What To Do If You’re Leaving Home

Posted: February 1, 2021

While most families are not planning to travel by air this season, you may still want to lower your cabin fever by taking the family on a getaway by car. Whatever your winter vacation plans are, we’ve provided some steps you can take before you leave your home empty.

  • Don’t turn off your heating system! Keep it running on the heat setting and don’t lower it below 60° F to help prevent pipes from freezing. You may want to adjust the thermostat setting a little higher if temperatures are forecasted to be especially frigid while your home is vacant.
  • Install a Wi-Fi smart thermostat. This lets you manage heating (and cooling) remotely from your smartphone; it also sends you low-temperature alerts. Read more.
  • Keep kitchen cabinet doors open to keep heat flowing to uninsulated pipes there.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are closed and sealed. Close shutters and check locks on all windows and doors.
  • Unplug appliances to protect them from power surges (which are common when power is restored after an outage) and reduce the risk of fire. You’ll also cut your energy bills by reducing the energy drawn from what are known as “vampire” appliances. Those are the ones that draw electric current even when they’re turned off. These include computers and computer-related equipment (modems, routers, etc.), cable or satellite TV boxes and surround sound systems.
  • Close the flue on your wood fireplace. This will prevent snow, rain or animals from getting into your home. It will also prevent heat from escaping.
  • Shut off the main water valve. The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to make sure there’s no water in them in the first place. Open up all your faucets to prevent pressure buildup from the little bit of water that remains in your pipes.
  • Have someone check your home on a regular basis. That person can contact you if there’s a problem and give us access to fix a heating problem.
  • If you’re an automatic delivery customer, call us! Remember, the timing of your propane or heating oil delivery is based on an estimate calculated from your past usage and the current weather. If you’re going away – especially if you plan to be gone for a few weeks – let us know so we can revise our delivery plan accordingly.

For even more accuracy, please contact us about installing a wireless tank monitor so we know exactly how much fuel you have in your tank.