Prepping Your Home for Your Summer Vacation

If you’re planning a trip this summer, you’re in good company. More than eight in ten U.S. adults plan at least one summer vacation, and this number continues to increase since the pandemic. But while putting together an itinerary and scheduling excursions can be fun, there are a few back-home items that are also important to consider. Below, we list a few items you’ll definitely want to have on your summer vacation prep checklist.

Adjust Your Thermostat

It doesn’t make financial or ecological sense to pay for air conditioning no one gets to enjoy. On the other hand, turning your air conditioner all the way off can damage your home and cause your system to work harder when you return. One of your air conditioner’s most important functions is to manage humidity inside your home, and leaving your air conditioner off during the hottest summer months can lead to mold and mildew growth. Experts recommend setting your thermostat 5-10 degrees higher than your usual setting to conserve energy while keeping your home healthy.

It’s also worth noting that when you return, turning your thermostat down to the absolute coldest setting won’t cool your home any faster. Instead, set the thermostat to its normal summer setting and give it an hour or two to adjust your home’s temperature.

Better yet, do yourself a favor and enjoy year round convenience by making the switch to a smart thermostat. That way, you can control your home’s temperature while you’re away and won’t need to wait until you’re home to adjust it to your preferred setting.

Turn Off Your Water Lines

Few things can cause serious damage as quickly as water in unexpected places. This makes it even more important to prevent major catastrophe should your pipes burst or leak while you’re away from home. Even a minor leak could cause major damage if it’s not detected for a few days, and remediation can be an expensive hassle. By turning off your water supply, you’ll be sure to minimize any damage even if the worst should happen while you’re away. Not sure how to shut off your water lines? Connect with North East today for help.

Close Your Blinds

Not only can closing your blinds keep nosy neighbors and passersby from discovering your home is unoccupied, but it can also help conserve energy by blocking the sun’s heat from entering your home. You don’t need special blackout shades for this effect—closing any type of blinds can decrease your home’s temperature by a couple of degrees or more and reduce the amount of work your air conditioner has to do.

Seal Your Building Envelope

Your building envelope refers to the barrier between the inside and outside of your home. Every opening placed in this barrier, such as windows, doors, and skylights, can leave your building envelope susceptible to leaking, making it harder for your home to maintain a desired temperature. Sealing the envelope before a trip by firmly shutting and latching all your windows and checking the weather stripping around your doors can ensure that your HVAC system is working at peak efficiency. (And, just like keeping your blinds closed, it can also make your home a less inviting target for any would-be burglars.)

Unplug Your Electronics and Appliances

Though it’s not HVAC or plumbing related, if you’re already taking the time to save energy while you’re away, you should also consider unplugging non-vital electronics and appliances—things like your coffeemaker, computer, televisions, and any electronics chargers. These types of electronics are often called “energy vampires” because they use a small amount of electricity simply by being plugged in 24/7. Unplugging them, in combination with raising your thermostat setting, should go a long way to reduce your energy bill while you’re away.

Header photo by Datingscout on Unsplash


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