Be energy conscious when traveling

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas-- -- Christmas is right around the corner and lots of people are leaving their homes for days or even weeks to travel, so do you know what to do to make your home as energy efficient as possible while you're gone?

Mary Lumsdon, 17th Training Wing energy manager, said traveling provides a great opportunity, to save on household energy use.

"You're not planning to be home for a while, so why not do all you can beforehand to save some energy?" she asked. "There are several things consumers can do to cut down on their energy use, and therefore cost, when away."

To start with, turning the heat down to its lowest setting will make a large difference, she said. Unplugging appliances such as televisions and game consoles will also cut down on energy costs.

"Because of standby modes, many electronics use nearly as much energy turned off as when on, so you really need to unplug them to make a difference," Lumsdon said.

Closing all blinds and curtains will help to maintain the temperature in the house, making the cooling system less likely to come on during warm months she added.

"Also, never unplug your refrigerator unless you take the proper precautions," she added. "Remove all food and thoroughly clean the inside of the refrigerator if you turn it off and leave the door open, otherwise there is a good chance mold and mildew will form."