When you are away from your home, there is often no way to know if there is an issue; set yourself up for success by following a few of the ideas below and you can have a worry-free summer and return next winter to a problem free home:
- Call an expert and have them install a smart thermostat. Once this is done, the temperature of your home can be controlled from your cell phone. With a smart thermostat you will be assured that your HVAC unit is running and your home away from home is being maintained at the proper temperature.
- Keep your blinds and drapes drawn and keep all your windows locked to keep the cool air in.
- Change your HVAC filters before leaving and have your HVAC flushed to prevent possible issues while you are away.
- In Solivita you do not have to worry about safety, but you do want to protect your home from potential problems. Don’t let the mail pile up in your mailbox. Arrange for a mail hold or mail forwarding. Arrange as many bills as possible to be paid online. This way if mail goes astray you will get an email alert and still be able to “take care of business”.\
- Cancel your newspaper delivery and arrange a start and stop date. If you want to keep up on local news, see if your local newspaper has an electronic edition.
- Put your telephone, cable and or/internet on vacation hold. Not all companies offer this service, so call your local utilities and ask. You will pay a monthly fee that is significantly less than if you were paying for regular service.
- Empty your refrigerator. Use this opportunity as a time to clean out the fridge and freezer. If you decide to unplug your refrigerator, clean it out and LEAVE the refrigerator and freezer doors open to prevent mold and odors.
- Empty your dishwasher and leave the door open to prevent odors.
- Open the washing machine lid to prevent odors.
- Read up on your Hot Water system and turn it off the proper way so that you are not heating water all summer long.
- Unplug all unnecessary lights and appliances.
- Leave a few lights on timers inside your home or install smart lights that you can control from your cell phone.
- Set the house alarm if you have one.
- Winterize your toilets, Put just a cap of bleach in the toilet. Cover the porcelain only with Saran Wrap very tightly. You'll come back to a clean and fresh toilet. Just flush and you're ready to move on to better things in your life.
- Give your house plants away and take your favorite ones with you.
- If you have a landline phone remember to turn off the ringer. If you have an answering machine, DO NOT change to an away message. Leave your message on and retrieve your messages remotely.
- If you have a golf cart, please be sure to perform the shutdown routine required for your golf cart before leaving it unattended for a few months. I unplugged mine, but never read the owner’s manual and after six weeks of non-use our golf cart needed new batteries. A very expensive mistake, and one I will not make again and do not want to see you make either.
Recognize that these steps will prevent mishaps, but unless you have a caretaker to visit your property a few times a month, to run the water for a few minutes, flush the toilets, inspect the lawn for working/broken sprinkler heads, etc., you may still encounter a problem. Have a safe and fun summer and we look forward to your return when the weather up north cools down.