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Going on Vacation? Winterize Your Home First!

6 Tips for Saving on Energy Costs

vacation checklist new yorkIt’s been a tough year, and you probably need a vacation. Now that more and more travel restrictions are being lifted, you’re probably considering where you and your family can go to get away from it all. You’ll want to leave your worries behind, but you don’t want to come back to an unnecessarily high energy bill. Follow the guide below to save money on energy costs while you’re away on vacation this winter.

Follow these six steps to save money while you’re on vacation this winter:

  1. Adjust your thermostat: You don’t want your New York home to get so cold that the pipes could freeze, but there’s also no reason to keep your empty house as warm as you would if you were there.
  2. Turn down the temperature on your water heater: Again, with no one there to use it, there’s no need to keep your home’s water quite as hot. Heating water accounts for almost 20% of your home’s energy costs. Many water heaters even have a vacation setting. If yours doesn’t, lower the temperature 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Unplug energy suckers: Often called energy vampires, these are devices that use energy when they’re not actively being used. Anything with a digital clock (your microwave or coffee maker for example) is using energy even when you’re not using it. Those can be unplugged when you’ll be away from home for several days. Unplug items that tend to be on standby rather than fully off. Unplug chargers, TVs, washers and dryers, printers, and gaming systems. Unplug anything you don’t want to keep working while you’re away. (For example, you may leave your cable box plugged in if you want your DVR to record while you’re away.)
  4. Don’t go completely dark: Even though you want to unplug as many items as possible, you also don’t want your home to be completely dark every minute of every day you’re away, because that can be an invitation for burglars. Instead, install motion sensors on your outdoor lights to provide security without adding a lot to your energy bill. Set some indoor lights on timers to discourage burglars. Again, getting added security without the expense of leaving lights on 24/7 while you’re away.
  5. Contact your heating oil provider: If you receive automatic delivery of heating oil from Black Bear Fuel Oil, let us know. This will help us better calculate your delivery schedule and deliver fuel when you need it.
  6. Seal air leaks: Make sure your home is as airtight as possible. This is a very cost-effective way to enjoy energy savings all year long—both while you’re home and away on vacation. Caulking windows and adding weather stripping to doors will save on both your winter heating costs and summer cooling costs. For additional savings on your energy bills during the winter, add plastic coverings to your windows.

Black Bear provides the best heating, AC, and plumbing services in Orange County, Sullivan County, and Ulster County. We’re big enough to handle any job, but small enough to care about you. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your zip code here.

Whether you need heating oil delivered, plumbing or HVAC maintenance, or around-the-clock emergency service, Black Bear will be there when and where you need us. Contact us today to learn more. You can rely on Black Bear.