Planning a vacation? If your summer travel plans take you far from home for an extended period of time, it's important to make sure your house is prepared in advance for your long-term absence. Here are some tips for making sure your home stays safe from plumbing disasters, appliance mishaps and other calamities while you are away.
Set Your Thermostat
If you will be leaving your house unattended during the winter months, make sure your thermostat is set to 55 degrees. This will keep your house warm enough to prevent freezing and bursting water pipes, which can lead to severe flooding and extensive water damage. If your travels take you away from home during warmer weather, you should leave the AC unit on in order to prevent mold, mildew, and other conditions caused by heat and humidity. Adjust your thermostat to 85 degrees or less to regulate usage of the air conditioning. If you can, invest in a smart thermostat, which can be controlled via a handy smartphone app wherever you are. This is a great, convenient way to make sure your home is always protected from weather-related plumbing and HVAC issues while you're gone.
Turn Water Off
When you are going to be away for an extended period of time, Boulder Colorado's Flatirons Plumbing says it's best to just turn off your main water line. This can prevent plumbing leaks from occurring in your absence, which can result in significant water damage and costly repairs. After shutting off the main water valve, let your kitchen and bathroom faucets run dry to ensure that no water is left sitting in the pipes.
If you have a sprinkler system that needs to run while you are out of town, or if your heating system works with steam radiators or hot water, it is not a good idea to shut your water off at the main valve. However, anyone who doesn't have these special considerations should turn it off to avoid future problems upon your return. By turning off the water before you leave, you may be saving yourself a potential headache when you get back!
Wrap Toilet Bowls With Plastic Wrap
Don't worry- this isn't an elaborate prank for your family and friends! By wrapping your toilet bowls, you are preventing sewer fumes from entering your home while you're away on your trip. Leaving your toilets unwrapped can result in a less-than-pleasant "welcome home" when you walk in the door. Just remember to mark the cling wrap with a big black "X" or other warning symbol to prevent anyone from accidentally using the toilet with the wrap in place.
Empty the Fridge
Apart from the main reason of not wanting the food in your refrigerator to turn into a moldy, stinky science experiment while you're on the road, it's also a good idea to empty all perishables out of the fridge in order to completely defrost and unplug it if you're going to be gone for a very long time. This will save energy and not force the fridge to keep running when it's not in use.
Travel is a great way to meet new friends, share new experiences, and learn new things. Whether you are on a backpacking trip through Europe, or Bali yoga retreat, the last thing you need to be doing is worrying about your home. By knowing how to properly take care of your home when you are on an extended trip, you can have one less thing to worry about while you are away from home having adventures!