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Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist: What to Do Before Going on Vacation

taking off HVAC vent

Summer is the perfect time for family vacations, road trips, and relaxing getaways. However, before you pack your bags and head off to your destination, it's crucial to ensure your home is prepared for your absence. Proper home maintenance can help prevent potential issues and give you peace of mind while you're away. Here’s your comprehensive summer home maintenance checklist to ensure everything runs smoothly in your absence.

1. Secure Your Home

Check Locks and Security Systems

Ensure all doors and windows have sturdy locks and that they are functioning correctly. If you have a security system, test it to confirm it’s working properly. Consider installing smart locks or a security camera system that allows you to monitor your home remotely.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be away. They can keep an eye on your property, collect your mail, and notify you if anything seems amiss. Leave them with your contact information and a spare key, just in case of emergencies.

2. Manage Your Utilities

Adjust Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat to a temperature that balances energy savings and humidity control. If you have a programmable or smart thermostat, use the vacation setting. Typically, setting your air conditioner to around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

Unplug Electronics

Unplug non-essential electronics to prevent them from consuming energy and to protect them from power surges. This includes TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets. For essential devices like your refrigerator, ensure it's running efficiently and at the correct temperature.

3. Prepare Your Plumbing

Turn Off the Water Supply

To prevent potential water damage from leaks, consider turning off the main water supply. If this isn’t feasible, at least shut off the valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, and sinks. Additionally, drain any standing water from hoses and outdoor faucets.

Check for Leaks

Inspect your plumbing for any signs of leaks or drips. Fixing these before you leave can prevent minor issues from becoming significant problems while you're away.

4. Maintain Your Garden and Lawn

Mow the Lawn

Mow your lawn just before you leave to keep your yard looking neat and deter potential burglars who might target unkempt homes. Set your lawn mower blade to a higher setting to ensure the grass stays healthier during hot weather.

Watering System

Set up an automatic watering system to keep your plants and lawn hydrated. Ensure your sprinklers are functioning correctly and adjust the timer to water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce water evaporation.

Prune and Trim

Trim bushes and trees to keep them tidy and reduce the risk of branches breaking off during a storm. Also, remove any dead plants or debris to avoid attracting pests.

5. Indoor Maintenance

Clean and Empty Trash

Take out all trash and recycling to avoid attracting pests and unpleasant odors. Clean your kitchen, including emptying the refrigerator of perishable items, wiping down surfaces, and ensuring the dishwasher is empty and left slightly open to prevent mold growth.

Check Smoke Detectors

Ensure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning and have fresh batteries. These safety devices are critical, especially when you're not home to respond quickly to emergencies.

6. Pest Control

Inspect for Entry Points

Examine your home for any potential entry points for pests, such as cracks or gaps in windows, doors, and the foundation. Seal these areas to prevent insects and rodents from entering.

Set Traps and Baits

Consider setting traps or bait stations in areas prone to pest activity. Alternatively, you can hire a pest control service to treat your home before you leave, providing extra protection against unwanted visitors.

7. Ensure Financial and Legal Preparedness

Hold Mail and Deliveries

Arrange for the post office to hold your mail or ask a neighbor to collect it for you. Cancel or pause any regular deliveries to avoid packages piling up at your doorstep.

Update Home Insurance

Check your home insurance policy to ensure it covers any potential issues that might arise while you're away. Make sure your coverage is adequate for your home's current value and contents.

8. Conduct a Final Walkthrough

Double-Check All Systems

Before you leave, do a final walkthrough of your home to ensure all systems are in order. Check that all windows and doors are locked, electronics are unplugged, and lights are set on timers if needed.

Document Your Home's Condition

Take photos or videos of your home’s current condition. This documentation can be invaluable if you need to make an insurance claim for any damage that occurs while you're away.

Trust In Tri-City Heating and Cooling This Summer

Taking the time to complete this summer home maintenance checklist before going on vacation can save you from potential headaches and ensure your home remains safe and secure. By addressing these essential tasks, you can relax and enjoy your vacation with the confidence that your home is well-prepared for your absence. And remember, for quality HVAC, plumbing, and electrical system maintenance designed to ensure your home appliances stay in top condition this summer and year round, you can always count on Tri-City Heating and Cooling.

Call Tri-City Heating and Cooling today at (203) 303-5700 or contact us online. Safe travels and happy summer!