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Putting Your House in Vacation Mode

Dog laying on the beach

Going on vacation soon?  When you live in a colder climate such as Massachusetts, you may yearn for warmer temps about now.  Florida is an attractive state to visit during these cold and snowy days of winter.  If that is the case for you, read on for some helpful tips on preparing your cold climate home for your vacation.  That’s right, your house needs a little prep before you walk out the door to make sure you don’t walk back into a mess.

1.) Put your hot water tank on vacation mode.  There’s no point in continuing to heat the water in your 30, 40 or 50 gallon tank while you are gone.  It costs you precious dollars to keep that water up to temp the whole time you are on vacation, but if you switch the setting on your tank to vacation mode, you will cut down on your operating costs while you are away.

2.) Turn your thermostat down.  How warm does your house need to be while you are gone?  Warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing and to keep icicles from forming while you are away.  If you normally keep your thermostat at 66-68 degrees, try turning it down to 60. You could call Peter Needham to install a NEST learning thermostat that you can control from your phone.  Peter is NEST certified, and, with NEST, you can turn the thermostat back up when you are on your way home so you walk back into a nice and cozy warm home.

3.) Unplug appliances.  Don’t unplug your refrigerator, of course, but rather do unplug other appliances that are not necessary to keep plugged in. For instance you could unplug your computer, printer, treadmill, even your washer and dryer for starters.  If you look around your home, you can find many items that can be unplugged while you are gone.  Doing so can also save on your electric bill as plugged in electronics use “phantom” energy.

4.) Put lights on a timer to discourage burglars. Plug in a lamp or two to a timer or have an electrician (Ahem! Like Peter Needham) install timers on your light switches.  A well lit house is not attractive to would-be burglars. They are more likely to skip your house and go to a house that is completely dark.

5.) Turn the water off.  That’s right.  It happens. You go on vacation and a pipe bursts while you are gone and you come home to a flood.  Or, not as dramatic, a toilet handle gets stuck and in the mad rush to get out the door, you don’t notice that the toilet is running and your next water bill causes you a bout with indigestion.  Turning the water off is a good way to deter any water related catastrophes while you are gone.

6.) Spy on your house.  If you’re into tech and you don’t mind the expense, an indoor camera system that is connected to an app on your smart phone can give you a little more peace of mind. Then, while you are on vacation, you can periodically spy on your home to make sure all is well.  Ring makes a good system and the starting prices aren’t too bad.  Peter Needham can also help you with this type of installation.

On vacation

7.) Enjoy your vacation!

For more info on the installation of any of the items mentioned above, as always, call Peter at 781.396.4800.

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