4 Tips to Save Energy (and Money) During Your Winter Travels
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the winter holiday season – and hopefully means trips to visit friends, family, and warmer weather. Whatever the occasion, consider these four tips for reducing energy use during your travels:
- Check your tire pressure – As temperatures get colder, the pressure of the air in your car tires decreases. In fact, for every ten degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature, tire pressures drop by almost one psi. By ensuring your tires are properly inflated, you can improve your car’s gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, reducing money spent on fuel and greenhouse gases emitted by your vehicle.
- Be a patient driver – It may be tempting to rush to vacation destinations after months of hard work, but it’s still important to practice safe driving. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking, can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33 percent. Additionally, for every five miles per hour driven over 50 mph, you pay the equivalent of an additional $0.19 per gallon of gasoline.
- Pack light and tight – Efficient packing not only makes for a less cluttered vacation experience, but it can also save you money. Every extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce your miles per gallon by about 1 percent. Additionally, hauling luggage on your roof in a cargo box creates wind resistance and can reduce fuel economy by up to 25 percent. Together, reducing the weight and drag of your luggage can lead to increased efficiency and equivalent gasoline savings of nearly $.50 cents per gallon.
- Bring down the hot water heater – Water heating is the second largest home energy expense, accounting for about 18 percent of utility bills. If your vacation takes you away from your home for more than three days, consider lowering your water heater or placing it on ‘vacation’ setting if it has one (but don’t turn it all the way off and risk freezing pipes).
By following these tips, you’ll be able to add “energy cost savings” to the list of things you’re thankful for this holiday season.