How to Prepare Your Home For an Extended Vacation

Will you be away from home for several weeks at a time this year? If so, there are a few things to worry about besides watering the plants and turning out the lights. Here are three major areas that need consideration as you prepare your home for an extended vacation:

Home Plumbing

  • Water. Georgia homeowners may consider turning off the water using the main shutoff valve if you are leaving town for more than two weeks, but for sprinklers and the pool you’ll need to leave it on. Ask a neighbor or friend to occasionally run the water in the sinks and flush the toilets to keep sewer gases at bay.
  • Water heaters. You won’t want these expensive appliances running while you are away. Set heaters on vacation mode and plan to flush (empty) them when you return.
  • Pool. Leave your pool pump running so you don’t find your water turned green by algae when you come back. Ask whoever is checking on the house to check and make sure the pool is running.

HVAC and Appliances

  • Household appliances. Since appliances still use electricity without being used, unplug all small electrical devices in your home.
  • Refrigerator. You may not want to defrost your refrigerator before going, so fill it up with nonperishable items so it doesn’t waste energy.
  • Heat and AC. Depending on the season, you will want to set your thermostat either very warm (over 80° in summer) or very cool (near 50° in winter) to avoid wasting energy while your family is gone. Programmable thermostats and other types of home automation make this step easy as you prepare your home for a long vacation. Also, WIFI thermostats are available allowing you to monitor your heatiing and cooling system remotely.

Property Security

  • Exterior. Homes with overgrown lawns and newspapers piling up on the steps can be obvious targets for thieves. Tell the post office to stop mail delivery while you’re away and have magazine subscriptions put on hold. Trim the lawn just before you leave.
  • Interior. Buy a few light timers if you cannot perform this function using a Trane home automation system. Setting lights on at different hours around the house gives the impression someone is home.
  • Cars. Homeowners that usually have cars parked in the driveway may want to leave them there. Consider loaning the car to a friend to drive before returning it to the driveway so anyone watching gets the impression the home is occupied.

As you prepare your home for an extended vacation, don’t forget about plumbing and appliances that would waste a great deal of energy while you’re gone. Ask Reliable Heating and Air to check plumbing and give you peace of mind to enjoy your special vacation this year.

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