Saving Energy Next Time You Fly

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Hand holding a plug

Did you know October is Energy Action Month? Each October we raise awareness of the importance of managing energy resources at home and at work…and while on vacation!

TSA’s Environment and Energy Branch encourages all employees and travelers to learn how they can reduce energy usage everyday – not just during October. Check out these tips for saving energy next time you get ready to head on your vacation.

Is it plugged in?

Before heading to the airport, save energy and protect against power surges by unplugging any non-essential appliances, like coffee makers, chargers, toasters, printers, dryers and television sets. These electronic appliances utilize a small amount of electricity even when they are turned off or appear to be in sleep mode. Doing this can save the average U.S. household $100 per year!

Chill out before your trip.

There’s no reason for your heater to work hard warming an empty house. The same goes for your air conditioning if you’re traveling in the in the summer. By adjusting your thermostat, you will see major savings on your energy bill. How about those windows? If it’s winter, you may want to open your shades to let the sun in and help heat your home! That way it will be easier to warm up once you return. Traveling in the summer? Close the shades to make it easier to cool down when you return.

Is your refrigerator running? Better go catch it!

As far as appliances go, refrigerators are among the biggest consumers of energy. Treat your fridge the same way you would your heating/cooling systems. Clear it out and select the highest temperature setting before you head out for your flight.

Stay out of hot water.

Water heaters can represent 15-20% of your energy bill! Since hot water is not likely needed while you’re away enjoying your vacation, there’s no need to maintain a hot water supply. Turn off the water heater and let the tank settle to ambient room temperature. If you have an electric water heater, just switch it off at the breaker. If you have a gas water heater, switch it to the “pilot” setting. Today, several water heaters come with a “vacation setting” which allows you to lower the heat in the water to the lowest possible temperature which will still ensure that water will not freeze in the tank or the lines.

Here’s a bright idea.

Don’t waste energy lighting your house up like a Christmas tree when you’re not home! Turn the lights off as you head out the door for your vacation. If you’re concerned about security, use a timer, purchase smart bulbs that can be controlled by your phone, or take advantage of home management system.

Looking for more travel tips? Follow TSA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn! Or visit

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