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Planning a vacation for any length of time should involve a plan to keep your home safe while you are away. There are many ways to do this which will help save energy and don’t require hiring a house sitter. If you’re planning a Spring Break trip this year, here’s a suggested checklist of things to do before you leave.
· Check all appliances and electronic devices. Make sure all electronics have been turned off and are unplugged, such as televisions, printers and computers. Check your faucets and washer hoses to see if everything has been properly shut off. Even a small drip from a faucet will add up over an extended period of time.
· Set your thermostat accordingly. Depending on the current weather, you’ll want to set your thermostat for the best energy settings. Use the vacation setting if you have a programmable thermostat so that your home will be at comfortable temperatures when you return. If your programmable thermostat doesn’t have a vacation setting, keep the thermostat at consistent energy-saving temperatures throughout the day (62 degrees is suggested).
· Turn down your water heater thermostat. Many homeowners forget this important step when they go away for a vacation. Lowering your water heater thermostat even 15 degrees will save a lot of energy while you are away, particularly if you have a traditional tank water heater. Check your owner’s manual, or give us a call if you aren’t sure where to locate your water heater thermostat or the best temperature to keep it at while you are on vacation.
· Remove perishables from your refrigerator. Once you’ve removed any perishables from your refrigerator, then you can raise the temperature setting to help save energy. Make sure you don’t set it too high, however. Consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended settings.
· Close and lock all windows. If your home is prone to moisture problems, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you close windows and that your storm doors are properly fastened or locked. Check to see if the windows are locked as well, especially ones on the ground floor.
· Ask a neighbor to watch your home. While most people leave on lights to make it look like someone is home, they often forget that a stack of newspapers or mail can indicate that no one is home. Instead of wasting energy by leaving lights on, or causing a safety hazard, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and to bring in your mail. You can also ask the local Post Office to stop delivery for duration of your trip. If you have motion lights, make sure that the sensors are working properly.
Before you start planning your trip, make sure you’ve had your yearly HVAC maintenance check-up. During the annual visit, our technicians will inspect your HVAC system for any issues or safety concerns so that you don’t have to worry about it while you are on your Spring Break vacation.
When spring arrives, many homeowners start pulling out the cleaning supplies to clean the house from top to bottom. While most people remember to clean windows, drapes, carpets, and polish wood floors, it’s also important to make sure your HVAC system is clean and ready for summer. Whether you have a heat pump or central AC, here’s a checklist of some useful tips to ensure that you maintain home efficiency throughout the summer.
Change indoor fan direction. If you change the direction of your fans in the fall to a clockwise motion to help distribute the warm air inside your home, remember to turn them back to the standard counterclockwise direction to create a cool breeze when spring arrives. To change the motion, look at the base of the fan. Many manufacturers design the fan with an easy to find switch on the base that allows you to change the rotation.
Change light bulbs and batteries. Even if you have recently changed light bulbs and batteries, spring cleaning is a good time to make sure batteries aren’t corroded or that the light bulbs are clean. Take out the bulbs in recessed fixtures and clean them; this also provides an opportunity to clean the light cover. Remember to check lights in fans and to dust the fans as well. It’s also a good time to upgrade your lights to compact florescent lights or LEDs if you haven’t already.
Clean your HVAC system. Before you start to clean your HVAC system, make sure you turn off all power to the unit at the breaker box. Then clean the outside components before you clean the indoor unit. Overall, just be sure to clean vacuum out anything that could restrict airflow, such as fallen leaves or lawn clippings, but be mindful of the motor. If you see any corrosion, call one of our technicians to assess the damage and clean and lubricate any corroded parts. Also trim any limbs or bushes that could get caught in the condenser. Inside components can be cleaned with a mild cleaner (avoid harsh chemicals), and make sure you change air filters and vacuum out your vents if you have a forced air system.
Schedule your yearly maintenance inspection. Don’t forget to call and schedule your annual maintenance visit with one of our qualified technicians. Yearly inspections will help to ensure that your central AC unit or heat pump works efficiently and safely all summer long.
Apple Heating & Cooling services these areas:
- Kirtland Hills
- Waite Hill
- Willoughby Hills