If you’re lucky enough to escape the winter weather in Maryland for a short vacation, don’t ruin your return by forgetting to “winterize” your home. Here are some things to remember before you jet off to the tropics or get on that cruise ship to the balmy Caribbean.
- It’s a good idea to turn down your heat before you leave so that you’re not heating an empty house for five or seven days. But, don’t turn the furnace off. First, it takes too long to heat the house back up to a normal temperature upon your return. More importantly, if you turn the heat down too low, you are in danger of your pipes freezing, causing a possible burst. A programmable thermostat is ideal for these situations, especially one that can be monitored on-line. You can turn the heat back up prior to your return so you come back to a cozy, warm house.
- We recommend turning off your main water supply, as well as your hot water. A leak or a burst can be disastrous, draining hundreds of gallons of water from your hot water heater onto the floor. A simple turn of a handle, and you can eliminate what could turn into a major headache.
- Check your sump pump to be sure it’s working. If you have back-up, make sure it’s working too. If there is a major snow or rain storm in your absence, you’re less likely to end up with a flooded basement if the sump pump is working.
- Unplug electronics. Again, in the event of a storm, there’s the likelihood of a power surge, which could damage your electronic devices. In addition, they are constantly running, so they are using energy. By unplugging them, you may save on your energy bill and keep your electronics and home safe.