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If you’re leaving for a business trip, vacation, or visiting family this season there are few things you need to consider when it comes to your HVAC and plumbing systems.

Remember The Rule of 55

You should think twice before cutting the heat completely off before leaving. 55 degrees is the magic number to remember when you’re out of the house this winter season. While some people have made the fatal decision to turn the heat completely off, 55 is the ideal temperature that will both save you money and keep your pipes from freezing.

Turn Down Water Heater Temperature

When you’re gone for an extended period of time there’s no need to have scalding hot water available at the turn of a knob. If you have a gas water heater, chances are it features a “vacation mode” that you can turn the knob to before you leave. If you do not, you can slightly turn the heater down without shutting it off. Turning a little knob is enough to create big-time savings on your next gas bill.

Turn Off The Water

Aside from just turning down the water heater, you can consider shutting off your water completely. PLEASE note that you should only cut off water in weather that is well above freezing. Just to be safe, you should check your weather forecast to ensure there are no lows under 40-45 degrees while you’re away. Sitting water is more likely to freeze than running water so weather plays a huge factor in this decision. At each sink, toilet, dishwasher or washing machine there should be a knob for water flow that can be turned to off. To handle it all at once, you can go to your main water valve which is typically located under a sink or near the water heater. If temperatures are or are predicted to be below freezing we strongly recommend leaving your faucets and showers on allowing water to slowly drip out as to keep water flowing through the pipes to prevent freezing of standing water.

Unplug Electronics

Unplugging all appliances and devices, not in use is a good idea to save on your electricity bill. This due to the fact that many devices still draw electrical power when turned off. Unplugging your electronics is also a preventative measure in the case of an electrical fire.