7 Things to do Before Leaving on Vacation


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 air flow circulating 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.
  3. Install smart technology Nothing will give you more peace of mind while on vacation than a direct view into your home. Install a Nest thermostat, a Nest protect (a smoke and carbon monoxide detector), and Nest security cameras. You can view live updates 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 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.
  6. Clean Your Garbage Disposal Leftover food can be left in the garbage disposal, inviting ants, bugs, and mold. The easiest way to clean a disposal is with a lemon. Cut a lemon in half. With the water on and the garbage disposal running, add each half one at a time. Allow disposal to grind lemon thoroughly.
  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 ten degrees.