With summer upon us, and safety regulations beginning to ease a bit, the summer travel season has arrived in full force.  After a long year spent at home, becoming incredibly familiar with the four walls surrounding us, many excited excursionists are ready to pack their bags and wave goodbye (temporary though it may be) to the faithful and steadfast refuge that has kept them safe and sound all these weeks and months.  This, however, begs the question, after all that our homes have done for us, how can we best keep them safe and secure while slipping away for a much needed summer vacation?

Unplug

Take an extra few minutes before you head out the door to unplug your electronic devices.  Some appliances, like computers and televisions (among others) still draw power even when they are shut off.  Taking the time to slay (unplug) these energy vampires could save you a bit on your energy bill, allowing you to spend that extra dough while you're living it up on vacay.  Additionally, unplugging devices protects them from potential power surges that can happen while you are away, which can result in damage to the appliances themselves, and have even been known to cause electrical fires.  

A Friendly Visit

One of the absolute best ways to ensure the safety of your home while you're away, as simple as it may seem, is to ask a friend/neighbor/handsomely-paid acquaintance to stop by periodically to check in on things.  Having someone visit your empty abode now and then is incredibly helpful on multiple fronts.  Firstly, having someone simply visit your home increases the odds that a simple issue, whether it be a leak that has waited to spring until you have packed your bags, or a friendly racoon that takes your apparent absence as an invitation to move in, or (despite your best intentions and direct instruction) that upstairs bathroom sink that your kid accidentally left running, can be taken care of quickly and before they become bigger, more expensive problems upon your homecoming. Secondly, simply having someone come by now and then has constantly been cited as one of the biggest deterrents to criminals who would otherwise think of making a visit to your home themselves.

Beat the Heat

While you are away, you do not want to turn off your HVAC system completely.  Rather, you want to program your system to run minimally, saving you money, but still ensuring that everything is in working order upon your return.  During the warm summer months, you will want to set your system to start pumping the cool air at a higher temperature than you might if you were at home, but you want to be reasonable in your frugality.  The recommended temperature will vary depending on where exactly you live, but the range is generally between 80 and 85 degrees.  The main goal here is to keep humidity levels reasonable and to protect temperature sensitive elements and/or appliances in your home.  

A Bright Idea

When it comes to keeping your home and all that is precious inside of it safe from would-be burglars, one of the easiest ways to do so is to make these nefarious visitors believe that you are, in fact, actually still home.  Set some of your lights on timers.  This can be achieved in a couple of different ways.  One way to do this is to use outlet timers.  For most of these devices, the process is fairly simple.  Program the timer to turn on and off at the specific times you feel are most appropriate.  Then, simply plug the timer into your home’s outlet and then plug a lamp into the timer.  You will leave the lamp turned on and the circuit located inside the timer will do the rest.  Of course, if your home is of the smart persuasion, there are likely a few established settings that you can choose from in order to get your home vacation ready.  Additionally, some home security experts recommend programming your lights to come on and turn off at different times each day while you are away, to more closely simulate your family actually being home.