How to save water and energy at home when you're away
LIFESTYLE | August 1, 2018

How to save water and energy at home when you're away

Next time you head off in pursuit of adventure or relaxation, making sure the house is correctly shut down can save you more than a bob or two in unnecessary bills – and potentially avert disaster!

Check for leaks a couple of weeks before you go

Even a tiny dribbling leak into the toilet bowl can waste 60 litres of water a day, so imagine the potential mess and horror if a larger leak goes unnoticed before a two-week trip!

If you have a water meter, the simple way to check if you have a leak somewhere is to switch off all the taps and water using devices and check the dial. Numbers still clicking round? You have a leak and it would be wise to call in a plumber sooner rather than later.

Stop the fridge guzzling energy

Fridges and freezers might look innocent, sitting there quietly in the corner of the kitchen, yet they're notoriously heavy on the old energy bills. Get yours into shape pre-holiday to reduce energy usage and prevent a nasty leak.

For short trips, leave your fridge running as efficiently as possible. First, raise the temperature to the highest level that's safe for the food you want to keep: 5°C is optimum for the fridge, -18°C for the freezer.

Pack any gaps in freezer drawers and on fridge shelves with any old containers filled with tap water. The recycling box is a good source of plastic milk bottles and TetraPak juice cartons ideal for this purpose. (For containers going into the freezer, be sure to leave enough room for the water to expand when it freezes!) The fuller the better, as the appliance can more easily maintain a cool temperature without drawing any extra energy.

If you're away for a long trip and no one will be around to check the house, safest advice is to eat down the fridge freezer, clean and defrost it and then switch off completely before you head. No one wants to come back to a kitchen floor swimming in dirty freezer water!

Getting some help 

You could of course decide to get some help in saving energy & water when you’re away. But with so many devices, gadgets and products on the market, where do you start? Our friends at Trusty Joe take all the leg work out of finding the right products & devices. They’ll test and review products for you, to take the hassle out of it all.

Pull those plugs

It's a fact. Leave your electrical gear on standby – plugged in and ready but not switched on – and they'll draw a small amount of energy from the mains 24/7 while you're away. Multiply small amounts of energy by lots and lots of gadgets? Costs soon rack up, even when no one's at home.

Last minute, whip round and check you've unplugged:

>> Extension cables

>> Chargers for phones and other devices

>> Tvs and stereos

>> Broadband routers and printers

>> Desktop and laptop computers

>> Microwaves, toasters and other kitchen gadgets

>> Radios and alarm clocks

>> Dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines

>> The stove, oven or hob – these may be hard-wired to a wall switch so simply make sure this is off.

All checked? Then have a very happy holiday!

How do you save money, energy and water both at home and away? We'd love to read your tips and comments, so share with us via Twitter and Facebook.

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