Just like the birds flying south for winter, plenty of West Virginia families travel to warmer climates when the temperatures at home start dropping.
We can’t blame you for wanting to escape the storm and ice, but it’s important to prepare your home before winter vacation. Otherwise, you might return to find a burst pipe, a broken appliance, or an empty fuel tank.
Here are three helpful tips that can help you prevent damage to your home and might even save you some money while you’re away!
Here’s a crazy fact: 10% of the average home’s energy costs originate from electronics using electricity just by being plugged in. Think about laptop computers, microwaves with digital clocks, and coffee makers with electronic displays. These appliances cost you money even when you don’t use them. Plus, they’re vulnerable to damage from electrical surges.
You can save money on your electric bill and protect your wiring and appliances by unplugging all unnecessary electronics before leaving home.
In periods of sustained freezing temperatures, the exposed pipes in your home are vulnerable to ice buildup or worse. The best way to prevent a frozen or burst section of pipe is to drain all water from your plumbing. After all, if there’s no water in there, there’s nothing to freeze!
Locate the main water intake valve in your home and close it. Then, open all faucets. When the faucets stop running, you can be confident that your pipes are clear.
It’s tempting to shut off your home heating while you’re away during the winter to save some money. That’s not a good idea since it exposes your plumbing to potential icing. Instead, lower your thermostat to 60°. Also, set your fan to “auto” instead of “on” to prevent it from running the whole time you’re away.
You can also install a smart thermostat like Nest. These devices allow you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from your smartphone or tablet. They also have learning features to reduce temperatures when you aren’t home. You can save serious cash on heating oil or propane use!