Going out of town for an extended trip? If your travels take you away from home for a long period of time, it's essential to make sure your house is prepared in advance for your absence. Here are some helpful hints for preventing plumbing issues, appliance malfunctions and other household calamities while you are away.
Set Your Thermostat
If you will be leaving your house unattended during the winter months, make sure that your thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees. This will keep your house warm enough to prevent freezing and bursting water pipes, which can cause severe flooding and water damage. If travels take you away from home during warmer weather, you should leave the air conditioning unit running in order to prevent mold, mildew, and other conditions caused by heat and humidity. It's wise to set your thermostat to 85 degrees or less to control usage of the air conditioning. If you can, invest in a smart thermostat, which can be remotely controlled via a handy smartphone app no matter where you are. This is an easy, convenient way to make sure your home is always protected from weather-related plumbing and HVAC issues while you're away.
Turn Water Off
According to Boulder Colorado's Flatirons Plumbing, when you are going to be away for an extended period of time, it's a good idea to turn off your main water line. This can prevent plumbing leaks from occurring in your absence, which can result in significant water damage and costly repairs. After shutting off the main water valve, let your kitchen and bathroom faucets run dry, ensuring that no water is left in the pipes.
However, certain circumstances may not allow for a complete shut-off of your water supply. For example, if you have a sprinkler system that needs to run while you are away, or if your heating system operates with steam radiators or hot water, it is not a good idea to shut your water off at the main valve. However, anyone who doesn't have these special considerations may turn it off to avoid unforeseen plumbing problems upon your return. By shutting off the water before you leave, you are potentially saving yourself a major headache when you get back!
Wrap Toilet Bowls With Plastic Wrap
No, this isn't an elaborate prank for your family and friends! By wrapping your toilet bowls, you are preventing stinky sewer fumes from entering your home due to non-use of your toilet. Leaving your toilets unwrapped can result in a less-than-pleasant "welcome home" when you walk in the door. Just be sure to mark the cling wrap with a big black "X" or other warning symbols to prevent anyone from accidentally using the toilet with the wrap in place!
Empty the Fridge
Apart from the main reason of not wanting the food in your refrigerator to turn into a moldy, smelly science experiment while you're away, it's also a good idea to rid the fridge of all perishables so you can completely defrost and unplug it if you're going to be gone for a very long time. This will conserve energy since the fridge won't need to keep running when it's not in use.
Travel is one of the best ways to meet new friends, share new experiences, and learn about different cultures. But the last thing you need during your yoga retreat is the sudden realization that your home is threatened. By learning how to properly take care of your home prior to a long absence, you can enjoy your adventures without having to worry about what's waiting for you when you return!