Whether you’re a snowbird, escaping the winter to enjoy a warmer climate, or you’re just taking an extended trip for work, there is a lot to plan when you will be away from town more than just a few days! You’ve probably thought about what clothes you want to bring and whether or not you need to pack that laptop, but what else can you do? It is vital that you prepare your home for winter while you’re absent too. This simple checklist should help you enjoy your trip with the confidence that you’ll be happy with what you come home to find.
- Protect Your Pipes
- If possible, turn off the water supply to your home. This is the best way to prevent a pipe bursting in your absence. If you do this, make sure all your pipes are drained and consider having a plumber blow air through the system to assure it is cleared out.
- If you can’t turn off the water supply, due to a sprinkler system or steam heater, you will want to make sure your home stays at a reasonably warm temperature. Consider using a programmable thermostat to keep it at a smart temperature without running your energy bill to an unacceptable limit.
- Another tip, if you must keep your water supply on, is to shut off water leading to the washing machine, dishwasher and other unused areas so there is less chance of a broken hose or leak occurring while you’re away.
- Shut off the outdoor water to avoid vandalism and other problems.
- Install a water flow and low-temperature sensor on your home that you can access with your smartphone. That way if there is an unexpected problem, you can contact someone locally to have it seen right away.
Perform Routine Maintenance Before Your Trip
- Have your HVAC system inspected and change your filter before you leave to assure the system will keep running smoothly even when you’re away.
- Change your HVAC filter before you leave so it will run properly and you won’t have a job to do right when you get home.
Prepare for Emergencies
- Install smoke detectors or add fire protection to your security system. Confirm sensors are working properly.
- Notify law enforcement the home will be vacant and provide a contact number where you can be reached.
- Enlist the assistance of a trusted friend or relative to drive by regularly and make sure everything is on the up and up. This person may notice problems and help you resolve them before they get out of hand.
- If the weather turns especially bad, have someone check your roof for ice dams that need to be dealt with immediately to avoid serious damage.
While there is much to do to prepare your home for an extended trip, it is much easier when you have an expert or two on your side! Contact us at KLEBS today and let us help you with those pre-trip preparations or to do a whole-house maintenance check. We are always here for you!