Fall Trips: How to Keep Your Home Safe
As we step into fall, many homeowners with families may want to fit in an outing before they are swept up in the homework and science projects of a new school year. But, before you rush out the door, there are a few things you should do to make sure your home is safe while you are away.
One of the most important things to check before leaving for a trip is that your thermostat is set correctly. It has been an extremely hot summer and no one wants to waste money cooling an empty house, but too much heat can damage your home. Built-up indoor heat can warp wood floors and without proper circulation, condensation can accumulate causing water damage in walls or floors. To prevent this, you’ll want to set your thermostat to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow your HVAC system to continue circulating air, without breaking the bank. If you would rather take temperature off of the To-Do list, you may want to consider installing a smart thermostat.
Depending on how long you will be away, it may be a good idea to turn off your water. While on vacation, you won’t worry about an undetected pinhole leak, but it may be a huge problem when you return home. Even small leaks can ruin drywall, flooring, appliances, and cabinetry. By turning off the water, you will have the peace of mind that you will not come home to any surprises. Once the main valve is turned back on, it will just take a few minutes for the flow and temperature to normalize.
A checklist item that that many homeowners overlook is unplugging electronics before leaving on a trip. Unplugging devices that are connected directly to the wall and turning off any surge protectors will protect your home in case an unexpected power surge happens while you are away. Unplugging can also save you money on your utilities. Appliances use power even when they are not turned on. By unplugging everything, you won’t be paying for electricity that you are not using while you are away.