While You’re Away… 3 Tips That Will Prepare Your Home for VacationBy
It’s summer time and that means it’s vacation time! Whether you decide to relax on the beach or go camping in the woods, vacations allow us to sit back, relax and be worry free for a few days.
Flight and hotel booked… check, Passport… check, Suitcase packed… check! Now what’s next? Your home of course! Preparing your home can aid in avoiding any unexpected events such as broken water connections, power surges and high utility bills. So, it is important that when you are planning a vacation to make sure that you include taking steps to protect your home while you’re away.
Here are some things to look for:
1. Check for leaks. This includes water, air and gas leaks. It is important to continuously monitor all of the sources for potential water leaks such as the water meter, garden hose, hose-bibs, and valves. Locating the source of a leak can be a difficult process, so hiring a professional would aid in fixing the leak and preventing any future problems.
- Run your hand under all of the faucet valves to make sure that there is no moisture. If your faucet or showerhead needs to be replaced, consider replacing them with water efficient, WaterSense certified products such as models from American Standard.
- Check the pressure relief valve on the hot water tank. Sometimes these valves are plumbed directly into a drain and may be leaking without your knowledge.
- Check all of the toilets in your home for leaks. Drop blue dye in the tank and if there is blue in the water an hour later (without an intentional flush) then there is a slow leak and a replacement gasket needed.
Although this process can be burdensome, checking for water leaks is vital in water conservation. For more tips on saving water be sure to read our E-book “Save Water, Save Lives”.
2. Inspect all heating, cooling, ventilation, and monitoring systems in your home. Your heating and cooling system uses more than half of the energy in your home, so it is most likely the culprit in generating high energy bills. Be sure to check your air filter every month, especially during the summer and winter, and replace dirty filters that make your system work harder and waste energy.
Finally, check all monitoring devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Making sure that these devices are in working order will be beneficial in maintaining the safety of your home as well as your family.
3. Being water and energy efficient not only has economic benefits, but financial benefits as well. So, while you’re away, it is important to pull the plug on certain electrical items in your home.
- Unplug the power to any electronics and appliances. This can limit any possible electricity shortages which can lead to a potential fire.
- Turn off the water mains to prevent the risk of leaking. Make sure all faucets are tightly turned off and detach the lawn hose.
- Turn down the thermostat and water heaters to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting it to this degree will protect your plants, furniture and other belongings without increasing your energy bill.
- If possible, shut off gas and water at the meter, and supply tank. This will prevent leaks and floods from damaging the home while you’re away.
While it is important to unplug your home, it is important to keep some things plugged in and/or secure. This may be obvious but, before leaving, lock all doors and windows!
These tips seem to be very simple in nature, but will limit any concerns you may have while on your well-deserved vacation.
What are the items on your vacation checklist?