Heating Your Home When You’re On Vacation

November 26, 2013

The winter season brings many holidays. Whether you are visiting family in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, escaping Ohio’s cold winters and heading to Florida for Christmas, or ringing in the new year in Time’s Square, winter season brings frequent travel and vacation.

By now, you’ve probably developed an efficient heating method when you’re home—keeping a comfortably warm home through the use of a programmable thermostat or energy-efficient furnace. But what do you do with your heating system when you go on vacation?

Setting Your Thermostat

If you’re not home in the winter—whether you are a snowbird or just taking a long weekend to visit the grandparents—you should set your thermostat between 50 and 60 degrees. This will ensure that your house stays warm enough to protect the water pipes in your home.

In Ohio, it can get below freezing during many nights in December. If your pipes freeze, they might burst as the water in them turns to ice and expands. This is not what you would want to come home to after a long day of travel, but luckily it’s preventable.

While it might be tempting to turn your heating off completely, you risk expensive damage and repairs. Doing this will also avoid overworking your furnace when you return home—it will take a lot of energy to heat even a medium-sized house back from freezing to adequate living temperatures.

Using a Programmable Thermostat

While programmable thermostats are extremely beneficial in cutting energy costs during the workweek and on weekends—keeping your home warm when you are home and saving on heating costs when everyone is out—many people don’t know that they can also be programed for vacations.

The vacations setting on many thermostats will help ensure that your temperature stays above 50 and keeps your water pipes from freezing. It can also work to begin warming up your house again closer to your arrival.

Other Tips for Preparing Your Home for Vacation

Aside from preparing your heating system for your time away, there are other measures that you can take to keep you and your home safe during your trip:

  • Install time-controlled lighting to deter burglars from easily spotting an empty, dark home
  • Set up your mail to be picked up by a trusted neighbor or help at the post office during your absence
  • Make sure that all your bills are paid or that expected bills won’t go unpaid during your vacation
  • Unplug any unnecessary electronics and appliances to prevent energy drain
  • Unless some household items require water (like an ice maker), turn off your water at the main shut-off valve to avoid coming home to a plumbing leak
  • Throw out any perishables in your refrigerator so that you don’t come home to spoiled, moldy food
  • If you expect snow, ask if a neighbor can shovel it—unmarked snow can also signal to criminals that no one is home
  • Let your credit card companies know where you will be traveling so that they don’t freeze your account when a charge is made hundreds of miles away from home

Heating Services in Morrow, Ohio

Whether you are home or away this holiday season, contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling of Morrow, Ohio for all your heating needs. We can install, repair, or replace your furnace and programmable thermostat to prepare you for the colder months!