A Dose of Preparation for a Ton of Vacation Fun

Prep your home for your time away.

Woohoo! You’re headed out on a relaxing vacation. How fun! Before you go, there are a few simple steps to take for a worry-free getaway! A list of chores to do?! Just what you were looking for! We promise, they won’t take too long, and you’ll be on your merry way soon.

Strangers shouldn’t know your vacation plans

When you’re only out of town for a few days, you can get away with leaving on a couple of lamps to make your home seem occupied. You’ll want to take further measures, though, if you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time. Some inexpensive lighting assistants, such as automatic timers, can turn your lights on and off at your selected intervals. Hey, maybe you could even hook up a strobe light or disco ball, and they’ll think you’re having a party!

Other than lighting, you should unplug any electrical devices that can be unplugged throughout your absence, such as your TV, toaster, Roomba, electric cheese grater, and especially that annoying, singing bass your husband has hanging on the wall. After all, why pay for an exaggerated electricity bill when you weren’t even home?

Another thing you’ll want to do is to let a friend, family member, or the ole’ neighborhood “watchdog” that you will be away. We’re sure they will be happy to keep an eye on things!

Your HVAC shouldn’t get a vacation

Many will tell you to turn off your HVAC unit entirely before leaving for an extended vacation. The logic is it will save you money on your electric bill, while also keeping your HVAC system living longer because it is not working as many days.

And, believe us, as a filter subscription company, we know all too well the importance of a long-lasting HVAC system!

But that’s really not the best plan of action. In fact, if you are leaving for a winter getaway, you’ll want to lower your thermostat to no lower than 50 degrees. This will ensure you don’t come home to frozen pipes! In fact, you may even want to go a step further and turn off the water supply to your home. Then open all faucets to drain, leaving one faucet open on the ground floor of your home allows air to pass and any excess water to drain.

For a summer getaway, on the other hand, setting the thermostat to about 85 degrees will be helpful to keep from unnecessarily running your unit. Turning your air conditioner off means it’ll no longer be removing the humidity from your air. That can leave your home vulnerable to various issues, such as:

  • Mold
  • Musty smells and odors
  • Peeling paint
  • Warped wood furniture

Also know that the temperature in your home will be very hot if you turn it off completely. Extremely high temperatures can lead to:

  • Harming sensitive electronics
  • Placing stress on your refrigerator will result in an increased energy bill, as well as a higher chance of break down
  • Spoiling food in your pantry
Vacation Preparation Checklist

Make your own Vacation Prep List

There’s always a few preparation activities that may only apply to you and your home. So, go ahead, make a little checklist. It’s one you can use every time you go away. Some suggestions:

  • Prep your pets
  • Give the boarding facility or pet sitter detailed instructions for care
  • Leave plenty of your pet's favorite foods, treats and toys
  • Don’t forget to stock any necessary medications and give detailed instructions
  • Prep your plants - both inside and outside
  • Ask someone to water your plants, and be sure to leave a list detailing all plants and their locations. Otherwise, invest in self-watering plant stakes.
  • Clean out your refrigerator
  • No one, and we mean no one, wants to come home to two-week-old shrimp lo mein.
  • Put your mail and newspapers on hold
  • Reach out and put a hold in place for your mail and newspaper delivery. After all, your mailbox can only hold so much.
  • Give your dirty clothes a wash and fold before you head out of town
  • You’ll be thankful when you don’t come home to a house that smells like a high school locker room.

A little bit of upfront work can result in a lot less worrying and whole lot more relaxing on vacation. We know how BADLY you need this vacation. So use our tips to help you make the most of it. Your vacation self will thank your working self!

Alec Lower

Content Writer

Alec is a third-year member of the team at Second Nature. He brings expert knowledge of a myriad of home air filtration topics including HVAC filters, filtration efficiency, and indoor air quality.