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Tips and Tricks When Leaving on Spring Break

Knightdale, NC, March 24, 2010 – It’s that time of year when families are making plans to go on vacation for spring break. Before you head out the door, it is important to look after your home.  Leaving on vacation is always a stressful endeavor and many times you forget to do something before you leave, and by then it’s too late! 

Below is a checklist of tips and tricks that will save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.

  1. Check all appliances and faucets.  Before leaving home you should check all appliances and faucets to make sure that they are off.  Accidentally leaving on a stove or a bathtub can cause fires or floods that could well cause permanent damage to your home.  Be sure that you unplug everything that you can unplug.  Also remember to turn off appliances that are on timers, like alarm clocks and coffee makers.  That way you’ll avoid accidents and driving your neighbors crazy!
  2. Unplug most electronic items especially those that are expensive or many have valuable data on them.  These can include your TV set, stereo, and especially computers.  If a storm comes through while you are away, these items can be damaged beyond repair simply by being plugged into the wall outlet. 
  3. There is no need for your water heater to continue to operate at a high level since it will not be used throughout the time that you are gone, so turn it down to a low setting.  You may also want to consider turning off the main water valve to the house while you’re gone.  This could be done in addition to turning the water heater off.
  4.  Set the heat to fifty degrees – not off, to prevent pipes from freezing – or your air conditioning to seventy-eight degrees in the summer if you are concerned about mildew.  Lee Hill, Vice-President of Weather Master, a local air conditioning business states that installing a programmable thermostat is a great option for travelers! 
    You can lower the temperatures in your home while you are out of town and then have it programmed to automatically return to a comfortable temperature before you arrive back home.  You’ll be saving money and reducing your energy usage, while not losing anything in comfort.
  5. Unplug your washing machine hoses.  These can easily break and if they do while you are away for several days it could cause near catastrophic flood damage to your home before you would be able to do anything about it.
  6. Have mail and/or newspapers held or picked up.  When newspapers and mail pipe up, it is a sure sign that the home is unoccupied and a prime target for thieves.  Have a trusted neighbor pick up these items and store them for you until you return home.  You can also have the post office hold your mail and pick it up when you return. 
  7. Don’t leave a message on your phone voicemail or email that you are out of town.
  8. Set timers for your lights.  Setting lights on timers is a great way to make your home appear as if people are home, even if in fact the place is deserted.  Also leaving a radio or some other noise going in the house that makes sound will make it seem like someone is home.
  9. Lock all windows and doors throughout your home.  Pull blinds down and close drapes.  Make sure to hide jewelry and valuable or move them to your safety deposit box.
  10. Disconnect the garage door so that it cannot be operated by from the outside.  Usually there is a lever that you can pull on the opener that can accomplish this easily.
  11. Remove any perishable food from your refrigerator.  Consider making a meal to put in your freezer so that you will have something to eat the first night you are back from vacation.
  12. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out on your home while you are away.  They should have a key for emergencies and a copy of your itinerary in case they need to get a hold of you.  Also leave them with numbers for your plumber, electrician, alarm service and veterinarian (if applicable).  Your neighbor could even take your trashcans in and out for you to make it look like someone is still home.

Now go and enjoy your vacation!  Leave the stress behind, because you know that you have left your home safe and secure, just waiting for your return. 

Weather Master Heating & Air Conditioning
Weather Master Heating and Air has been serving Wake, Durham, Granville, Chatham and Johnston counties since 1977. By providing the very best in air conditioning equipment and service, Weather Master Heating and Air delivers world-class service with a small-company touch. They are committed to doing “Whatever It Takes” to deliver immediate comfort to North Carolinians. 

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