Going on a vacation this summer? Before you pack your bags, make a checklist to ensure your home will be safe while you’re away.
“A few simple actions can reduce your energy bill, and help you avoid emergency repairs when you return home,” says Ted Fox, owner of Fox Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical in Vernon.
- Close windows and blinds: During the hot Okanagan summer it’s always a good idea to keep windows and blinds closed during the day. If you’re heading on vacation, closing windows helps keep your house cool as well as increasing security.
- Adjust the thermostat: Raise your home thermostat by about four degrees to save on air conditioning costs, while still keeping your home and appliances reasonably cool. Adjust the hot water heater to its lowest setting, but don’t turn it off completely. “It takes a lot of energy to significantly heat or cool your home, but doesn’t take as much to maintain a moderate temperature,” Fox says. “If you have a smart thermostat, you can even control the temperature from your phone so the house is the perfect temperature when you get home.”
- Turn off water valves: “Even a small leak can cause substantial damage over time,” Fox says. Turn off your home’s main water valve, or just the valves for your washing machine, dishwasher and toilets.
- Unplug nonessential appliances: Toasters, televisions and other appliances can drain a small amount of electricity, even when they’re turned off. Save money by unplugging them, and reduce the risk of an electrical fire at the same time.
- Set lights on a timer: Place a few indoor lights on a timer to make it seem like someone’s still at home, or better yet, install architectural lighting that can be controlled using your smartphone.
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For more home maintenance tips and exclusive savings, visit foxandsons.ca or follow them on Facebook. Call 1-833-793-4569 to request service for plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical issues, or schedule service online.