December has begun and with it comes the holidays. Where holidays are, winter vacations aren’t far behind. It’s important to take steps to prepare your home for your time away, both for safety and to keep your energy bills low. We’ve compiled an important checklist to run through before you head over the river and through the woods. If you need any help getting your HVAC system prepared for your trip, call Integrity AC and Heating today. We’re Phoenix’s HVAC experts!
- Unplug any electronic devices that do not need to be plugged in while you are away. Toasters, computers, TVs, and clocks can all be unplugged before a trip. Not only will you be reducing the amount of energy being used in your home while you’re gone, you’ll also be able to avoid the danger of an electrical fire. Leave your refrigerator plugged in and consider putting timers on your lights for an extra security measure.
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Nobody wants to walk in the door after a nice relaxing vacation only to be greeted by the stench of food that has since gone bad. Clean out your sink traps and garbage disposal as well if possible. These are often overlooked and can produce quite a disturbing odor if left unchecked for too long.
- Set your thermostat low. If there are no people or animals that will be staying in the house, we recommend setting it to 50 degrees to prevent pipes freezing in case of a sudden, unexpected drop in temperature. Of course, if you are going to have pets or plants staying in your home while you are gone, adjust the temperature accordingly. You can also adjust this while you’re on vacation with a programmable thermostat connected to your phone or laptop.
- Turn off your water supply and drain all faucets by opening them. Leave one of your faucets open on the lowest level of your home to allow air and excess water to drain. This will also help avoid frozen pipes in case of severely low temperatures. (Rare in Phoenix, we know, but it’s better to be safe than sorry)
- Either turn off your water heater or turn its temperature low to keep energy bills low while you’re gone.
- Get a friend to help you out while you’re gone. Depending on your needs, that might just be picking up your mail and checking on the house, or it could be as much as shoveling the driveway or taking care of your pets and houseplants. Make sure this friend has both your contact information and a good knowledge of your home and your expectations.
- Advise any in-home professionals that may make regular stops at your house (milkmen, landscapers, etc.) that you will not be home. Provide them with instructions regarding how to proceed with their service in your absence.
- Drain and close your swimming pool, if you have one, to prevent any accidental injury or damage while you are gone.
- Clean your home before you leave. While this isn’t a necessary step, who doesn’t like to come home from a long, tiring trip to a nice and clean home. Just a touch that you’ll appreciate down the road. Almost like a present to yourself.
While Phoenix doesn’t have winters that are nearly as extreme as many places in the country, it’s still important to stay cautious and take steps to reduce your energy bills when you aren’t home. If you want to make sure your HVAC system works efficiently while you’re away, call Integrity AC and Heating today! Our experts are here to help you get the most out of your Heating and Air Conditioning unit.