It’s summer, and it’s time to hit the road for vacation. Your trip is booked and your bags are packed, but what about your home?
There are a few things you can do before you leave for vacation to ensure that your home is safe and sound when you return. After all, home is the last thing you should have to worry about when you are away.
Check Expiration Dates
The last thing you want is to come home to a smelly house caused by food that’s gone bad while you were away. The day before you leave, go through the refrigerator and remove anything that’s likely to go bad while you’re away. The same thing goes for fruit or other items that are stored at room temperature.
Rather than throwing the food away, try to freeze as many items as possible, or give it away to friends and neighbors. A clean pantry and fridge will also keep bugs and other pests from getting in.
These days, just about everything in your home can be placed on a timer. You can program your lights and thermostat to turn off and on at certain times to ensure that your house does not get too hot or cold — and that it does not look completely dark and deserted.
You can also keep an eye on many of these same things through remote monitoring apps like the Nest thermostat and August Home Security. The decision about whether to utilize these tools depends on how connected you want to be to your home while you are on vacation.
Disconnect and Unplug
No matter whether you use monitoring apps, there are a few things that should be completely turned off during vacation. Turn off the main water line so that you do not come home to a flooded basement if something happens that you can’t see. Turning off the water is not recommended in the winter when pipe freezes are more likely, but is not a problem during the warmer summer months.
In addition, unplug any major appliances and electronics. Not only will this reduce the electricity used, but it will also decrease the risk of electrical fires that can damage your home.