Winter Vacation Preparations

Posted on Feb 15, 2013 by 1 Comment
Winter Vacation Preparations

We have a family in our neighborhood that goes to Florida each winter for six weeks. SIX WEEKS!

They homeschool their daughter while they’re down there and they just … relax.

It’s a life I can’t imagine.

But with that said, there’s also a downside. Like when your pipes freeze and burst and you’re 2,000+ miles from home. That’s a major bummer … especially when it floods your basement and that’s where both of your home offices are. Ugh.

With that said, lots of families vacation in the winter and don’t have major household accidents like this one. So, what’s the best way to prep for a cold-weather vacation? Besides packing your suitcase for warmer temps? There’s several things you should do around the house before you head out … even if you’re just going for a few days.

Unplug your stuff! It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people head out the door and leave all their stuff plugged in. This is important for two reasons: number one, you’ll save on electricity. Second, if there is a storm while you’re away and your neighborhood looses power, there could be a power surge when the electric company gets things back on. That power surge could totally ruin your electronics.

Drain your pipes. After the story of my neighbors, I feel like this couldn’t be more obvious. The alternative is to set your thermostat back to a low, low 55 degrees. Then things will stay warm enough to avoid a total freeze. But if you’re going to be gone any length of time, turn off your main water valve, open the taps in your faucets, and just let what water is left drain out. Simple.

Turn off your hot water heater. If you don’t have hot water on demand (meaning you still have a tank in your basement), you’ll want to turn off your hot water heater. If you don’t, your heat will run to heat the water in the tank … even though you’re not going to be home to use it.

Turn down the heat. Again, no brainer here. But if you live in a cooler climate, “turning it down” might mean different things to different people. Because we typically run our heat around 66, turing it down for our vacation might look like 58; in reality, we could turn it as low as 55, not have to worry about the pipes freezing, and still not have to make our furnace work very hard to warm things back up when we get home.

What kind of vacation prep do you do at your house?

photo credit: Bryn Pinzgauer via photopin cc

Posted in: For The Home
Stacie McClintock

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Comments

  • http://www.momhomeguide.com/ MomHomeGuide

    If you vacation in the winter, it’s also a good idea to get a service or ask a neighbor to shovel for you if it snows — having a driveway or walkway that’s not cleared of snow is a giveaway that you’re not home!