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Fall is a popular season for Maryland travel, with stunning foliage, rustic festivals, and seasonal treats to enjoy throughout the state. Whether you’re away for a short weekend or a longer escape, it’s important to take the proper precautions before going away. Keep your Easton, MD home safe and well-maintained while you’re gone and prepare your home with these smart tips.

Keep Tabs on Your Thermostat

There’s no need to keep the home warm and cozy while you’re on vacation. Set the thermostat to 55 F for minimal heating to keep the pipes from freezing. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to adjust all the settings. Making a one-time adjustment to 55 F just before you head out will only work until the thermostat hits its next pre-programmed time period. Or even better, install a smart thermostat that you can control remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’re leaving pets at home while you’re away, so you can adjust according to the daily weather.

Enlist Help for Extended Trips

If you’re going out of town for an extended stay, you’ll need a little help to make your home look lived in. Enlist a helpful neighborhood to take your trash cans to the curb and put them back in your garage on trash day. If you’re gone so long that the cans are empty, ask your neighbor to toss one of his bags in.

You should also arrange for lawn care over an extended stay. If you don’t have a neighbor willing to take on some extra yard work, hire a professional to trim the lawn, rake up leaves, water exterior plants, and otherwise keep the house well-maintained.

Put Mail on Hold

Rather than having someone else pick up your mail, just put it all on hold. This way you don’t have to worry about a few days’ worth of letters piling up due to a forgetful friend, or the awkwardness of your neighbor looking through your mail. You can schedule a temporary hold on your mail online with the United States Postal Service.

Save Energy While You’re Away

Unplug unneeded appliances before you leave to stop the slow leak of electricity that happens even when devices are off. If you don’t shut your computer down every day, now is the perfect time to give it a good long break. Unplug anything you can to save energy while you’re gone.

Adjust the Lights and Curtains

Your first instinct is probably to close all the curtains so burglars can’t see into your home. However, a house with tight curtains throughout actually looks more abandoned. Leave your curtains as they normally are. Keeping them open in certain places can actually give your neighbors the ability to peek in for you if they suspect something unusual.

Don’t leave your lights on while you’re away, as this will look unusual when they’re blazing all day and night long, and it will cause your electric bill to skyrocket. Instead, set them on a timer. Adjust the timer to turn your lights on in the evening when they give the home a lived-in look and off again around bedtime.

If you want to get really clever with your lights, set them to cycle throughout the house, turning on and off in various rooms as though you were moving from one place to another. Turn the lights on and off in the kitchen around dinner time, and on for a brief period in the bedroom as though you were getting ready for bed.

Double Check Your Locks

Before you leave, go through the home and make sure all your locks are firmly in place. It’s easy to forget about a window that’s often left open, so make the effort to go beyond your front and back doors. You should also lock the door between your garage and home, even if this is something you rarely do. It offers an added line of defense while you’re gone and may give a watchful neighbor the time needed to call police if someone is tampering with your home.

These tips will help you save on your utilities while you’re gone, but you can trim your energy use every day of the year with the right care and maintenance for your HVAC system and appliances. To learn more about lowering the energy expenses in your home and keeping equipment well-maintained, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391.

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