It’s finally summer vacation seasons. As school sessions come to an end for the year, families are thinking about time together at the beach or in the mountains, not about how vulnerable their homes are when they are left empty for extended periods of time.
We want your summer trips to be as worry-free as possible, so below are five categories of tips for making sure your home is ready for your family vacation.
1) Vacation Safety Tips
Make sure your home is secure as possible when you leave for the beach. The key is to make it appear as if it is lived-in:
- Request the newspaper and mail not be delivered while you are away.
- Leave lights on inside, or set automatic timers for lighting.
- Alert your trusted neighbors and have them look in on your house.
- Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
- Bring inside any spare keys you may have hidden on your property.
- Avoid putting details about your vacation plans on social media.
- Advertise your alarm system with signage.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
2) Air Conditioning Tips
Some suggest turning your air conditioning off entirely or setting the thermostat to its highest setting; however, your HVAC system is built to run regularly. Turning off your air conditioning completely can lead to several issues upon your return:
- Irregular usage of your HVAC can shorten its lifespan.
- When it has to restore your home to a comfortable temperature, your air conditioning might use as much or more energy than was saved by turning it off.
- Your air conditioning system reduces humidity and moisture levels inside your home. Turning it off for an extended time increases the risk of mold development while you are away.
Rather than turning your air conditioning off entirely, raise the temperature by about five degrees. This will help save energy while allowing your HVAC system function normally.
In addition to making sure your system continues to run:
- Make sure air filters are clean and clear
- Make sure there is proper airflow around the outdoor unit
- Make sure vents in all rooms are open and unobstructed
- Make sure blinds and curtains are closed (except what is necessary to make your home appear to be lived-in)
- Make sure there are no leaks
3) Cleaning Tips
No one likes to return from vacation to a home that requires a thorough cleaning. Take out the trash, vacuum, do your laundry, and do not leave a mess. This will help morale when your family returns and prevent opening the door to a smelly home.
Remember: it is a fire risk to run the dryer when leaving the home.
4) Outdoor Tips
Similar to the cleaning tips, make sure your yard looks decent before your leave. Cut the grass, trim the hedges, and clean up any debris. In addition to helping morale when you return from vacation, this practice will help your home appear to be lived-in.
5) Indoor Tips
Before you leave for vacation, throw out any items that will spoil before you return. Insomuch as you can however, leave something for your family to eat the night you return and the next morning. This will help you relax and spend as much time with your family as possible before returning to the real world.
If you have any other vacation preparation tips, we would love to hear from you. If you suspect your HVAC system is not ready for your lengthy getaway, contact us.