has them. It’s a great idea to at least mow the lawn before you leave and ask a neighbor to put your trash can on the curb for trash day and pull it back up. If you have time, install a few simple holiday decorations so that anyone checking out your home will think you’re occupying it.
Call Maki Heating and Air
At Maki Heating and Air we have all kinds of tips to help you save energy and money during the holiday season and always. We can provide the following services to help you make the most of your heating and air conditioning units during the holidays:
- Duct cleaning
- Heater replacement
- Energy efficient appliance replacement
- Smart thermostat installation
- HVAC cleaning and maintenance
- AC repair
- Helping you find energy and money-saving solutions
We serve both the Greater Sacramento Area and the Sierra Nevada Foothills, and we love helping our clients create peace of mind and save time and money by coming up with simple and affordable solutions together. Reach out to us today at (530) 885-3449 or (916) 782-9242 with any questions you have and to schedule your appointment with us to get a new programmable thermostat or have your heating system cleaned and a maintenance check provided.