One of the most popular things for New Englanders to do during the winter is to escape to a tropical climate. Unfortunately, you can’t simply pick up and leave when temperatures are frigid cold back home. There are a few important steps to complete to ensure that your home is safe while you are gone. Here are a few winter vacation home preparation tips to consider.
1 – Unplug Electronics
Electronics draw energy when plugged in, even when they are not in use. For energy savings, unplug your electronics. This also prevents potential electrical issues. For instance, if there is a power surge or power outage, you won’t be concerned about those items.
2 – Set Thermostat
Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature to prevent freezing or bursting pipes. A wi-fi enabled programmable thermostat can be helpful. It will allow you to monitor and adjust the temperature inside of your home based on current weather conditions. You will most likely keep the temperature far below the normal settings given the home is not occupied. However, during frigid temperatures, you may want to keep it set a little higher as an extra precaution.
3 – Reduce Hot Water Tank Settings
Some appliances cannot be simply unplugged, but you can adjust the settings. For instance, you can turn down the temperature in your hot water tank. This will use less energy since the water in the tank will not need to be constantly heated to a high temperature. Just remember to turn this back up as soon as you get home, otherwise your first shower may be a cold one!
4 – Turn Off Water
If your heating system does not need water to operate, consider turning off the water supply to your home. If a pipe does burst, it will only release water retained within the length of the pipes rather than continually pulling from the water supply. Another option, for lengthy absences, is to winterize your home. This requires the assistance of a plumber to ensure that your pipes are not damaged in the process.
5 – Hire a Plowing Service
In case there is a snowstorm while you are away, arrange for plowing services through a local snow removal company. Even though you may not need to access your home, you are still responsible for the safety of any visitors to your property such as the postal service or delivery persons. Some charge extra to shovel and treat walkways. Be sure to sign up for the full snow clearing package. This also makes it less obvious that you are not home, which can prevent burglaries.
Other Winter Vacation Home Preparation Tips
There are several other tasks that you should complete that are unrelated to winter weather but are still helpful for safety reasons. Here are a few:
- Hold your mail with the US Postal Service.
- Cancel other deliveries (packages, newspapers, etc).
- Put your interior lights on a timer.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home.
By taking precautionary steps, you can reduce hazards within your home and minimize the chances of a burglary. This will allow you to enjoy your vacation with fewer worries and come back to a peaceful home in the same condition in which you left it!