If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, home safety while on vacation should be high on your list of priorities. Taking a few basic steps to get your home ready before you leave helps ensure you don’t come back to burst pipes or missing valuables.
- Protect your pipes – Even in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area’s warm winters, there’s always a chance temperatures could fall low enough to freeze your pipes. To prevent this, leave your heating system on but set the thermostat to around 55 degrees. Naturally, if your pets will be home, you’ll want the temperature a little higher. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily choose your home’s temperatures while you’re away and ensure you come back to a comfortable home.
- Prepare your water heater – Before you leave, shut off the circuit breaker or gas valve to your water heater. When you get back, let the hot water tap run for a minute before you power up the water heater again. This way you won’t damage the water heater by turning it on while it’s empty.
- Unplug your electronics – Plugged-in electrical items can draw electricity even when they’re not in use. If possible, clean out your refrigerator and unplug it. Before you head out, do a tour of your home to unplug your electronics and appliances. Make sure you get the TV, computer peripherals and countertop appliances in the kitchen and bathroom. You’ll save energy and reduce fire risks, too.
- Make your home look occupied – Preventing burglary is another important part of home safety while on vacation. To ward off would-be burglars, leave a few lamps plugged into self-timers and leave your curtains and blinds where they would be if you were home. Ask a neighbor to check your home periodically, collect your mail and bring your trash cans to the curb as usual.
For more tips on home safety while on vacation or for help winterizing your heating and cooling system, contact the pros at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc. We help homeowners around Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater stay safe and comfortable.