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Granite Group Realtors

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Posted by Granite Group Realtors on 3/22/2020

Photo by Clint Patterson via Unsplash

It sounds like a great idea -- turn off your electricity entirely when you go on vacation and you'll dramatically slash your electric bills. While this works in theory, there are some considerations that make shutting everything down problematic for homeowners. Learning more about your options allows you to conserve energy wisely, without running into problems when you get home. Here's what you need to know about conserving power when you travel.

What to turn off -- and what to leave on when you travel:

  • HVAC System: One of the top consumers of energy in your home, reducing HVAC use while you are away will save you money. According to Duke Energy any savings you get from turning your HVAC off entirely could be reversed when you get home and have to power your entire system back up again. It will have to work extra hard to get your whole home back to a comfortable temperature. Instead of turning this off, set your system to vacation mode (most programmable thermostats have one) or to a temperature that makes your HVAC work less. You won't be home, so it does not have to be crisp and cool-- setting your thermostat to 80 can help you save money and not require an energy-consuming reboot when you get home. 
  • Hot water heater: You don't need to heat water while you are not home. Turn the temperature down or turn the unit off entirely at the fusebox, then simply turn back on or up when you get home. 
  • Fridge and Freezer: If you have any food stored at all (and most of us do) these need to stay on. If either component is empty or contains items that won't go bad (like bottled water or beverages) you can turn that component to a warmer setting to save while you are away. 
  • Water: Turning the water off can help conserve power and more importantly, prevent flooding. 
  • Electronics: If it plugs in, it consumes power, whether you are using it or not. Unplug electronics like the TV, kitchen helpers and more to cut your costs while you are away. 
  • Lights: A totally dark house lets would-be burglars know you are not home. Unplug most lamps, but leave a few on timers to boost your home security as you save. 

Learning which components of your home are essential for security and comfort -- and which can be turned off entirely -- allows you to cut your costs while you are not home. Once you return home from your vacation, you can get things going again quickly and without much downtime. 





Posted by Granite Group Realtors on 12/31/2017

One of the first places we think to cut back on to conserve energy and save money is electricity. However, there are a lot of everyday habits we often overlook that not only keep more money in our wallets in the long run but are also cheap to do! Below are a few cheap and easy habits you can make a part of your everyday routine that lower your electricity usage in the home: Start with the basics†- Iím sure youíre all too familiar with this one from when you were a child, or perhaps you say them to your own child: turn off the lights when the room is not in use. You can take this a step further by unplugging an appliance or device when it is not in use. Electronics can actually use electricity even when powered down but still plugged in. An easy way to to do this is by plugging your items into a power strip so that when they are not in use you can simply flip off their power supply with one easy motion. Bright idea - CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs use less energy to provide light than traditional incandescent bulbs. This is because incandescent bulbs need to first heat up the filament which becomes so hot it glows white and thus provides light. CFLís produces significantly less heat and thatís what makes it much more effective than traditional bulbs. So while opting for CFL bulbs is a pricier purchase up front over incandescent ones you will save money over time as they not only save energy but have a longer lifespan as well. Summertime Saving - When itís warm out opting to hang dry clothes instead of putting them in the dryer can save in the long run. Most of the energy used when washing clothes is actually used from the electric dryer. Skipping the air conditioner, a big energy hog, in favor of fans is another great way to cut your electric bill and conserve energy. Wintertime Saving - Turning down the thermostat by two degrees from your desired temperature can make such a big difference over the colder months. Remember to dress warmly during the cold months, even inside, and you can keep your home at a lower temperature while saving electricity and conserving energy. Further lowering the thermostat while you are out of the home will also save you in the long run. Adding insulation around water pipes, and even your hot water heater if itís an older model, will help save on the energy it takes to heat up your hot water. Whether you implement one of these ideas or all of them you will be making an impact on the environment, and your wallet, by conserving energy and therefore lowering your carbon footprint. And when you can do both at the same time on the cheap, thatís something to feel good about!




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