Preparing your house for vacation

When you are getting your family ready to head off on vacation this summer, what will be on your list of preparations? Make sure the pets are cared for? Check. Arrange for the plants to be watered? Check. Maybe get an oil change before a road trip?  Check.

But what about your house?

Re-entry into the real world after a great vacation is hard enough. Let’s make sure you don’t return to any unpleasant surprises. Take these steps, and call us if you need help. We can work with you to check on your home while you are away.

First things first.

Test your smoke alarms. If you did not put in fresh batteries when you changed the clocks this spring, do it now. If you use a security company, let them know the dates you will be gone.

The best way to leave your house unattended is to not leave it unattended at all. Talk to your neighbors. Offer to keep an eye on things for them when they are gone.

Don’t advertise an empty house.

You know this, of course. Stop the paper, hold the mail, and ask someone to keep an eye out for door hangers and supermarket circulars. Be careful with social media, and remind your kids to do the same.

Whether you use a high-tech app or a couple of old-fashioned, plug-in timers, having one or two lamps turn on and off while you’re gone helps the house look occupied.

Having exterior lights on a motion detector can do this too. Call us if you are interested in getting one installed or have any other issues with your outdoor lighting.

Save on your energy bills while you are away.

When no one is home using the hot water, set your water heater to vacation mode. If you are going to be gone for a while, shut off the water under the sinks, to the washing machine, and to the dishwasher.

Set your thermostat. Power companies estimate a homeowner can save 2-3% on their electric bill for every degree they turn up their thermostat in summer. If no pets will be in the home, you can set the temperature at least 10 degrees higher than when you are home.

Now, enjoy your vacation!

(P.S. Clean out the fridge before you go!)

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