Prepare Your Home For an Extended Vacation

If you are going away on vacation, and you plan to be away from the house for an extended period, it will pay you to develop a plan and take a few precautions about securing the house and managing its energy demands while you are away.

Very likely, the first thing on your mind will be home security. If you have an alarm system, then this is a good time to make sure that it works and that the local police are informed of your absence. If you have any exterior signs, try to make sure they are not rendered invisible by overgrown vegetation.

You might as well take advantage of any deterrent value of your signs. Do tell your neighbors who you trust that you will be gone for a while, and ask if they can keep an eye on things. Beyond that, you do not want to advertise that you are away from your property, so be mindful that social media websites are not the place to publish information about your plans until you come back.

It is not a bad idea to have the post office hold your mail until you get back, and by all means suspend your newspaper subscription until you return. If you can, get a timer to turn on and off your indoor and outdoor lights to simulate your natural at-home schedule.

Be sure to unplug all of your major (expensive) appliances and your air conditioner as a power surge from a lightning strike in the neighborhood can damage them. You can shut off the water main to your house if you want, and that will eliminate all possibility of flooding, but be aware that all of the drains in your house have traps, and their job is to keep sewer gases from backing up into your home.

When all the water in the trap evaporates, they no longer work, so it might be best to keep the water main on at least a little and let the faucets slow drip in order to keep the traps working. There is no good reason why you should not turn down the temperature on the hot water heater while you are away. This will save you money.

By following these steps, you can take your mind off worrying about your empty house, and you can fully enjoy your upcoming vacation.