Taking a vacation with the family is very important. It allows you to create memories together and build a strong family bond. Besides summer and spring, winter can be a perfect time for a family vacation. You can escape the cold winter weather and enjoy a month-long vacation in a warmer region.
However, there’s one thing you need to consider—leaving an empty house. According to Park Insurance, an empty home in the winter is more susceptible to damage and criminal intrusion given the weather and lack of natural light. Now, thinking about that, you will never be able to enjoy your vacation with your loved ones. To have a worry-free winter vacation, check out this easy home preparation checklist.
1. Clean and disinfect the house.
Whenever you are staying away from home for weeks or months, never leave your home indoors cluttered and disorganized. Otherwise, insects and pests will enter your home and damage your valuables. Empty all your trash bins and take the garbage out. Additionally, make sure to dry up surfaces around your home since damp or wet surfaces encourage mold growth. If you don’t have enough time to clean your house, you can hire professional cleaners who can do the work excellently for you.
2. Shut off the main water valve.
To save your home from water damage due to leaks or burst pipes, be sure to turn off the main water supply to your property. A plumbing failure can cause serious water loss and damages to your home when nobody is around to fix it immediately. Ask your plumber about the correct location of your main water valve and how to operate the same.
3. Install a smart lighting system.
Since the days are shorter in winter, total darkness will surround your home if you turn off your lighting system. On the other hand, leaving your indoor and outdoor lights on 24 hours a day may result in overheating and higher energy bills to pay at the end of the month. Installing a smart lighting system is the solution to your problem. With smart systems, you can take control of your home’s lighting on your laptop or mobile device from any location. This allows you to monitor your home in real time and call on the police for any suspicious activity occurring on your property.
4. Unplug all unnecessary electrical appliances.
A fire outbreak can happen at any time, even during the cold winter months. The National Fire Protection Association reported that nearly two of five fires (39%) involving electrical failure or malfunction occurred in the cold weather months from November through February. If you are planning an extended vacation with your loved ones, don’t forget about unplugging all unnecessary appliances before you leave. To save on space heating, make use of an energy-efficient smart thermostat that allows you to make adjustments to your heating system whenever necessary.
5. Check your gutters.
Clogged and broken gutters are potential causes of water damage in a home. Gutters are designed to direct the flow of rainwater away from your home. When your gutter is clogged with leaves, dead animals, and other dirt debris, it will not be able to do its job properly. Rainwater will pool around the gutter and run down your side walls, weakening the structure until water is finally able to seep into your interior. For cleaning your gutter, use a trowel or gutter scoop for a much neater result.
6. Install a security alarm.
While most burglaries happen in summer, it doesn’t mean your residential property is entirely safe in winter. Some burglars look forward to winter since many people will be away from home for the winter holiday vacation. Installing a security alarm can help prevent crimes like burglary and robbery from happening on your property. In case of forced entry into your home, the alarm will sound, prompting your neighbors to call the police to check on your property.
7. Get your heating system ready.
A steady supply of heat inside your home is essential for preventing water lines from freezing and bursting. Before you leave for winter vacation, make sure to call the pros to check on your heating system. Scheduling a central heating repair is ideal in early fall since most HVAC repair companies have more availability during this season.
8. Bundle up your home.
Taking the time to bundle up your home will save your furniture and appliances from damages due to the cold weather. To keep your home safe and warm in winter, repair cracks, holes, and gaps around your home. Don’t forget to cover up or bring inside outdoor furniture that could be damaged by snow.
Invest in a new furnace installation this winter
Your furnace system may no longer run as efficiently as before due to old age. To save you money from repairs and indoor heating costs, install a newer, high-efficiency unit. To get an idea about the costs of a new furnace installation, don’t hesitate to talk to a trusted HVAC company. Professional technicians can help you choose the heating system that is right for your residential property. Talk to the pros today!