If you’re travelling south when the colder weather hits us here in Canada, you want to be sure that everything at home is locked down for your absence. Asking a neighbour to collect your mail and newspapers and shovel the snow is a good idea from a security perspective, but there are other areas you can look to. The following energy tips will fix it so you’re saving what would otherwise be considered wasted energy while you’re away. Start in the basement with your hot water heater before you leave. Take a look to see if you can set that appliance to a vacation setting and, barring that, turn it off completely at the electrical panel box. You might need to wait while everything heats up when you get back home, but the energy cost savings will be well worth it. Unplug some of the appliances that you would normally leave plugged in. Although you can’t very well unplug the refrigerator, there is what’s called a phantom power loss associated with devices like TVs and DVD players and even computers that are left on standby but attached to the wall socket. This phantom power accounts for up to 10 per cent of home energy use. As far as that refrigerator goes, remember that these appliances work better when full so filling yours with something like jugs of water or something else that won’t spoil is a good idea. Turn down your thermostat, you don’t need to heat your house to 21oC while you are gone. Do this simple step and you will save on your gas & electricity bills. It will even help your refrigerator to not work as hard while you are away. Finally, remember to check the garage and other outbuildings for devices that have been left plugged in and while you’re outdoors, make sure to turn off all water fountains and pumps. Oosterveld Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business servicing Guelph and the surrounding areas. You can see their fine selection of Lennox equipment at www.oosterveldheating.com or call them at 519-837-2351.