How-To Prep Your Home for Vacation
Change the setting on the water heater – There is no need to heat water in an empty home. A lot of homeowners don't realize their water heater may have a vacation mode for this very purpose. Prior to leaving, adjust the water heater to vacation mode. If the water heater does not have a vacation mode, turn the temperature down. This will save a significant amount of money on utility bills.
Turn off the water while you're away – The last thing you want is to come home to a high bill due to a leak, or worse, flooding. If there's an emergency water shutoff valve in a convenient location, that can be used to turn off the water supply. If not, special tools can be inexpensively purchased and used to shut the water off at the water meter, usually in the yard close to the road. The last thing anyone needs is a water pipe leaking dozens or hundreds of gallons of water every day while they're away.
Clean garbage disposals – Garbage disposals can be a great tool for cleaning up. They can also store nasty odors and bits of food that attract pests. Homemade remedies to flush this out can include warm water, vinegar and/or baking soda. Flushing the garbage disposal before departure means no smelly surprises are waiting for your return.
Treat stagnant water in toilet – Water left inactive in the toilet can produce a foul odor and a difficult to remove ring that forms around the toilet bowl. To prevent this, place ½ cup of bleach in the toilet bowl just before leaving home.