How to Prepare Your Home for Your Holiday Vacation

With the holiday season upon us and more people hitting the road for vacation, now’s the time to prepare your home for your absence.  Yes, it may seem odd prepping your home when you’re more focused on vacating it, but with the cold winter season and the damage its weather can cause, it should be an absolutely essential part of your pre-vacation checklist.

So, keep your home safe while you’re away so that you may return relaxed and stress-free instead of scrambling for emergency maintenance numbers.  Here are some prep tips to carry out before you go:

  • To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, turn off the water supply to your home, and make sure that all faucets are opened and drained.  Just be sure to leave one faucet open on the lowest level of your home to allow air and excess water to exit.
  • If you have the appropriate setting, set your water heater to its vacation or pilot mode.  Of course, if you have someone who will be staying in your home to watch it while you’re away and will need warm water, you can still save energy by switching your water heater off from its normal, everyday setting.
  • To keep the interior of your home warm, specifically the floor and wall cavities where your pipes are located, set the temperature at 55 degrees or higher.  This will keep pipes from reaching damaging, freezing temperatures. It also helps to keep room doors and cabinets open so that the heat can circulate and warm all areas where pipes are located.
  • Power down and disconnect all appliances that aren’t necessary in your absence.  Not only will this reduce your electric bill (which we could all use after an expensive vacation), it also reduces the possibility of damage occurring to your appliances and your home due to unexpected storms and power outages.
  • Make sure that all smoke detectors in your home are in good working condition with fresh batteries.
  • If severe or wintry weather is expected during your time away, arrange for someone to stop by and remove snow from your home’s sidewalk, driveway, or any other paths that may be obstructed.  It’s also wise to check specific county regulations, as some require clearing within 24 hours after snow stops.
  • For safety, remember to leave at least one light on in your home.  This will help to deter burglars. You want to leave one on that can be easily seen by passersby on the street, like a hallway light.  It’s also wise to leave a porch light on, and you might also consider setting outdoor lights on motion sensors.
  • If you’re going away for more than a few days, it’s always a good idea to ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.  This way you’ll know that everything is safe and secure, plus, there will be someone available in the event of an emergency. Make sure that they regularly check that all systems are in good working order and that your home stays properly heated when the mercury dips.

Preparing your home for your absence will ensure that it and all of your belongings are kept safe and sound so that you can return comfortably and without any unexpected stress.

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