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Tips for Maintaining Your Home while on Vacation
Returning from vacation to go back to work, catch up on a backlog of projects, and open a stack of bills that accumulated during a blissful absence can be tough. Some things – especially the rather unpleasant ones – can’t be controlled or avoided. But homeowners can take practical steps to ensure that they come back to a welcoming home and that while they are gone the house does not suffer any unwanted surprises but remains safe and secure.
Here are some tips to help prep a home so that it is not a source of worry while vacationing:
·         Turn the water heater to its vacation setting. Otherwise each time the water in the tank cools, the unit will reheat unnecessarily. It will repeatedly cool off and then get reheated, wasting energy and money. The vacation setting is usually a dial or knob located on the base of the water tank and it has two or three different settings or modes.
·         Another alternative is to replace conventional water heaters with “heat on demand” units. These only operate when hot waters taps are turned on, so they save money and energy all year ‘round.
·         Web sites like SmartHome.com offer cutting edge home monitoring gadgetry, including devices such as “Cyber-Rain” – a wireless control unit that works with lawn sprinkler systems. For under $400 consumers can buy the kit and control watering via the Internet. Just check the local weather at home on one Web page and then click the computer mouse at the secure wireless irrigation site to water the lawn or garden as needed.
·         Companies including Lutron offer advanced home programming technologies that enable a wide variety of controls while away on vacation. These systems can monitor and record the pattern of usage of light switches while homeowners are home, for instance, and then automatically reactivate those same realistic patterns when the vacation setting is activated. Reenact normal life at home while thousa

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