Preparing for a Winter Getaway

Now that the exhilaration of the holiday season has come and gone and the doldrums of the long winter months have begun to set in, you might start to feel a little antsy for a winter break getaway from home to some far away exotic — or even a nearby and only semi-exotic — vacation spot.

You stop the mail and the paper delivery and have a neighbor keeping an eye on the house for any strange visitors who might try to take advantage of your absence, but did you take some time to consider properly preparing your HVAC system for the lack of attention while you are gone?

Start by setting your thermostats down … temperatures around 50 degrees are plenty warm enough to keep water in the pipes throughout the home from freezing and to keep your house plants thriving (well, as long as someone is around to water them occasionally…). Nobody’s home, so there’s no need to heat the house to a comfortable temperature, and you’ll save on your heating bill as an added bonus.

Even with the temperature warm enough to keep the water from freezing, turn off the water supply to the toilets and washing machine anyways. Make sure there is adequate insulation around any water pipes that are near unheated areas, because it can’t hurt to make extra sure there won’t be a frozen pipe problem while you are gone. Check that furnace filter to make sure you have a clean one installed.

Open your interior doors to keep the heat circulating to all areas inside the home. This will eliminate cold spots where a pipe can freeze or plant die from the lack of warmth. Adjust the temperature setting of your water heater down … like your furnace, the water heater doesn’t need to be set at a temperature comfortable for humans when nobody is using the water. Again, you will see an energy savings that will grow with the amount of time you spend away.

Since you have someone checking the home, place a thermometer where it can be seen so he or she can tell the temperature inside. There are also electronic devices that plug into a wall receptacle that can turn on a light if the temperature falls to a dangerous level in the home.

Once these steps are taken, there will be fewer worries on your mind … and who wants worries when they are trying to relax on a tropical beach in some remote vacation destination?

For more expert advice on keeping your HVAC system running safely all winter whether you are at home or away, call Family Danz today at .