When it comes to summer travel, home prep needs to be on your checklist. Shafer Services can help! Here are seven easy ways to keep your home safe during summer travel. After all, the last thing you want to come home to is a broken A/C or burst pipe. We can show you how to prepare your HVAC for vacation and share plumbing precautions for summer travel.

#1 Turn off your main water supply

A burst pipe can flood your home within a matter of minutes. Now think about what a burst pipe can do over a few days. That’s why you need to turn off the main water supply to your house before heading out on vacation. This is the easiest way to avoid water damage while you’re away. When you’re away for an extended period, the risk of a burst pipe or water leak increases, and the consequences can be devastating if not addressed promptly. By turning off the main water supply, you eliminate the flow of water into your home, significantly reducing the likelihood of leaks or pipe failures.

To turn off the main water supply, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the main water shut-off valve: The main shut-off valve is usually located where the water line enters your home. Common places include the crawl space, utility room, or near the water meter. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the location of this valve before you need to shut off the water.
  2. Shut off the valve: Once you’ve found the main shut-off valve, turn it clockwise (righty-tighty) to close it. This action will stop the flow of water from the municipal supply into your home’s plumbing system.
  3. Test the shut-off: To ensure that the water supply is fully closed, check your faucets, toilets, and other water fixtures to see if water flow has ceased. If no water comes out or the water pressure drops significantly, it indicates that the main water supply is successfully shut off.

By shutting off the main water supply, you eliminate the risk of water leaks or burst pipes while you’re away. This precautionary measure provides peace of mind, knowing that even if a plumbing issue were to occur, there would be no further water flow to exacerbate the problem. It’s especially important in colder climates where freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst. By taking this simple step, you reduce the likelihood of returning home to a flooded house, saving you from extensive water damage, costly repairs, and potential mold growth.

Remember that after returning from vacation, you’ll need to turn the main water supply back on by reversing the process. Locate the main shut-off valve and turn it counterclockwise (lefty-loosey) until it is fully open. Check your faucets again to ensure the water flow has been restored throughout your home.


#2 Consider a leak detection system

Prefer not to disconnect your water supply while you’re away? Consider a leak detection system. This is a great way to protect your home plumbing during summer vacation. These state-of-the-art devices can notify you when a leak occurs and also turn off your water supply automatically. They’re not only ideal for vacations but also for everyday life.


#3 Set your thermostat 7 – 10 degrees higher than usual

Set your thermostat 7 – 10 degrees higher than normal before you leave. This will help you save money and maintain humidity control. Too much humidity increases opportunities for mold and can damage your home and belongings.


#4 Close your curtains

Something as simple as closing your curtains can reduce the strain on your HVAC unit. This helps alleviate strain on your HVAC unit and improve efficiency. When the sun shines directly into your home through windows, it increases the heat load, causing your air conditioning system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. By closing the curtains, you create a barrier that blocks out the direct sunlight, reducing the amount of heat that enters your home. As a result, your HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard or run for extended periods to cool down the space.

This workload reduction saves energy and reduces wear and tear on the system, potentially prolonging its lifespan. By keeping your home cooler and reducing the reliance on your air conditioner, closing the curtains helps create a more comfortable indoor environment while conserving energy and optimizing the performance of your HVAC system.


#5 Consider a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats allow you to control your thermostat remotely, giving you a lot of flexibility and convenience. This feature is particularly beneficial when you’re away from home because it helps you save on your electric bill while still ensuring that you return to a cool and comfortable home. One of the most significant advantages of smart thermostats is the range of safety benefits they provide. They have the ability to prevent potential fire hazards by being equipped with temperature sensors and timers. These sensors can detect sudden increases in temperature and promptly send alerts or even automatically shut off the HVAC system, reducing the risk of overheating and fires.

Another important safety benefit is the ability to remotely monitor and control the thermostat. With the help of a smartphone app, you can easily check the status of your thermostat and make necessary adjustments from wherever you are. This feature becomes especially valuable when you’re on vacation or away from home for an extended period. By remotely controlling the temperature, you can ensure that it remains within a safe range. For instance, if you’re on a winter vacation, you can adjust the temperature to prevent freezing pipes and avoid potential water damage.

Energy efficiency is another significant advantage of smart thermostats when it comes to safety. These devices learn your preferences and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly, optimizing energy usage. By reducing energy waste, smart thermostats not only benefit the environment but also minimize the risk of energy-related accidents and equipment malfunctions. Many smart thermostats utilize geofencing technology, which detects the location of your smartphone. This allows the thermostat to adjust the temperature based on your proximity to home. As a result, unnecessary HVAC system usage is avoided when no one is home, enhancing both convenience and safety.

In addition to these benefits, some smart thermostats come with air quality sensors or can connect to external sensors. These sensors monitor factors such as humidity levels, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide. By continuously monitoring indoor air quality, smart thermostats ensure a healthier environment. If any abnormal readings are detected, the thermostat will issue alerts, enabling homeowners to promptly address potential health and safety concerns. Another valuable feature of smart thermostats is the ability to provide maintenance alerts. These devices keep track of filter replacement schedules, monitor system performance, and detect possible issues. By receiving timely alerts, homeowners can take immediate action and ensure the efficient and safe operation of their HVAC systems.

Overall, the safety benefits of smart thermostats are numerous and well worth the investment. They help prevent fire hazards, enable remote monitoring and control, optimize energy efficiency, utilize geofencing technology, monitor indoor air quality, and provide maintenance alerts. By taking advantage of these features, you can enhance the safety and security of your home while enjoying increased comfort, convenience, and energy savings.

Want to learn more about whether or not smart thermostats are a worthwhile investment for you? We can help.


#6 Schedule preventative maintenance

Before you leave for vacation, schedule a maintenance appointment with a professional plumbing and HVAC company. They can inspect your systems for possible issues and perform necessary repairs or maintenance. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that your systems are running smoothly when you return. Shafer Services Plus’ Advantage Plan provides you with preventative maintenance, warranties, priority scheduling, and discounts for $25/month.


#7 Notify a trusted neighbor or friend

There’s nothing like having a trusted neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home while you’re away. We all need a team!


Want tips on how to stay cool while staying home? We’ve got those too!

From San Antonio to Kyle, Shafer Services Plus is honored to be your trusted HVAC and plumbing advisor. We want to make sure that your home and family are safe and sound. Whether you have a simple question or need on-site assistance, we’re here for you!

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