Things To Turn Off When Leaving Your Home For Extended Periods (2024)

Question: I am going on vacation for 2 months and I am wondering what to turn off and what to leave on in my home? I do not want to come home to a flood or melted food in my refrigerator. Can you tell me everything I can do to make my home safe and disaster proof when I am away? Answer: If you are going to be away from your home for long periods of time, here is what to turn off. Whether you are going on a long vacation (holiday), a business trip, or leaving your home empty for whatever reason, here are some important tips to keep your home safe.

Should I turn the water off? The MOST important is WATER!. If any pipe or water line bursts, your house will flood. To avoid this, you need to turn off the water supply to your home. Turning off the water to your whole house will make it impossible to have a flood caused by a broken pipe. A water flood will destroy your carpets, flooring, drywall, appliances and more. Your homes main water supply shut-off valve should be located in your garage, in the yard, or out near the street under a panel that has the label “water” on the top. If you are leaving for more than a few days, it is best to turn off the water to avoid a flooding problem. NOTE: Remember to turn off your automatic ice maker in your freezer so it does not constantly attempt to pull in water. If you have a watering system in your yard, if you turn the water off to your home, your grass, garden, or flowers will not get water.

Should I leave my A/C or Heat on? Another question people need to know is concerning the central air. If you are leaving for extended periods, leaving the central air on or off will depend on the weather outside. If is is extremely hot outside, it is best to leave the air conditioner temperature on a setting that will keep the home slightly cool. If it is extremely cold outside, it is best to leave the heat on so items in your home do not freeze. Keeping the heater temperature on will help keep the water pipes in the wall from freezing. Even if your water main is turned off, some water may still be trapped in the pipes. If you allow the home to freeze, these pipes may burst and cause damage to your home. To be safe, leave the central AC or heat on.

Should I unplug my refrigerator? Unplugging your refrigerator is recommended in case of power outage. If there is a power outage, your food will warm up or defrost and then refreeze when the power comes back on. This is not a good thing to happen. You may not know the food in the freezer was thawed and then refrozen. This food could make you sick depending on how long the power outage had lasted. To avoid all of this, eat or give away all your food before you leave. Then unplug the refrigerator/freezer and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Should I turn the water heater off? Most people do not turn off the water heater when they leave. However it is a good idea to avoid problems. You can turn off power to the water heater by switching off the breaker. When you have the power off you can drain it using a hose. Draining it will prevent a problem if a leak did occur. NOTE: If you are leaving for a few months and do not have anyone checking up on your home while you are away, then tuning off and draining your water heater is recommended.

Should I unplug electronics? Yes. Unplugging electronics will avoid problems if there is a power spike or lightning strike. Removing power from your electronics will also help save a small amount of electricity. If your electronics are plugged into a power strip, then you can simply just unplug the power strip. Unplugging computers, routers, and modems is 100% recommended.

Should I unplug appliances? It is a good idea to unplug just about anything that uses electricity. Unplug everything you can including your dishwasher, washer, dryer, coffee maker, toaster, garbage disposal, blender, and so on.

Should I unplug my garage door opener? YES! Thieves have found out how to open a garage door by using hacked remotes and universal remotes. Leave your automatic garage door opener unplugged to avoid being robbed.

Empty Home Suggestions: To make it look like someone is living in your home while you are away, install timers on the lamps and lights inside your home. Park your car inside the garage so people do not see your car just sitting in the driveway. It is also a great idea to have a friend or family member to check on your home every 3 days or so. Have someone keep the newspapers from piling up on your driveway, keep the lawn mowed, have someone get your mail, and check on the general condition of your home. You can also have the post office hold all of your mail and then just pick it all up when you return home.

Here is a golden tip for extra safety: Do not post that you are leaving on an extended vacation or business trip on Facebook! The reasons are obvious. If you post that you are leaving your home empty for a few months, you may be sending strangers an invitation to burglarize your home. Avoid telling the world your home is going to be empty.


BONUS VIDEO: Tips to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation

Do you have any other suggestions when leaving a home empty? Please leave a comment below.

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Things To Turn Off When Leaving Your Home For Extended Periods (2024)

FAQs

How to prepare your house for an extended leave? ›

Preparing the Outside of Your House for Vacation
  1. Make Sure the Outside Is Clean and Maintained. ...
  2. Have the Post Office Hold Your Mail. ...
  3. Arrange for Someone to Keep an Eye on Your Home. ...
  4. Make Your Home Seem Lived In. ...
  5. Protect Your Valuables. ...
  6. Save on Your Electric and Gas Bills. ...
  7. Clean Out the Fridge. ...
  8. Amp Up Your Security.
Mar 6, 2024

What to do before leaving home for a long time? ›

The Ultimate Pre-Vacation Home Checklist
  1. Hold the mail and newspapers. ...
  2. Put your lights on a timer. ...
  3. Move your car. ...
  4. Set your A/C and heating system. ...
  5. Turn off the water. ...
  6. Adjust your shades and lock up. ...
  7. Pay your bills. ...
  8. Notify your home alarm company.

How to prepare a house to be empty for 2 months? ›

When leaving the house unoccupied for an extended period, you should:
  1. Adjust your thermostat.
  2. Stock up your refrigerator to help it run efficiently.
  3. Turn off your water.
  4. Unplug energy vampires.
  5. Protect your house and deliveries.
Jul 5, 2022

What to do when leaving the house for 4 months? ›

DIY Steps Before Leaving Home Vacant
  1. Tell your insurance company. ...
  2. Use smart home devices. ...
  3. Adjust your thermostat and hot water heater. ...
  4. Consider shutting off water to the house. ...
  5. Check the sump pump. ...
  6. Install timed irrigation. ...
  7. Install motion sensor lights and security signage. ...
  8. Invest in good blinds.

How to leave your house for two weeks? ›

Here is what to think about when you are prepare for extended time away:
  1. Place your valuables in a safe. ...
  2. Unplug appliances. ...
  3. Take out the trash and clean out the fridge. ...
  4. Place your lights on a timer. ...
  5. Turn off your water. ...
  6. Set the temperature. ...
  7. Check your smoke detectors and house alarm. ...
  8. Contact your credit card company.

What to do when leaving home for extended time in winter? ›

Steps for Winterizing Your Home
  1. Arrange for essential inspections. ...
  2. Shut off the water—if you can. ...
  3. Shut off the water—where you can. ...
  4. Adjust the thermostat. ...
  5. Deter ice dams. ...
  6. Manage trees and their debris. ...
  7. Keep critters out. ...
  8. Unplug electronics and appliances.

How do you deal with being away from home for a long time? ›

How to cope with homesickness: 8 easy tips
  1. Celebrate 24 hours of homesickness. Being homesick is a bit like wallowing after a breakup. ...
  2. Make a schedule. ...
  3. Find a familiar space. ...
  4. Beat boredom. ...
  5. Pick real life over social media. ...
  6. Meet new people. ...
  7. Take (lots of) photos. ...
  8. Make people come visit you.

How to leave a house for a month? ›

10 steps you need to prepare your home for an extended vacation
  1. Secure your home so it appears occupied. ...
  2. Clean out your fridge. ...
  3. Prepare your home for the elements. ...
  4. Take care of your mail and deliveries. ...
  5. Clean your home. ...
  6. Protect your vehicle. ...
  7. Turn off the water in your house. ...
  8. Unplug most appliances.
Aug 27, 2021

How to close up a house for six months? ›

Use Technology to Protect Your Vacation Home
  1. Install a security system. ...
  2. Install security cameras. ...
  3. Install motion-activated lights at all entrances.
  4. Set interior lights on a timer to go on and off at different times of the night to make it appear that someone is home.

How do you empty a house full of stuff? ›

How Can I Empty My House Quickly? Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Make a Plan. ...
  2. Set a Date. ...
  3. Designate Sorting Zones. ...
  4. Get Equipped. ...
  5. Start Sorting. ...
  6. Stay Safe. ...
  7. Try and Avoid Distractions. ...
  8. Remember the Outbuildings.
Feb 1, 2022

How do you freshen an empty house? ›

You can also help the smell dissipate by thoroughly cleaning the floors and walls of each room, leaving a bowl of vinegar in each room, and sprinkling baking soda into your carpets (remember to hoover it up after 30–60 min).

What if your 2nd house is empty? ›

An empty 2nd house may lead to struggles related to earning, accumulating wealth or managing finances effectively . There could be a lack of financial stability or resources in life unless other positive yogas in the chart override this influence.

How to shut down a house for 6 months? ›

Make the house look lived in:
  1. Set automatic timers for interior lights on staggered hours, and turn on motion sensors for exterior lights.
  2. Ensure all doors, windows, skylights, and vents are properly closed and locked.
  3. Stop mail service and newspaper deliveries.
  4. Inform local police the house will be empty.

How to prepare a house for a long-term vacancy? ›

Prior to an extended period of absence, make sure all doors & windows are securely closed; have regular check-ups on plumbing, heating systems, and any other utility services; confirm smoke detector & security alarm functionality is up-to-date; store furniture if need be without overloading circuits with appliances for ...

How long to stay in a house for it to be worth it? ›

In general, it's best to buy when you have your eye on the horizon and you're thinking long-term. Experts largely agree that you shouldn't own unless you plan on staying in the home for at least five years. That's because, thanks to their high start-up costs, houses don't usually make great short-term investments.

How to close up a house for an extended period of time? ›

Make the house look lived in:
  1. Set automatic timers for interior lights on staggered hours, and turn on motion sensors for exterior lights.
  2. Ensure all doors, windows, skylights, and vents are properly closed and locked.
  3. Stop mail service and newspaper deliveries.
  4. Inform local police the house will be empty.

How to prepare an apartment for an extended absence? ›

Household Tasks:
  1. Empty the dishwasher and leave it cracked open (if possible) so any standing water in the system evaporates.
  2. Clean out the refrigerator. ...
  3. Run a mixture of vinegar and water through the garbage disposal so odors don't build up.
  4. Empty and wash all trashcans.
  5. Set the thermostat to reasonable temperature.
Nov 12, 2023

Why is it important to prepare your home before leaving for an extended amount of time? ›

Preparing the house helps to keep it safe and secure so you can have the peace of mind in knowing you most likely won't return to any problems when your vacation ends.

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