As many of you know, when you go on vacation there are things that tend to cross your mind back at the house. Did I forget to do this; did I forget to do that? This adds undue stress during a time you should be stress free. As our vacation is getting closer, I thought I would create a list of items to help reduce stress when on vacation while saving money.
- Check your iron – one of the biggest worries when someone leaves the house is if they turned off the iron before they left. A good investment is purchasing irons that automatically shut off after roughly 10 minutes. These are not expensive and considering the issues leaving an iron on could have makes it well worth the investment.
- Check your stove/oven – before leaving, make sure you have turned off your stove and oven. Just like the iron, people will also stress out whether the stove and oven were turned off.
- Adjust your thermostat – in the summer time, the AC is one of the biggest costs to your house. There is no point of running the AC if you are going to be gone for a significant amount of time. Typically when we leave, we will set it at 88 degrees. Some people turn theirs off. If you are leaving in the winter time, do not turn your thermostat off. If temperatures drop below freezing, it may cause your pipes to freeze and burst leaving you with an extremely high water bill as well as a huge mess. We turn our thermostat down to 50-55 degrees. One tip I learned recently from my parents is to open the cabinet doors to any sinks facing an exterior wall. When the cabinets are closed, the 55 degree air may not penetrate this area causing it to be cooler than the rest of the house. If you open the cabinet doors, the warmer air will be allowed to circulate better ensuring the pipes do not freeze.
- Turn off your water – if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Neither does a busted pipe when you are not around. By turning your water off you eliminate the risks of pipes bursting as well as water running through leaky faucets or toilets you have not yet discovered. When you get home and turn on your water, keep an ear out for running water. This may show you where there are leaks in the house.
- Adjust your hot water heater – If you have an electric hot water heater, just turn it off at the circuit breaker. I know people who do this on a daily basis to save on their electric bill only to turn it on when they need hot water. If you have a gas water heater, do not turn it off as the pilot light will go out and will allow gas to spread throughout the house. There should be a knob on the tank that will allow you to turn the water temp down to a vacation mode setting. If you know how to safely light a pilot, you may think about turning off the gas to your home as well. I never did this myself because I did not want to overlook lighting a pilot.
- Unplug items that do not need to run while you are away – before leaving, unplug your small appliances, computers and other items you do not need that draws unnecessary electricity while you are away. We have a second freezer that I plan on consolidating the items to our main since there is not much left in it.
- Check your iron and stove/oven again
Do you have any other money saving tips you do before leaving the house for a certain amount of time?