There are countless times during the year when you might have to leave your home for an extended period of time. Perhaps you’re heading home to help out with a family issue, you need to head out of town for a job interview or maybe you just got lucky and happen to be going on an epic (and probably very well deserved) vacation. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t have roommates (or your roommates are also taking a leave of absence at the same time), there are a few home maintenance tasks you need to take care of before you walk out the door.
1.) Take care of perishable foods. There aren’t many worse things than arriving home after a couple weeks only to walk into a kitchen filled with rotting, diseased food. Not only will your house reek, but you’ll also be attracting various pests, such as mice, cockroaches and fruit flies. So before you take off, make sure your perishable foods are kept to a minimum. Clean out everything in the refrigerator and make sure no fresh fruit or vegetables are left out on the counter. No need to throw it all out; you can have a house-sitter take whatever they would like or have a dinner party the night before you go. On the menu: anything that won’t make it until you return home.
2.) Minimize your energy use. If you’re not going to be home there’s no point in running energy to half the things you own. Unplug everything that isn’t necessary for your home’s maintenance while you’re away. Alarm clocks, lamps, blow dryers, exercise equipment, and make sure all the lights are off in rooms you won’t be using. Even if something is switched off, there is still energy running to it until it’s unplugged. Along with cutting down on your energy bill, unplugging everything will also help prevent electrical fires in your absence.
Keep any safety lights on, however. You’ll want any motion activated lights to be up and running. If you have any alarms or security cameras of course you should keep them plugged in.
3.) Set your heat to the right temp. If you’ve taken care of the perishable food and have no plants or animals to worry about, you won’t necessarily need to worry about keeping it cool. However, if you let it cool down too much, you could be in a world of hurt. Even though the summer months are known for warmer weather, you’ll want to make sure your thermostat is set to at least 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes of any kind.