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Ready Your Home for a Winter Break


If you’re planning to be out of town for an extended time during the holidays, take heed of the following recommendations to save some energy and keep your home safe.

Set the thermostat to 50 degrees. This is a happy midpoint that avoids wasting energy to warm an empty house while still preventing damage to pipes and plants. If sub-20-degree days are forecast for while you are away, drip faucets.
Turn off your electric water heater at the breaker or set it to the lowest temperature possible.
To avoid a fire hazard, unplug the washer and dryer when you leave. Disconnect the hoses leading to the washer to prevent them from freezing.
Unplug all small appliances. You’ll reduce the risk of a house fire and save a bit on your electric bill.
Don’t broadcast your travel plans on social media. Instead, share photos from your trip after you return.
If you set a timer for lights and sprinklers, make sure to switch up the times over the days you’ll be gone so it’s not obvious to any onlookers that the house is empty when lights go on at 6 p.m. every day like clockwork. If possible, stagger several timers that control different lights, to approximate the natural movement of someone through a house.
Close blinds and curtains. Don’t advertise your belongings to any would-be house burglars.
Be strategic about putting out post-holiday recycling and trash. If there are a lot of boxes from new gadgets or other expensive electronics, wait until you get back to put them out so they’re not sitting outside in full view for days. Or have a trusted neighbor set them by the curb on the appropriate day.
Place a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries, and ask a neighbor or friend to pick up any packages from your porch.

Image by Chad Robertson | iStock.com

Posted: 11/14/2019 10:48:00 AM
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