As you pack for your holiday vacation, you should turn your attention toward some ways to keep your energy costs down once you leave the house. Whether you will be gone for just a few days or weeks, you can save a decent amount of money when you make some simple adjustments to certain appliances in your home. When you follow these tips, you might be pleasantly surprised when you see your next utility bill.

Unplug All Appliances

The easiest way to keep your energy costs down while you are out of town is to unplug all or most of the appliances in your home. That’s because even items you are not using can take up energy just by being plugged in. You can start by unplugging large appliances, such as your television, gaming consoles, stereos, computers, and lamps. But even smaller items can use some electricity while you are gone, so be sure to unplug any electric razors, phone chargers, and small kitchen appliances in your home.

Lower the Temperature in Your Home

In the winter, you might be used to using your heater, but remember to turn it down when you leave the house for more than a couple of days. The recommended temperature for when you go on vacation is about 50 degrees. This is low enough to keep your energy costs at a minimum, but high enough to prevent your pipes from freezing while you are gone. Of course, if you go on a vacation when it is hot outside, be sure to increase the temperature at which your air conditioner is set. Putting at around 85 degrees is a good way to save on energy.

Reduce the Temperature of Other Fixtures

Your heating and cooling systems are not the only fixtures in your home that you should adjust before you leave for vacation. You should also turn down your water heater. After all, you won’t exactly be needing hot water in your house while you are gone. In addition, you should turn down the temperature of your freezer and refrigerator. If you plan to be gone for weeks, you might even want to clear the food out of the refrigerator completely since much of it could spoil while you are gone. Then you can clean the fridge and unplug it until you return, saving a good amount of money when it comes to electricity.

Use Timers When Possible

If you plan to leave a few lights on at your house to make it seem like someone is home, consider getting timers for those lights first. This way, they will only come on at night so you do not have to leave them on during the day. Additionally, if you have a programmable thermostat, plan to set your heater to a warmer temperature the day you return home, ensuring that your house will be comfortably warm when it really counts.

Of course, you can also keep your energy costs down at all times by making sure your heater and air conditioner are working properly.