You only really feel on vacation when you leave with peace of mind. Before the big start, a few precautions are necessary, both for safety and to avoid unnecessary waste of energy. Gas, water and electricity: what should you turn off or keep active before going on vacation? We take stock.
Should I turn off the gas? Yes and no…
Shutting off the gas supply is an essential precaution, primarily for safety reasons. Nevertheless, it depends on the season of your departure on vacation. Summer or winter?
I’m going on vacation in the summer… We cut the gas!
In the summer season, the instructions are simple: cut off the gas supply to your home. This is the best way to avoid any risk of accident linked to a leak in your absence.
- Close the main gas inlet valve.
- Turn off the gas supply to each appliancel (gas cooker, boiler, etc.). This will prevent a leak on the return, in the event that a gas button is not closed properly, for example.
You will turn the devices back on when you return from vacation, after having reopened the main valve.
As a bonus, you can make real savings:
- Does your boiler work with a pilot light? One or two weeks less consumption of the little blue flame can be seen on a gas bill.
- Is your hot water tank connected to a gas boiler? In your absence, it will continue to heat the water to 65° C. By cutting off the gas, you will save this useless activity.
We can worry about the intensive consumption of a boiler to relight… In reality, the consumption of the pilot light and the balloon is such that you are sure to save money by leaving for only three or four days.
Winter holidays: keep the heat on
In the cold season, cutting off the heating completely is not recommended, at the risk of finding damp accommodation or frozen pipes.
- Leave your gas boiler on, in the “frost protection” position. This mode prevents your home from falling below 13°C. On your return, the temperature rise is rapid; you’ll soon be warm enough to put away the down jackets!
- Position the valve of each radiator in the “anti-freeze” position. Don’t close them.
- Turn off the supply valve to all other gas appliances, such as the stove.
If you have a recent and connected boiler, it is easy to manage its operation remotely. You will be able to raise the temperature of the house the day before your return. Isn’t life beautiful?
Should the water be turned off before leaving?
As with the gas, turning off the water before leaving for several days or weeks is a matter of safety. Water damage can occur during your holidays, and even over a weekend. All it takes is a joint that breaks… A flood is the unpleasant surprise that we prefer to avoid when we return from our holidays!
The easiest way is to close the general supply valve in water. But if a neighbor has to come and water your plants, they will need water.
In case you don’t want to close the main valve (or don’t have access to it), close the power supply for each piece of equipment having a water inlet. That is, the toilet, dishwasher, washing machine and bidet if you have one. By acting on each water inlet, you can leave a tap available for watering plants or to fill the cat’s bowl…
NB : Take the opportunity to drain your heating circuit. How ? Once you have shut off the main water supply valve, open all the taps in your home, first hot water then cold water. Once your installation has been purged, close all your taps before leaving!
Cut the electricity: yes, but not everything…
It is in your best interest to turn off the electricity before you go on vacation, provided you do things in order. Barring exceptions, it is best not to cut off the power supply completely; some devices must continue to operate in your absence.
Unused electrical appliances: unplug them
Start by unplugging all your electrical and electronic devices: computers, television, internet box, microwave oven, radio alarm clock, hi-fi system, etc. They will thus be protected in the event of a storm and will not risk causing a short circuit, a frequent cause of fire. By the way, do not forget that the standbys of these devices cost you several tens of euros every year in electricity. There are no small savings !
Fridge and freezer: it’s up to you
If you want to unplug the refrigerator, first empty it completely. Same thing for the freezer. Don’t leave food in an unplugged fridge, otherwise you’ll find an apartment full of foul odors… If you keep foodstuffs in the fridge or in the “freezer”, it’s better to leave them plugged in. Some recent refrigerators are just put in the “holiday” or “soft” position.
If you decide to unplug the freezer after emptying it, take the opportunity to defrost it before leaving. It’s better than letting it drain by itself in your absence, flooding the kitchen in the process… Once you’ve emptied and unplugged the appliance, leave its door wide open to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.
Water heater: depending on the model
From three or four days of vacation, it is preferable to cut the activity of the water heater. Indeed, it consumes a lot of energy to maintain the water at 65° C, which is completely useless in your absence.
- Is your water heater electric? Turn off the electricity at the corresponding circuit breaker and shut off its water supply.
- Does your water heater have an ACI (anti-corrosion) system? Turn off the water, but not the electricity. The anti-corrosion treatment of the tank must be continuously supplied.
- Is your water heater programmable? Turn off the water and put it in “away” mode. Schedule your return date so that it can restart 24 hours before. You can take a hot shower when you get home. Cool, right?
VMC: leave it running
Even when you’re not there, your home needs fresh air. The VMC is useful for renewing the air, thus avoiding damp spots on the walls or ceilings, or even mold.
Air conditioning: on standby
Your air conditioning system is not useful in your absence. You can deactivate it or set it to minimum, either in the frost protection position or on a minimum temperature of 16° C. In any case, do not unplug the outdoor unit, which must always remain powered.
Electric heating: frost protection
Summer or winter, you can put it in frost protection mode, or in summer or winter position if it has the dedicated switch. In the event of a summer cold snap (you never know), the heating may start from a certain temperature.
Alarm and security: 24 hours a day!
The security of your home requires a permanent power supply. The intrusion alarm, the video surveillance must always remain on the alert. Especially if it’s a connected system that you can control remotely. Feel free to schedule certain electrical activities at certain times, such as lights or television, to simulate your presence.