Leaving on a Spring Vacation? Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared
Now that winter is waning, it’s the prefect time to take a rejuvenating spring vacation. Whether you’re able to get away for a few days or a couple of weeks, making preparations to safeguard your home can let you relax and enjoy the break with fewer worries.
Take Security Precautions
To minimize the risk of a burglary or break in, don’t announce your travel dates or plans on social media where information is easily shared. You should also put your mail and newspaper deliveries on hold, and invest in plug-in devices that let you control selected light fixtures via your smartphone. On the day you’re leaving home, make sure that you activate your alarm system if you have one.
Prevent Utility-Related Issues
Taking the following steps before you head out on vacation can significantly reduce the chances of damage to your home and limit energy waste as well.
- Turn off the water supply valves on individual plumbing fixtures and water-consuming appliances, or shut the valve on your home’s main water supply to avert possible leaks and floods.
- Test the functionality of your sump pump, and put it on a battery backup so it works even during a power outage.
- Unplug your small appliances, computers, televisions and other electronic devices to lower the risk of an electrical fire and potential damage from a power surge.
- Put your gas-fired water heater on “pilot only,” or shut off your electric model at the circuit breaker to curb unnecessary energy consumption.
Shut Down the HVAC System
Taking a spring vacation means the weather is warming up here at home, so there’s no need to run the heating or cooling system while you’re gone. On the day you plan to leave, switch the thermostat setting to “off” instead of “heat” or “cool,” and put the fan setting on “off” as well.