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Prepare Your Home For A Long Term Absence

home preparation checklist
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The summer in Florida can reach extremely high temperatures, often resulting in people moving away during these months for extended periods of time. With this climate comes heat, humidity, pests and severe weather. If you plan to move away during these hotter months, here are a few tips to prepare your home for a long-term absence.

AC Tips 

Neglecting your AC on trips away can lead to high energy bills. There are certain actions that can help alleviate this financial burden while making sure that your home does not become overbearingly humid.

The most important thing to consider is the length of your stay. If you are leaving on an extended stay, it is wise to readjust your thermostat on your AC off while you are away. AC units operate at optimal efficiency when working at full speed, however if the house is left empty for extended, you will unnecessarily be using more energy. Discuss a suitable extended absence operating schedule for your AC with one of our trusted AC technicians.

If you are going away for a shorter visit, such as a weekend away, you can set your AC to cycle on and off so that it runs for shorter periods of time at a lower speed. This will make sure that you don’t return home to a humid home and decreases the chance of mold and bugs.

Regardless of how long you are going away for, the following tips will help keep energy costs down.

  • Clean The Air Filters

    Dirt is a sure way to disrupt the air conditioner efficiency. Make sure to change your air filter before you leave.

  • Shut Down The House

    Before leaving for an extended period of time, make sure that you close all doors, windows, blinds and curtains. This will ensure that your home is sealed and shaded from the sun, preventing energy waste and saving money.

  • Unplug Appliances

    Disconnecting appliances will reduce the heating and cooling load. Even items that are not in use can generate heat over time.

  • Routine Maintenance

    It is a good idea to book your annual AC tune up and maintenance before leaving on your trip.

Plumbing Tips 

There are a number of preventative measures that one can take to ensure that your home does not encounter the likes of a catastrophic leak and the need for emergency plumbing repairs.

The first thing that you need to consider is if you want to turn your water off at the main shut-off valve. Turning this off may result in certain fixture’s rubber seals to dry out or crack. Over long periods of time, there is also the risk of sewer gas entering the home through dried out drains. If you choose to switch off the main water shut off, it is a good idea to also turn off your water heater. Make sure to check with your utility company before shutting off your main gas valve and get the help of a licensed plumber from Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric.

Alternatively, you can leave your main water shut-off valve open. If you choose to do so, make sure that you attend to the following before leaving:

  • Shut off the hot and cold water valves for your washing machine.
  • Turn the gas off for the gas dryer.
  • Shut off the supply line valve to your toilets.
  • Pour 1/3 cup of bleach into the toilet bowl to prevent the collection of bacteria.
  • Ask someone to flush your toilet and switch on the faucets and showers on a monthly basis to ensure that the fixtures and drains don’t dry out or crack.
  • Pour a solution of water and vinegar down the kitchen sink disposal to prevent bacteria.
  • Turn off specific appliances that can cause a leak such as a water heater and dishwasher.  

Electrical Tips

Many people wrongly assume that simply switching off appliances is enough to protect the home from a potential disaster. The truth is, if there is a sudden surge in power then the device can burn out and create a flame. This is because the electrical flow continues as long as an appliance is plugged in. The Sunshine State promises a high chance of storms meaning that electrical surges are a common occurrence.

The U.S Fire Administration has accredited approximately 9600 fires each year to being caused by home appliances. These fires are normally caused by heated appliances, such as dryers and ovens, however any appliance can be a risk – especially if the wiring is faulty. With this in mind, it is a good idea to unplug the likes of a refrigerator. This will also save large amounts of money on electrical costs. It is also recommended that you contact a qualified electrician to conduct a general maintenance check and attend to any electrical repairs before you leave.

Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric have been trusted in Florida for reliable service since 1983. Call us at 1-800-475-1504 for expert workmanship in AC, plumbing and electric repair and maintenance jobs.


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