What to do before leaving 

From tweaking the thermostat to employing a few simple tricks to keep odors at bay, there are a number of actions homeowners can take to ensure their home is ready to be empty. Here are a few of Nicholson’s top tips: 

  • Clean your garbage disposal. To avoid returning home to an unpleasant odor emanating from your garbage disposal, Nicholson and his colleagues suggest placing half a cup of white vinegar with hot water into the garbage disposal while it’s running. 
  • Adjust the AC. Your couch doesn’t need to be kept cool while you’re away. To save energy, set the temperature on your thermostat 10 degrees higher than normal.
  • Unplug electronics. Unplug televisions, phone chargers, and computers in order to conserve energy and prevent damage to your electronics from power surges or lightning strikes.
  • Treat your toilet bowl. Stagnant water in a toilet bowl can smell and create a ring inside the bowl. To prevent these problems, pour half a cup of bleach inside the toilet bowl before embarking on your travels.
  • Turn off the water main valve. Small leaks can cause a mighty amount of costly damage to a home, but homeowners can prevent water leaks by turning off the main water valve that leads into the home. 
  • Adjust water heater. Your water heater will continue to warm water unless instructed not to. When going out of town for a week or more, set the dial to vacation mode (or simply set the temperature lower than normal) to help save energy. 

    Arranging to have a neighbor get the mail isn't the only preparation homeowners can take

    06/14/2017 | ConsumerAffairs |  Home & garden

  • By Sarah D. Young

    Sarah D. Young has been a columnist for a blog aimed at Millennials and has also worked in early childhood education and has been a reading tutor to at-risk youth.  Read Full Bio→

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