6 Tips To Get Your House Ready for Your Winter Vacation

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s cold where I live; very, very cold. Nothing sounds more wonderful than a trip to somewhere tropical and warm for a few weeks. But before I can leave I have to get my house ready for my vacation. Not only can the following tips help you save energy and money while you’re gone, they can also save your home from disaster while you’re gone.

1. Turn down your thermostat. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t lower the temperature while they are gone. Setting your thermostat down to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit will save you on your electric bill and avoid wasting energy.

2. Turn off your water. My family learned the importance of this tip the hard way. While we were gone our furnace went out, the pipes froze, and then they burst after a warm spell. We came home to thousands of gallons of water in the house. By turning off the water and draining the pipes you can avoid the same unpleasant surprise upon your return home.

3. Have someone shovel your driveway.T his will not only make it look like someone is home, it will reduce the chances that you’ll need to use chemicals to melt packed snow or ice.

4. Use a timer for your lights. Again, reduce the chance of a break in with a timer that lights one or two lamps for a very short amount of time in the evening. There is no need to have a light on all the time, use the timer to have lights on for one or two hours to make it look like you’re home.

5. Unplug your other electronics. We all know about energy vampires by now. While you travel most of your electronics should be unplugged to reduced wasted power.

6. Turn down your hot water heater. Another energy waster, your hot water heater can suck power the entire time you’re gone. Since you won’t need any hot water while you’re gone go ahead and turn it way down for your trip.

Happy Travels!

(Image: Flickr Member Lucas Jans licensed for use under Creative Commons)