Maintaining Your Home When You’re Gone on A Trip

Maintaing Your Home

As the man of the house, it’s your responsibility to make sure to maintain it 24/7. When you and the family head out for an extended trip, there are some extra details to pay attention to before you leave. From heating and cooling, water filtration and electricity to securing your home in general, here are a few to-dos to check off before vacation.

1. Adjust the Thermostat

If your traveling in the summer time, either turn off the air conditioner before leaving for your trip or turn it up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a safe temperature zone, that will still ensure that your plants, furniture and other belongings will remain intact. You’ll also end up saving money on your energy bill—according to Salt River Project, you save two percent on your air conditioning costs for every degree you turn the thermostat up. For winter travel, the opposite applies in terms of heating. Turn down your thermostat to save energy, but make sure it’s set to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent your pipes from freezing.

2. Unplug Electronics

Electricity still runs through cords even when devices are switched off. In order to save energy and unnecessary costs on the electricity bill, unplug your electronics. Unplug the devices you don’t even realize are constantly plugged in—including lamps, alarm clocks, television, desktop computer, toaster, blender and so forth.

3. Shut off the Main Water Valve

You can prevent a world of headache if you shut off the main water valve in your home before you leave. This will help you avoid any chance of an accidental flooding disaster or pipe bursting while you’re out. Additionally, stopping the water from constantly running when no one is home to use it could also save a lot of money.

4. Check the Sump Pump

Tacking on to water maintenance, it’s also important to check the sump pump, often an overlooked household appliance. Head to the basement or crawlspace where the sump pump is located and test it out by pouring water into the pit. If it’s functioning, the sump pump should start to drain the water out of the pit. In the unfortunate event that there’s a storm and flooding in the neighborhood while you’re gone, it’ll ease your mind to know that you’ve done your part in making sure water damage is kept to a minimum.

5. Inform Trusted Neighbors

It’s a good idea to give your neighbors a heads up that you’ll be leaving town with the family. By letting the neighbors, you trust know that your home will be empty for a certain period of time, you’ll have an extra set of eyes keeping a watch on the house for any suspicious activity. You may even want to consider giving them a spare household key just in case of emergency.

6. Secure Your Home

Home automation systems have come to popularity for good reason and have become especially handy for families on vacation. Try installing a reliable security system like one from ADT that allows you to control lights and alarms and surveillance from its connecting smartphone app. You can turn on the lights remotely to make it seem like someone’s home and detract any potential burglars from targeting the house.

7. Hold the Mail

Another way to keep the home safer is by putting a hold on mail delivery. Piled up mail outside a house is a telltale sign that no one’s been home for a good amount of time. You can put a hold on mail via the US Postal Service by going on their website and filling a form or contacting them directly by phone.

8. Hire a House Sitter

Whether it’s the pet hamster, cat or fish or a copious amount of indoor plants that need watering, consider hiring a house sitter. It doesn’t have to be a professional house-sitter just someone trustworthy that could come in to feed the pet and water the plants. Even little Johnny next door looking for some extra cash should work.

 

Checking off this handful of to-dos prior to family vacation should put your home in a good place before your leave. You’ll gain some piece of mind knowing that your house is well-maintained while you’re out and in good hands so you can enjoy your time away with the wife and kids.

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