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Will You Be Away from Home in 2019?

December 31, 2018

Home Watcher


Here are some helpful tips for homeowners who will be traveling or plan to be away in 2019.

1. Consider turning off the water main when you are away from home - the greatest risk to your home is from water (leaks, weather).  We don't recommend turning off those little valves near your toilet or under sinks - since they can easily break.  However, don't turn off the main if you have a humidity or boiler heating system that needs an active water supply.

2. Do not turn off the gas - seems like Captain Obvious but people have done it. Gas heat does not work very well without a gas supply...:-))

3. Make sure that all of your house windows are locked - as a result, someone may have opened them in summer and forgotten to lock securely.  Check the back (side, deck, garage entry) door too.

4. Don't set the heat too low.  55 F is a min target, 65 F is better.  Every home is different and every house has "cold spots". Consider leaving doors and cabinets open when you are away from home so heat and air circulate especially if water pipes travel through or behind one of those cold spots.  The amount saved in HVAC costs pales in comparison to the costs and headache from a frozen/burst water line.

5. Outside hose bibs - Turn the water off inside and then drain, otherwise they can freeze and burst.  If water is on then it will run and run. 

6. Set multiple timers with alternate times if you can and vary between music and lights. Put valuables away and out of view (same with items in car - make sure the car is locked too)

7. Close the blinds on French/patio doors.  Remember to wedge the door with a broomstick or a security device (you can get at most big box stores).

8. Turn off your PC and WIFI router - unless you will need to remote in for access to a file or server.  No need to project the SSID and waste energy if no one is around.

9. Cancel deliveries if extended absence - nothing gives away an empty home like papers piling up in the driveway.  Consider stopping mail too.

10. Have someone (someone reliable like Golden Rule Home Watch) look in on your Northern Virginia home periodically to make sure things are ok...;-)

....and DO NOT put any posts on social media that you will be away.

Lastly, remember to put an ice scraper/brush in your car (if you did not do so already...) if you will be traveling to cold areas of the country.  It is very annoying to have to buy another one when on the road, knowing that you have 3 back home.....

Have a great Trip!

The Golden Rule team will look after your Northern Virginia home for you when you are away. or 855-928-2424

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