Ask Angie: How do I get my house ready for the holiday? | Siouxland Homes

Paul FP Pogue Ask Angie

Summer is the busiest holiday season of the year – but also the busiest time for home burglaries. Before you head to the beach, relatives, or any other holiday fun awaits you, make sure your planning includes looking after your home in your absence.

“Securing your home should be high on your priority list when preparing to go away for vacation this summer,” says home care expert Angi Mallory Micetich. “An unmanicured patio is a clear sign that no one is home, so do landscaping – things like mowing the lawn – right before you leave. It’s also a good idea to leave some indoor and outdoor lights on top of it or have it set to turn on and off when you’re away.”

Installing a home security system has never been easier. While the best option is a surveillance system with a cell phone line or internet connection, you can also supervise your security with door cameras and video surveillance. With these, you can monitor what is going on in your home in real time on your device. On average, wired cameras cost between $150 and $200 each, and a wireless camera around $100.

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If you rent a security monitoring service, double-check that they are licensed and certified by your local municipality. Any reputable security service will gladly provide this information and you will have no trouble verifying it.

Don’t forget to inform your insurance company whenever you add security features. In some cases, improving security can get you a break from your premiums.

Let a trusted neighbor know your vacation plans. They can receive your mail and monitor the house in your absence.

A home setup includes more than just anti-theft insurance. While you’re away, keep your energy bills and environmental footprint safe at the same time.

“Consider reducing your energy consumption before you leave for vacation,” Micetich says. “You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by unplugging things like TV, computers, small appliances, and chargers that use electricity once they’re plugged in.”

Your last act before leaving should be a thorough home inspection.

“Before you leave, make one last walk around your house,” says Micetich. “Close all the blinds and make sure the doors and windows are closed. If you have a doggy door, make sure it’s locked and locked as well. Finally, make sure you take out the trash and set the thermostat to 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so you get energy savings while you’re gone. Finally, If you have one, make sure your alarm system is armed or set up. After that, all you have to do is enjoy a vacation.”

Tweet your home care questions using #AskingAngi and we’ll try to answer them in a future column.

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