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Prepare Your Home Before a Vacation

  • Posted: 07.23.2019
adjusting a thermostat

Along with the usual tasks such as having your mail stopped, there are other steps you can take to help deter burglars and even save a little money. With the dollars you save on energy, you might have a bit extra for a special meal out or destination t-shirts.

Before you leave, here are some ways to save money on your energy bill and keep your home safer, too:

  • Adjust your hot water heater. For a natural gas water heater, turn it to low or vacation mode. For an electric version, turn it down or off at the circuit breaker panel.
  • Set or program your thermostat to a temperature that mimics the outside temperature (or about 80 to 85 degrees). This still protects your wood floors and furniture, as well as keeps any left-behind pets comfortable.
  • Leave your air conditioner on when you’re gone, however, so that the air in your house continues to circulate and if the temp rises to an uncomfortable level outside, you’ll keep your home from sweltering inside.
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices including gaming systems so that they don’t draw power. Also do not leave chargers plugged into an outlet. (This tip is important when you’re home as well. Do not leave chargers plugged in when they’re not in use since they can overheat. Unplug charging devices after electronics are fully charged.)
  • Check your sump pump to make sure it’s working.
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks. Or, consider shutting off the main water valve, which cuts off water to the house but still allows water supply to an outdoor sprinkler system. This can prevent a pipe breaking and a flood in your home when you are gone.

Here are some ways to keep your home looking "lived in" to ward off would-be burglars:

  • If you have a smart home, it’s easy to regulate lights in your home remotely. Turn various lights on and off intermittently or have them timed to do so.
  • If you do not have smart lighting, put various lights on timers.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally while you are gone.
  • Use motion detectors on outside lights.
  • Before you leave, check all windows and doors to make sure they are locked.

And finally, remember to clean out your fridge before leaving so that you don’t come home to moldy leftovers.

Source: Safe Electricity