As summer comes to an end and snowbirds flock south for the winter, many are faced with the issue of locking up their homes for weeks or even months at a time. To ensure the safety of your house in your absence, follow these easy tips:
- Do not turn off your air conditioning system or put it on a high setting thinking that you will save money. For tailored climate control, invest in a digital thermostat, like the Nest Thermostat, to control the temperature in your house through your mobile device. Otherwise, set your thermostat to 75 degrees and keep any ceiling fans on to circulate air throughout your place.
- Turn off the water and water heater in your home and drain the water lines by opening all facets and flushing the toilets. Once the water is cleared, close the faucets. If your home may experience cold weather, pour non-toxic antifreeze into toilet tanks and bowls, sink drains, tubs and shower drains to ensure that drain traps do not freeze and crack.
- If moisture in your home is an issue, try a product like DampRid Moisture Absorber. Fill a glass or ceramic bowl with DampRid, then place a bowl in each closet, leaving the door open, this also will help minimize odor. If odor is a concern, know that often when people come home to a smelly house after weeks of being gone it is due to a dirty garbage disposal. To avoid this, flush the garbage disposal with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water, then let the disposal run for a minute.
- Purchase lamp timers and place them strategically around the house to make your home appear “lived in” while you are away. Set the lamps to go on for a few hours each night. Utilize wifi-enabled security cameras like the Nest Cam to monitor your house from your mobile device.
- Unplug all small appliances such as coffee makers, TVS and toaster ovens even if they will not be in use. This will be a cost savings for you and minimize the risk of potential safety issues.