While leaving for vacation is often stressful, pack a few extra minutes into your departure schedule to protect your home. It’s your biggest investment, and one many homeowners don’t think about while packing for a trip. Before you leave for vacation, take these seven steps! Don’t worry. They’re simple and won’t take much time.
Is panic inevitable when you’re preparing to leave your home for an extended period? You run down the checklist in your head — stopped the mail, given a key to the neighbor or pet sitter, taken out the trash, but what about taking care of your home? Have you done that?
There are some simple tasks to prepare your home’s inner workings – including the HVAC system, appliances, and electronics – for your vacation.
In the summer, turn the temperature down in your home. You don’t need your air conditioner constantly running while you’re away. You can set the thermostat at 85-degrees in the summer. It will save you money on your utility bills while you’re away.
While you’re not home, don’t turn off your heating and cooling system. If your home got into the ’90s while you’re on vacation in the summer, it might have an impact on the components of your home like the wood.
In the winter, turn the thermostat down to 65-degrees. You want the home to stay warm enough that pipes won’t freeze.
It’s important to change your air filter regularly. While you’re securing your home for vacation, it’s a good time to check the condition of your filter.
Also, look around your HVAC system and make sure the area is clear. Don’t store paint or gas cans near your equipment. It’s a safety hazard, and danger especially if you’re not home.
We even have a smart technology system that alerts you when it’s time to change your HVAC filter.
If you’re leaving your house for three days or more, turn off the water to the house. If you do this, also shut off power to your water heater! That way if a pipe bursts, washing machine hose leaks, or toilet runs you won’t have water damage. If a pipe breaks or leaks while you’re gone, the loss can be devastating and costly.
Plus, many homes have leaky pipes and toilets. They won’t stop leaking just because you’re not using them. Save yourself money and turn off the water.
If you turn off your water, also turn off your water heater.
If you don’t want to turn it off, turn the water heater temperature down. There’s no need to heat hot water while you’re gone. Just remember to turn it on before you come home and jump in the shower.
Some homes have sump pumps to remove excess water. Make sure it’s working before you leave. If there’s a lot of rain while you’re gone, you want to make sure the pump does its job and prevents flooding in your basement. You don’t want to see the forecast at home and worry your home may flood. Severe thunderstorms with lots of rain are frequent in the spring and summer, so take the time to check your sump pump.
As a way of preventing burglars from targeting your vacant home, as well as saving energy from not keeping the lights on all the time, you can set timers for some of the prominent lights in your house.
Even if you are leaving for a week, cleaning your refrigerator and either eating or throwing out perishable foods keeps your kitchen free from insects and the smell of rotting food.
For those who do not unplug their electronics on a daily basis, you should know that you can save money if you do. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average American family will spend an annual amount of $100 to power devices that are still plugged in but are turned off or in standby mode.
While you’re gone, you know you won’t be using electronics, so unplug them. It also protects your devices if there’s a power surge or severe thunderstorm while you’re out of town.
Finally, protect your home while you’re away with Smart Maintenance. It sends urgent alerts to your mobile phone and detects up to 80-percent of HVAC issues before they happen.
The smart technology predicts and prevents HVAC breakdowns, and protects your comfort.
Smart Maintenance is only $4 a month, plus a one-time installation fee. That includes monthly remote monitoring and urgent HVAC alerts.
Take a few extra minutes to walk around your house before you leave for vacation. It’s the best way to protect your home. Even if you have a neighbor watching your house, they won’t know if a pipe bursts inside or the basement floods unless they go inside and check your home.
These seven steps add an extra layer of security so you can enjoy your vacation and forget the stresses at home.