With the holiday season here, many Americans will leave their homes to spend time with loved ones and friends. There’s one thing every Texan leaving home for any length of time has in common: We all want to return to a safe, clean home with fully functioning HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. Consider these helpful tips when preparing your Corpus Christi, Texas, home for a short or an extended vacation:

Perform HVAC Maintenance

Has your HVAC system had its annual tune-up yet? Schedule one before you leave. If you’ve already had maintenance this heating season, make sure your heating system is functioning properly. If your HVAC system has an outdoor unit, it’s important to make sure there’s a perimeter of at least 3 feet around it that’s free of debris, plants, trees and bushes. That way, you’ll prevent clogging and other problems.

Double-check the pilot light if you have a gas furnace, and replace the air filter if necessary. When you’re ready to go, it’s recommended that you leave your HVAC system on a low setting. As a result, you’ll avoid heating an empty home and save money as a result.

Safeguard Your Property

If you’re going out of town for an extended period of time, take steps to safeguard your property against burglary. If you don’t normally keep your window blinds closed, don’t close them when you leave. Burglars love a shuttered-up home because it provides them with extra cover from outside eyes when they break in. Make sure your valuables are all well out of sight of any windows, preferably under lock and key.

If you haven’t already, consider exterior motion-sensor and indoor timed lighting to give the impression of occupancy. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail and newspapers to avoid a pileup or a stuffed mailbox. A ragged, unkempt lawn also indicates you’re not home. Therefore, make sure someone mows it while you’re out of town. If you’re not taking your car, keep it locked in your driveway or garage.

Turn Off the Water

When you leave, shutting off the water supply to your home via the main valve is the best way to guard against any unpredictable water damage. However, if you have automatic sprinklers or someone watering your lawn while you’re away, that may not be possible. In that case, shut off the water supply valves for everything that won’t be used, including the kitchen sink and dishwasher.

Unplug All Electronics

Your computer, coffee maker, toaster, and television all have one thing in common. They use electricity constantly while they’re plugged in, even if they’re not turned on. This is true of anything that plugs into a traditional power outlet. Make sure to unplug all non-essential electrical appliances during vacations of any length, including kitchen appliances, home entertainment systems and computers.

You may also want to consider clearing out and unplugging your refrigerator to protect against surges and outages while you’re away. Don’t forget to turn off and unplug any stray surge protectors, as well. As a result, you’ll conserve energy and save money on utility costs.

It cannot be overstated that the most important thing you can do to ensure against systems failures while you’re on vacation is to make sure every part of your HVAC system stays up-to-date on its annual preventive maintenance. If your systems are running properly, you’re much less likely to come home to heartaches such as a broken furnace, busted water pipes, or even shorted electrical circuits. Call Bodine-Scott today at (361) 883-9900. We’ll make sure your HVAC system is in good shape before you leave town.

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