The holiday season is here once again! In the blink of an eye, summer came to an end, kids went back to school and we’ve turned the calendar to November.
If your family will be traveling for the upcoming holidays, there is much to plan. Between booking your flight, packing and shipping last-minute gifts to your destination, you might find yourself running out the front door to make it to the airport on time. However, there are steps to take to prepare your home against potential problems in your absence.
What should be on your checklist?
Turn Off Water
To prevent leaks while you’re away, turn off the main water supply. Typically, the valve is in the basement or on an outside wall. The last thing you want to come home to is irreparable water damage!
Did you know “phantom energy” can account for up to 15 percent of a home’s electricity use? Unplug the coffee maker, toaster, bedside lamps – any unused appliances that could consume energy in your absence.
It’s unnecessary to run the heat as often as you would when it’s occupied. You can lower the thermostat to save on your energy bill, but make sure it’s not set low enough to freeze the pipes. It’s recommended you do not dip below 55 degrees. To prevent frozen and burst pipes, open the cabinets where pipes are located so warm air can circulate through.
Starting in the kitchen, make sure there are no leftovers in the fridge that could spoil in your absence. Properly seal all open dried goods in the pantry to deter pests and finally, take out the garbage. To come back to a pleasant smelling home, sprinkle some baking soda in the toilets and sinks to combat the odor of stagnant water.
While you may not want to leave a light on for the duration of your trip, you could invest in a timer that turns on one or two lamps throughout the day. Motion-activated outdoor lighting also makes it look like someone is home and deters burglars.
Ask a Friend
Whether it’s a neighbor or friend of the family, have someone you trust bring in your newspaper and mail every couple days to make it look like the home is occupied. If no one will be around, pause your mail delivery service. The post office will hold onto your mail and packages until you return.
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