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Vacation Tips: 7 Important Things to Do Before You Leave

Before you drive out the driveway on that long-anticipated summer vacation—or even for a long 4th of July weekend—here are a few vacation tips to do around the house to keep it safe, secure and energy efficient.

You don’t want to return home after a relaxing break to some preventable problem, so take a few minutes for these tasks.

  1. Put your mail and newspaper deliveries on hold. Nothing says, “I’m not home so come on in and take my stuff!” louder than a big pile of newspapers piled up at the door.
  2. Set thermostat for away temperature (upper 70s in summer, upper 50s in winter — the rule of thumb is 10 degrees off of what your normal temperature is). If you have a Honeywell smart thermostat, you don’t have to worry about this one, because you can change the temperature of your home from anywhere using your smartphone! (We love these and would love to show you how simple it is to make your home “smart.”) Why not turn the A/C off altogether? You’ll want it running to keep the humidity at bay, so mold and mildew don’t become your newest neighbors
  3. Spare key hidden outside? Take it out of its hiding place before you go. Should a burglar figure out you are out of town, he will take his leisure looking for the hidden key. And they know all the places to look, too.
  4. Put a few lights on timers and consider doing the same with the radio or TV, too.
  5. Adjust your refrigerator’s temperature. Take the thermostat off of the supercool setting. This will keep the refrigerator from blowing a circuit while you’re away. A closed-up house can raise the kitchen temperature, and increase a refrigerator’s energy use by up to 50 percent in summer.
    unplugging small appliances when not in use can save on electricity
  6. Unplug! Your toaster, coffee maker, dryer, printer, computer, radios, televisions, and phones not connected to an answering machine can be unplugged. You’ll save electricity and also eliminate the risk of a power surge blowing out a machine. If you unplug all of those little appliances when they are not in use regularly (that is, even when you are home) you can save 5-10% on your electric bill! Use power strips and just turn them off to make the task less daunting.
  7. If you use gas, turn off the pilot light and shut down the water heater. Shut off the water to the dishwasher and the clothes washer; pressure surges while you’re gone could otherwise burst a hose. (Consider installing a Lyric leak detector. The Lyric™ Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector sends an alert to your smartphone if a leak is detected at home. No matter where you are, catch leaks early so you can help avoid expensive repairs. Just ask us about this).
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