It seems that everyone has decided to go south this winter what with our record cold temperatures in Ontario. Unfortunately while we’re away we have to keep the “home fires” burning in order to prevent frozen pipes and other damage so energy consumption must continue – but not necessarily at the same levels as when we are at home.

After doing some basic research I thought I’d like to pass on some of Carson & Dunlop’s tips on how to cut energy consumption when you are away.

Change the Setting on Your Water Heater

Turning down your water heater while you’re away can help reduce overall costs and energy consumption. Newer units will usually have a “vacation mode” so you can easily adjust your setting. However, if yours doesn’t have this feature, simply adjust the unit to its lowest setting to achieve the same results.

Do not turn your unit off completely! Restarting it can sometimes require a technician, and tends to be a bit of a hassle.

Lower your Furnace Temperature

If you know your home is going to be vacant, it’s a good idea to keep your furnace at a lower setting. We recommend keeping it above 15 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit – this will help to save money and energy, without the threat of freezing water, burst pipes, or flooding.

Pull the Plug on Your Electronics

You might not know this, but many of your appliances will continue to draw a small amount of power when they aren’t turned on or in use. This is called vampire power and it adds a significant amount to your overall power use. This is why your TV, for instance, comes on so quickly – because it is in fact, always on.

If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, we’d advise that you unplug your appliances, like your TV, computer, or toaster, (not your stove or fridge), to help to curb energy loss and protect these items from getting damaged in power surges.