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7 Things to do Before Leaving on Vacation

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Heading to the lake this weekend? The last thing you should be worrying about on the boat is a flooded basement or intruder. Before you go, secure your home with these seven steps.

  1. Adjust the thermostat Adjusting your thermostat is a great way to save money while out of town, but it is important to do it correctly. Before leaving for vacation, add four degrees to the temperature your thermostat is normally set to. For example, if your thermostat is usually set to 72, set the temperature to 76 while you're away. Resist the urge to turn the air off completely. If the temperature becomes too high, you may spend what you would save trying to get it back down. High humidity levels could also lead to mold and mildew within the walls. To avoid damage and save money, keep the airflow circulating with your AC while you are gone. 
  2. Turn off the main water supply A leak or water break can be catastrophic if no one is home. Don't risk the chance of water damage while away--turn off the main water supply. Another option is to install a water detection device. Leak detectors can alert you to water or a change in the humidity inside your home, and a wet switch goes even further by automatically shutting off your water supply in the case of a leak.
  3. Install smart technology Nothing will give you more peace of mind while on vacation than a direct view into your home. Install a smart thermostat, smoke & carbon monoxide detector, and security cameras. That way, you can keep tabs on your home directly from your phone, even while out of the country.
  4. Unplug Electronics Unplug small electronics and power strips. Unplug all appliances and anything that creates heat. If you have anything set on a timer (like a coffee maker) be sure to unplug it before heading out of town.
  5. Check the Sump Pump A working sump pump is vital in case of a large storm or rainfall. A properly working sump pump will keep water from flooding your basement, which could cause significant damage. We evaluate sump pumps in our Plumbing System Checks (included in Home Warranty Plus and Service Plans without a service fee), or you can follow our step-by-step guide.
  6. Clean Your Garbage Disposal Leftover food in the garbage disposal invites ants, bugs, and mold. The easiest way to clean a disposal is with a lemon. Cut a lemon into small wedges. With the water on and the garbage disposal running, add one at a time. Allow disposal to grind lemon thoroughly. Also, make sure to remove the rubber baffle, since food often gets stuck on the backside. Run it through the dishwasher or wash it by hand to keep it smelling fresh.
  7. Adjust Water Heater An easy way to save money while away is to set your water heater to 'vacation mode.' If you do not have 'vacation mode' on your water heater, turn down the temperature by ten degrees.