What is the first thing you think of when you think of spring break? Most likely you are thinking about the tropical location you are about to visit and the fact that you can bring your kids without them missing any school work. What is the last thing you think of when you think about spring break? Keeping your home energy-efficient and safe is probably the last thing you are checking off your mental list, if you even get that far. Here are a few tips to preparing your home for your departure:
- Turn off the Main Water Supply. For some reason the worst things happen at the worst times, so avoid leaks all together by turning off the water supply. There is no con to turning off the water supply, and it could save you thousands in potential damage and water bills.
- Adjust your thermostat. If you are living in a cold area of the world, adjust the temperature to no less than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you live in a warmer area, adjust the temperature to up to 85 degrees. You do not want your system working overtime to maintain comfortable temperatures when you are not even home. This will save you a lot of money on your energy bills while also making sure your pipes don’t freeze or creating a perfect environment for mildew.
- Turn down the water heater. If you know you will be away for more than three days, turn your water heater off, or even down. When you get home it may take a few hours to get hot water, but this is very cost-efficient and will conserve a lot of energy.
- UNPLUG! Did you know that even if you are not using your phone charger it is using energy which is literally evaporating into thin air? If you are not going to be home, unplug your electronics: coffee machines, computers, gaming systems, TV’s, chargers, etc. Don’t forget to turn off the lights too, but use programmable timers to randomly switch on and off the lights for security reasons. Burglars will seek out homes with consistent darkness, so scare them off with some lights.
- Clean! Trust us, you do not want to come home from your week and a half long vacation to find spoiled food in the refrigerator or a stinky garbage disposal. Make sure to toss out food that will be going bad and run your garbage disposal with some baking soda and water. Also, do a thorough dust/sweep/vacuum/wash of the house, you will be appreciative when you get home!
- Arrange for snow removal and/or mail delivery. You do not want to come home to three feet of snow piled on your driveway (or, maybe I am biased being from Buffalo, NY!), and your mailman will surely appreciate it if your mailbox is not being stuffed with envelopes and magazines.
- Finally, have fun on your vacation! Do not constantly worry how your home is doing, find a trustworthy friend to do a drive-by every day or so to calm your nerves.
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Written by: Madison Jezioro