Winter Vacation Checklist: Tips To Prepare Your Home & HVAC For Your Winter Getaway
Are you a snowbird that heads south for Canada’s cold, wintry months? Do you plan on going out of town to visit friends and family over the holidays? If so, there are steps you’ll want to take to prepare your home and HVAC system for a winter vacation.
When you leave home for an extended period and don’t prepare for worst-case scenarios like a pipe bursting or your furnace failing, you are leaving your home and possessions vulnerable to the elements.
By following our winter vacation checklist, you can safeguard against returning home to unwanted (and potentially expensive) surprises.
HVAC Winter Vacation Checklist
Turn down your thermostat
Save yourself a few dollars while you’re away and program your thermostat to 16 degrees Celsius.
Oh, and do NOT turn off your HVAC system. Letting the temperature drop too low in your home can lead to a number of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC problems. This point seems obvious, but it does happen.
Turn off your main water supply
The last thing anyone needs when they return home from a winter vacation is to find out that a pipe burst or sprang a leak. Turning off your main water supply can save you both financial and emotional hardship.
Pull the plug
Unplug all electronic devices that don’t need to be on while you’re away. Reducing phantom power will not only save you money, but it will also help avoid power surges damaging expensive appliances and electronics.
Check all locks
Go around to every window and door and ensure they are properly secured.
Find a house sitter
Ask a friend, family member, or neighbour that you trust to check in on your home every day. Provide them with a list of all emergency contacts, including contractors you trust in the event that something goes wrong while you’re away.
Having a house sitter will help ensure that nothing is left unnoticed for long periods of time. It will also ensure any pets or houseplants are looked after while you are away.
Let your insurer know you are on vacation
If you’re going away for more than four days, it’s highly recommended to let your home insurer know about your travel plans — with some policies, this notice is mandatory to maintain coverage while you’re away.
Get your HVAC system maintained
Not only is regular maintenance generally required to keep the warranty on your HVAC system valid, but regular maintenance can also help with spotting small problems before they become big problems.