Prepare your home for your winter vacation
It’s the season when families reunite, no matter the distance or the weather. The custom and the emotional need to spend the holidays surrounded by those we love requires that some of us have to leave the comfort of our homes. Let’s make sure we return to the same comfort.
Plumbing check – turn off the water supply to your toilets and the waterlines connecting the washer. If you have any water pipes that run through unheated areas, drain them or wrap insulation around them so that they don’t crack.
Set the thermostats at a temperature around 50-55 degrees F. This is enough to keep the water in the pipes unfrozen and your plants alive.
Unplug your appliances: computer, monitor, TV, satellite receiver, cable box, and any other you have around the apartment. Their “instant on” or “keep warm” features are considered accountable for about 15 percent of a home’s total power consumption.
Leave the interior door open so that air and heat move inside while you’re away. Air movement ensures minimal heating to all your rooms and this prevents walls from cracking from the cold or plants freezing.
Ask a friend to housesit and if this is not possible, tell a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Don’t make a public announcement that you’re going on vacation as you could arrive home to a stripped place if the wrong people hear about it. You can even ask this neighbor to park his car in your driveway if you live in a house.
Install light timers, it’s the least you can do to try and fool burglars you’re at home. Set them to turn the light on at sunset and off at dawn. Notify the firm that installed your home security system that you will be away and for how long. Tell them how you can be contacted, should they need to.
Take pictures of your property for insurance purposes, and of course, make sure that your renters insurance is up to date. Once all this is done, lock the doors and enjoy your holidays!