If you’re planning on vacationing this winter, these tips can help you protect your home while you’re away. The most important material components in your home are its heating and cooling systems and plumbing, along with your electronics and other valuables. 

Heating System

  • Have your heating system professionally serviced before vacationing this winter. The contractor will clean and adjust it, verifying that it’s safe and will run dependably in your absence, including the thermostat. If you haven’t done so beforehand, the technician will change the air filter, ensuring its energy efficiency, while cleaning the indoor blower and other components.
  • Turn down the thermostat to 60 degrees F higher. Much lower than that and you increase the chances of pipes freezing.
  • Open the doors to the kitchen sink’s cabinet, as well as the bathroom vanities to help the pipes stay warmer.
  • Give the person keeping watch on your home the HVAC contractor’s business card or name and phone number in the event of a problem.


  • Unless the person watching your home needs water while you’re vacationing this winter for any reason, turn off the water to your home using the main water valve. Open the spigot for an upstairs bathroom for about 15 seconds to remove some of the water in the pipes. In the event your pipes freeze, they may not burst when the ice that forms has room to expand.
  • If you need to leave the water on, turn off the water valves for the washing machine, dishwasher and ice maker. You also can turn down the water heater to its lowest setting to save energy.


Turn off the power strips where you plug in your chargers for portable devices to save electricity, but leave a radio plugged into a timer that turns it on and off intermittently to create noise. Do the same with a few lights throughout your home.


Snow building up on sidewalks and driveways are a sure giveaway that your home’s unoccupied. Arrange for a snow-shoveling service before you leave.

For more tips about vacationing this winter and home safety in the Cleveland area, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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