Five Tips to Prepare the Home for Summer Vacation

It is almost the time of year that families begin their summer vacations. Every detail of the trips is scheduled, but homeowners may forget to plan the most important thing – preparing their home to be vacant.

Tips to prepare the home before leaving for vacation:

  1. Adjust water heater – The water heater continues to warm the water inside the heater to the temperature it is set. There is no need to keep that water as warm when no one is home to use it. When going out of town for a week or more, set the dial to vacation mode. If the water heater does not have a vacation mode setting, set the temperature lower than normal. This will help save energy.
  2. Set air conditioning temperature – There is no need to keep the temperature as cool when no one is inside the home. It uses a significant amount of energy. The best practice is to set the temperature to 10 degrees higher than you normally have it set. Having a professional a programmable thermostat is a wise investment. You can adjust the temperature to begin cooling off the house right before returning from vacation.
  3. Clean garbage disposal – The waste disposal can expel an unpleasant odor if left idle for a few days. We suggest placing ½ cup of white vinegar with hot water into the garbage disposal while it is running. This will alleviate the build of odor-causing food residue.
  4. Turn off the water main valve – Just a small leak left unattended for a few days can cause thousands of dollars in water damage to a home. To prevent water leaks from occurring while the house is vacant, turn the main water valve off that leads into the home.
  5. Unplug electronics – Electronics that are plugged in continue to use energy even when they are not powered up. Unplug the televisions, phone chargers and computers in the home. This will also help prevent damage to the electronics from a power surge or lightning strike.
  6. Prevent stagnant water in toilet bowl – Standing water in a toilet bowl can create a ring inside the bowl and an unpleasant odor. Before leaving the home unoccupied, pour ½ cup of bleach into the toilet bowl.