Heading out for spring break? Before you leave the house, you may want to consider setting your hot water heater to Vacation Mode.
Not sure how to do so? Or why? We broke down how to prepare your hot water heater for vacation below:
What is Vacation Mode?
Most water heaters have a setting on their temperature dial labeled “VAC” or “VACATION.” You’ve probably seen this on the thermostat and never knew what it was used for.
Vacation Mode drops your water heater’s temperature to conserve energy while you’re not home to use your hot water. That way, your water heater is saving energy while using sufficient energy to keep water flowing and preventing frozen plumbing.
If you’ll be away from your home for more than three days, it’s recommended you use Vacation Mode.
When you return, simply turn your dial back to its usual state and hot water will be available shortly. Newer models even have the option to program your return date, so your water heater will resume heating one day before your arrival so hot water will be available as soon as you return.
What are the Benefits of using Vacation Mode on your Water Heater?
Using Vacation Mode while you’re away from you home can be good for the environment and your wallet!
Lowering the temperature of your water heater reduces your energy consumption, preserving natural resources and reducing your energy bill.
Vacation Mode also lowers the risk of your water heater lowers the chance of your water heater corroding or having a build-up of minerals while you’re away.
What if your Water Heater doesn’t have a Vacation Mode?
If your hot water heater doesn’t have a vacation setting, simply manually adjust your temperature to resemble Vacation Mode by lowering the temperature to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting your thermostat allows.
You may also choose to turn your hot water heater off completely. For gas water heaters, shut off the gas supply to the tank. For electric water heaters, turn off the power to the machine in your breaker box. When you return, simply restore the connections and relight the pilot light if you have a gas water heater.
If you choose this option, be mindful of the time of year you’re traveling. If you’re traveling during winter months, it’s important you don’t also turn off the furnace of your residence completely, as you then risk frozen pipes and irreparable damage to your water heater.