Many families have spent months planning their vacation. They have made reservations, planned travel and created packing lists. One small thing homeowners overlook is preparing the home to be vacant for a week or more. 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric, a BBB A+ rated home service company with more than 700 5-star reviews online, has tips to help residents prepare their homes for summer vacation away.
“Summer vacations are a great time to get away and relax,” says Ryan Williams, general manager of 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric. “The last thing they want is to come home to a damaged or burglarized home.”
Williams offers these tips to help residents prepare their homes to be vacant for a week or more.
- Prevent odors in the home – Clean out the refrigerator and cabinets of all food that will expire while out of town. Empty all trash cans in the home. Flush the garbage disposal with warm water and ½ cup of vinegar while running.
- Turn off the main water valve – Water causes a significant number of the insurance claims that are filed after the homeowners return from vacation. Something as simple as the water line to the refrigerator can burst and do several thousands of dollars in damage in just a couple of days. Turn the main water valve off that runs into the home. This will prevent returning home to water damage.
- Adjust Air Conditioning – It is a good idea to program the air conditioning temperature to 10 degrees above where it is usually set to conserve energy. Homeowners can also install a Wi-Fi or programmable thermostat so the temperature can be turned on and the home cooled just before the residents return home.
- Unplug appliances – Some appliances use power even when they are turned off. Unplug all small appliances, televisions and phone chargers before leaving home. Unplugging the electronics will also prevent the possibility of lightning or power surge damage.
- Change setting on water heater – Dial the water heater temperature to vacation mode. If there is no vacation mode, set the temperature lower than normal. There is no need to keep water heated for an empty home. This can help homeowners spend more money on vacation instead of on utility bills.