Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays. Except maybe the warm beach. Or the ski slopes with their fresh powder.
You and your family may very well be getting out of Charlotte for a couple of days to celebrate the holidays. In the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year, there are some quick action items you can take care of as you prepare your home to be safe and well-kept without you.
Top 8 Things to Do Before You Leave for the Holidays
1. Open Cabinets: Leave all the cabinet doors that are below sinks open to decrease the possibility of pipes freezing. Here’s a fun, albeit chilling, fact: Did you know that the temperature threshold - or the point where the likelihood of pipes freezing - is 20°F?
2. Adjust Thermostat: Don’t turn off your thermostat! Instead, adjust it down two to three degrees from normal. Here’s why - you want to maintain some warmth in your home while you’re away, and since you won’t be home to open doors, the garage, etc., your house won’t lose much energy.
3. Check Windows/Doors: Double check that all windows and doors are closed and locked. Aside from security concerns, an open window can lead to a higher energy bill.
4. Enlist the Experts: This is for all the families who might be leaving their home for several weeks - make sure your HVAC company checks your equipment for safety and any necessary repairs before you leave.
5. Monitor from Afar: Consider installing a WiFi thermostat to monitor your HVAC system from afar. The models we install will notify us if something’s wrong, which means that sometimes we catch a problem before you do. If that’s the case, we can arrange to have a technician meet you the moment you’re back home.
Also, our plumbing team has the capability to shut the water main off wirelessly. How does that work? If a water leak is sensed, it automatically turns your water off. Contact us to learn more about protecting your home via WiFi while you’re away.
6. Unplug: Unplug any unnecessary devices or appliances to keep the electricity usage down to a minimum. Your laptop doesn’t need a week to charge! To back that up with some numbers, consider this: a fully charged laptop computer that is plugged in uses 4.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a week, or about 235 kilowatt-hours a year. (Read more here.)
7. Clean the Fridge: Sort through the fridge and cupboards to discard any old, expired, or extra food you won’t eat. No one likes to come home to that less than jolly stench or mold.
8. Take out the Garbage: On that note - don’t forget to take out the trash before you go. No one likes to return home with that kind of odor in the air!
Again, we wish you a happy holiday and safe travels. Follow these steps, and you’ll return to a cost-effective, warm, and welcoming home ready for a new year ahead.