Classic Properties REALTORS ®



Posted by Classic Properties REALTORS ® on 12/29/2019

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 Classic Properties REALTORS ® on 1/1/2012

Everywhere you turn people are saying "go green". More and more people are looking for alternatives to heat and power their homes. One alternative is solar energy. There are both benefits and pitfalls to solar energy. The Benefits •Solar power is predictable. It is easy to predict how much electricity your system will produce because the amount of sunlight that hits your roof doesn't vary that much. This means it is also easy to predict how much you will save in electric bills. •Solar power will lower your electric bill. Solar power will offset the usage of conventional electricity especially in places where the price for grid power is high — like California, Hawaii and much of the northeast. •Solar power is safe and clean. Solar energy systems produce emissions-free electricity. •Installing solar panels may also help you qualify for a tax credit. For more information on energy tax credits click here. The Pitfalls •Solar power can be predictable but it is also variable. In other words, it can be predicted on a long term basis but not on a daily or even weekly basis. For example, solar panels won’t produce electricity at night. •Solar power can be a more expensive alternative in the short term. The price of solar panels continue to fall but there are many aggressive financing options. If your state has no tax incentives and electricity prices are relatively low solar would be an expensive option for you. •Some homes just don't work. The roof must be in good condition with an unobstructed southern exposure. If the house is surrounded by trees and tall buildings solar panels will probably not work. A ground-mounted system is an option only if you have sufficient space in your yard.