With the economy currently in a recession and gas prices hitting record breaking highs, many people have decided to cut back on their spending and vacation time for the summer of 2011.

From the article ‘Tips for saving on home energy use’ by Dan Serra, Serra states that in a recent survey taken,  “fewer than 50 percent of business owners plan to take a vacation this year, down from more than 60 percent last summer.” Noted in Serra’s article and in ‘Smart Ways To Cut Energy Costs At Home’ by Elizabeth Alterman, both authors state that if you want to reduce energy costs, start with improvements to the common areas of your home, such as “sealing window leaks, adding insulation and having your air conditioning unit tuned up.”

Another way to keep the energy costs low in your home is through your appliances.  Serra states that you should check and make sure that your refrigerator is at about 37 degrees and that your freezer is at about 3 degrees and to only run washing machines if they have full loads.

Alterman references in her article that cutting down on energy costs starts with buying energy efficient appliances, such as ‘ENERGY STAR’.  ENERGY STAR “offers thousands of models on products in 60 different categories for the home and office.” And, in 2010 alone, with the help of ENERGY STAR products, “Americans saved $18 billion and greenhouse-gas-emissions equivalent to that of 33 million cars, according to the program.” So take that extra vacation time and dig out your swimming suit, because while temperatures are rising, your home energy costs won’t be.