December 15, 2008


Having a getaway home can be a treat during the winter, even if the home is located in a cold climate.

However, costs can add up quickly when you leaving that second home vacant, but ready for use. Here are some ways to lower costs.
  • Weatherstrip all the doors and windows and make sure that the heating and air conditioning ductwork has no leaks. Install maximum insulation.
  • Pay attention to the thermostat. Heating load is proportional to the difference between outside and inside temperature. If it is 10 degrees colder outside than the desired indoor temperature, turn the thermostat down 1 degree and save 10 percent on energy. If there is a 20-degree difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, turning the thermostat back one degree will only save 5 percent on energy.
  • Turn back the water heater. Even if someone will occasionally shower there, keeping the water heater set at 115 degrees keeps the water at a comfortable temperature and saves money compared to usual settings.
  • Unplug appliances, televisions and anything else that is on standby. The standby features use lots of watts. For instance, a microwave oven uses as much energy to run the clock as it does to cook.

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