Smart and Secure: Modern Tips for Vacation-Proofing Your Home
Taking a vacation is a fabulous way to recharge and escape the daily grind we have all found ourselves in as working adults. It is essential for mental health to take a break. However, preparing for a trip also takes work. Returning home to an over-stuffed mailbox, unexpected bills, and rotten groceries in the fridge can quickly dampen all the hard work you put in to relax during your vacation. To ensure that your homecoming is something to look forward to at the end of your trip, follow these modern tips for vacation-proofing your home. These tips not only help you save on utility bills but also keep your home secure and comfortable, granting you absolute peace of mind while you are away.
Smart Home Automation
In the era of smart homes, take advantage of technology to make your pre-vacation preparations easier. Install a smart home system or use your smartphone to control lights, thermostats, and appliances remotely. Eco mode is your friend when you are away from home, so ensure it is correctly set up within your smart home systems or app. Although many smart plugs and switches now allow you to control your electronics from anywhere, it is still smart to turn off unnecessary lights and unplug appliances and devices that will not be used.
Water is not your friend when you are away and is one of the first things you should turn off before leaving your home for an extended period. Prevent water wastage and water damage while you’re away by shutting off the main water supply to your house. This step can help you avoid potential leaks, minimize your home’s waste of water, and save on your water bill. Additionally, check for any existing leaks or drips under your sinks, coming from your furnace, or just any pipe, and have them fixed before leaving. Technology is advanced in almost all realms, so consider installing smart leak detectors that alert you to water issues while away.
Minimize Food Waste
When you walk back into your home for the first time in weeks (or months for the snowbirds reading this), you want to smell the remaining scents of perfume, candles, or detergent that linger in the air, not rotten food. So, it is smart to focus on consuming perishables and avoiding food that might go bad during your absence. Right before leaving, take one last look at your fridge, and remember the fridge doors. Empty the trash, run your disposal one last time, and call it good.
Thermostat and Water Heater Control
Keep your home’s temperature within a reasonable range during your time away and save on energy costs. Some may be tempted just to shut off the heat and get on their way, but do not do that. Your home must stay warm enough to ensure the pipes do not freeze. Smart home systems and smart thermostats like Nest know the perfect balance and run their eco mode when the smart thermostats no longer detect motion within the home, eliminating one worry for you. Additionally, modern thermostats allow you to create schedules for each zone within your home, which can be adjusted remotely using an app. If you do not have smart thermostats, set your thermostat to an energy-efficient setting that prevents extreme temperature fluctuations. In the same breath, if your water heater has a vacation mode, activate it to reduce energy consumption.
Home Monitoring Systems
This is a no-brainer. Consider installing a home security system with monitoring features. These systems can alert you to any activity or incidents at your home. Modern systems often include video cameras, motion sensors, unrecognized face detection alerts, and door/window sensors that can be accessed anytime through an app. Additionally, video doorbells like Ring allow you to see who’s at your door whenever a person is detected. There are many types of home security systems available, ranging in cost. Whatever you choose, it will help you relax as you prepare to leave your home for your extended vacation.
In the sharing economy, some opportunities can help you offset your vacation expenses. If you’re comfortable with the idea and will be away for an extended period (snowbirds, we are looking at you), consider renting out your home on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. For those going on shorter trips or those not entirely comfortable with the idea of renters living in their homes while they are away, consider renting out your parking space to drivers in need using apps like ParqEx. By listing your parking space on ParqEx’s platform, you can decide how much to charge for your spot and make extra extra cash while you’re away.
Home Security Check
Before leaving, thoroughly inspect and secure your home. Ensure all doors and windows are tightly sealed and latched, and test their locks to ensure they function correctly. If any of your locks are damaged, replace them before leaving. Additionally, for those with sliding windows and doors, place a sturdy rod or bar in the track and lock the door for additional security.
As we enter a season of frequent travel, providing modern tips for vacation-proofing your home is essential so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind, knowing that your home is secure and energy-efficient. These practices will not only save you money on utility bills, minimize your personal energy use, and eliminate any potential energy or water waste but also help you have a worry-free return home. Have a fantastic vacation and safe travels!