If you are planning on getting away this winter, you need to make sure your home is ready for your vacation before you start shopping for flip flops and sunscreen. We have been fortunate in New England that so far the winter has been relatively mild, but cold temperatures and snow storms are very common in February, March and sometimes even April. By planning how to best prepare your home for your absence you can protect it from potential hazards, and save a little money as well – freeing up some extra cash for souvenirs.
Ask a friend or neighbor to drop by. Have someone you know well come to your home every day or two to bring your mail inside, water your plants, feed your pets, or whatever else you might need done during your absence. If they are a REALLY good friend, ask them to shovel or snow blow should a snowstorm arrive while you are gone.
Put your lights on a timer. Much like a pile of mail in your mailbox, a home that is dark night after night is a sure clue to savvy criminals that no one is home. Install timers on a few lights throughout your house and then set them to turn on and off at the same time you would normally be at home and awake. Yes, it will add to your electric bill, but deterring would-be thieves definitely outweighs the cost of running a few lights.
Turn down the thermostat. You certainly don’t need to keep your home heated to 68-70 degrees when you are on vacation, but you don’t want your pipes to freeze either. By setting the thermostat at around 50-55 degrees you will ensure that your home stays in good condition while you are away, but you also aren’t wasting money.
Unplug electronics. Even if you aren’t using them, electronics are always drawing power from outlets when plugged in. If you are going to be gone more than a few days, unplug electronics such as your TV, video game system, printer, etc., as they are an unnecessary power drain on your electric bill…and your wallet.
Turn down the hot water heater. Hot water heaters also draw power even when they aren’t being used. Rather than spend money keeping it running in an empty house, turn it off. Just don’t forget to turn it back on when you get home, or you could be in for an abrupt reminder when you return and hop in the shower!
Leave your faucets dripping: A dripping faucet will keep water running through your pipes, which will prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. Returning to a flooded basement is definitely not how you want to end your vacation. However, if your home should experience burst pipes, make Octagon Cleaning & Restoration your first call upon your return. If you live in New Hampshire, contact us at 603-239-2100. Maine residents can easily reach our experienced water damage experts at 207-893-0002.