The student house 'Dos and Don'ts' when heading home for Christmas

We know that your priority over Christmas is going to be the endless stream of turkey sandwiches and mince pies, rather than your utilities, but as you head off home for the Christmas period, it’s important to make sure you keep the house safe, as well as minimise your energy usage!  Nobody wants to come back to a load of over-usage charges in January! 

So, we’ve put together a little Dos and Don’ts guide on preparing to go home this Christmas. 

It’s tempting to have the heating on full as the temperature starts to drop over the winter but be sensible. Adjust your thermostat and get the temperature just right, 21ºC for the day and 17ºC at night - the recommended temperature for a good night’s sleep! Also pop your thermostat on a timer to avoid heating an empty house! 

Last one out? Turn out the lights – whether it’s as you head out for a lecture or home for the festive period, be sure to turn them out!
And as pretty as they are, make sure you unplug your Christmas fairy lights, when you're asleep in the evening or when you’re out of the house. Not only will this reduce your electricity consumption, but fairy lights can be a fire hazard too! 

When you leave for Christmas, you may think that turning off the boiler completely will avoid using unnecessary heat, however you risk freezing your pipes, which can be disastrous in the long run! Just turn your boiler down to a low heat while you’re away - either turn it on to the 'frost' setting or somewhere between 7ºC and 10ºC.

It would suck to come back after your Christmas break to find you have had a break in, do as much as you can to keep the house safe while it’s empty and be sure to lock all windows and external doors. 

Turn off all electronic devices at the mains (except the fridge and freezer of course!), this doesn’t just save on electricity, but can be the safest way to leave an empty house too. Unplug phone chargers and hair straighteners, whenever you’re not using them – just to be on the safe side! 

The whole house will be off their separate ways over Christmas, so be sure to plan in advance – things like...

- Agree who is going to be the last out and make a list of everything that needs to be switched off/done as they leave.   
- Clear out the fridge, no one wants to come back in January to some stale cheese smelling the house out!
- Empty the bins – empty the inside bins and put them out for the last possible bin collection before xmas! 
- Make sure everyone has their key – you don’t want to get 100 miles away, back home, to realise your housemate is locked in! 
- If your neighbours will be around over xmas, leave a contact number to use in emergency’s. 

And Finally,
Do pack a pair of stretchy pants! 
'Tis the season to get overfed by the family, make sure you are fully prepared for the copious amounts of food and drink going back home, with some comfy pants…..

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