What happens if you don’t set the proper temperature when you leave your house?
Turning off the heat in your home during winter leaves your house vulnerable to several major risks, including:
The water in your pipes begins to freeze and expand when it gets cold, causing pressure to build up on the pipe wall. Pipes can eventually burst after too much pressure, resulting in costly water damage and repairs. Pipes in unheated areas or along exterior walls are at the highest risk. Unfreezing pipes on your own can be tricky and tedious, so be sure to keep the heat on.
Pressure within your pipes from freezing water can cause your pipes to burst, crack, or leak. The resulting flow of water can cause significant damage to your home since no one will be there to detect the leak and turn off the main water valve. Pipes are more susceptible to bursting in cold weather, so make sure to keep your heat on, even when you’re not home.
Learn More: Does Home Insurance Cover Plumbing and Pipe Leaks?
Water damage to your flooring can be severe and costly. Hardwood and laminate flooring are especially porous, and water pockets can develop underneath vinyl flooring. While you can cover warped flooring with a rug, if you’re not around to properly dry your floor after the damage, mold could develop.
Mold typically doesn’t grow without moisture, but if mold spores land on a wet surface, it can begin growing indoors. Mold can cause allergies and irritation and even produce toxic substances. You may notice respiratory problems if there’s mold in your home.
While mold damage can be fixed, it can be nearly impossible to clean mold from absorbent materials like carpeting or flooring, which are expensive to replace. The national average cost to replace hardwood flooring is between $6 and $12 per square foot, according to Angi.
While it may cost a little extra to keep your home heated while you’re away, keeping warm air circulating through your home reduces the risk of water damage and can prevent a much more costly repair bill. You can set your thermostat to a lower temperature while you’re gone, but you should never turn your heat off completely for an extended period of time during the winter.