Planning on taking an extended vacation that takes you away from home for a long period of time? If so, making sure to prepare your house in advance for your long-term absence is a crucial step in your planning process. Here are some handy guidelines for ensuring that your home is safeguarded against any plumbing problems, appliance accidents or other common calamities while you are away.
Think About Your Thermostat
If your travel plans will be taking place during the winter months, make sure to set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees F. This will keep your house warm enough to prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting, which can lead to severe flooding and substantial water damage. If your long-term vacation will occur in the warmer months, you should plan to leave the AC unit on in order to keep mold, mildew, and other conditions caused by heat and humidity at bay. Adjust your thermostat to 85 degrees F or less to regulate usage of the air conditioning. Consider investing in a smart thermostat, which can be controlled via a handy smartphone app wherever you are. This is an easy, convenient way to make sure your home is always protected from weather-related plumbing and HVAC issues while you're gone.
Turn Water Off
According to Flatirons Plumbing of Boulder, Colorado, if you're going away for an extended period of time, simply plan to turn off your main water line before you leave. This can prevent plumbing leaks from occurring in your absence, which can result in extensive 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.
However, 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 practical to shut your water off at the main valve. Anyone who isn't dealing with these special considerations can and should turn it off to avoid facing major problems upon your return. By turning off the water before you leave, you may be saving yourself from a world of trouble when you get back!
Wrap Toilet Bowls With Plastic Wrap
It may sound like a juvenile prank for your family and friends, but it can actually save you from a stinky surprise upon your return! 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 symbols to prevent anyone from accidentally using the toilet with the wrap in place!
Unplug the Fridge
Apart from the main reason of not wanting the food in your refrigerator to turn into a moldy green science experiment while you're on your travels, 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 away from home for a very long time. This will conserve energy and allow the fridge to stop running when it's not in use.
Setting out on a long voyage or yoga retreat can be an exciting and rewarding experience you'll remember forever! After all, travel is a great way to meet new friends, make memories, and learn new things. By knowing how to properly take care of your house when you are on an extended vacation, you can have one less thing to worry about when you get home!