Winterizing a vacant home in Florida means that you’ll need to verify all critical functions of your home are operating as they should. Besides locking and sealing your home up tightly, consider these other helpful tips to prevent damage while you’re away.
- Plumbing systems can wreak havoc on a vacant home should anything go wrong. It’s a good idea to inspect your faucets and plumbing fixtures for leaks before you leave. After fixing these leaks, record how many gallons were used on the water meter. After several hours of not using any water, read the meter again. If it’s changed, you may have a hidden leak in a pipe or the foundation that should be fixed immediately. If you don’t need water outside, turn off the main water valve entirely.
- If you use a heat pump, leave the system on at a minimal temperature. Noise from the outdoor condenser is a sign your home is occupied, which may deter intruders. Having the system serviced before you leave also assures it will run dependably during your absence. Give the person checking your home your HVAC contractor’s contact information should any unforeseen situations develop.
- Depending on the length of your absence, you should pay particular attention to your kitchen. Take steps to either remove food or containerize it to keep insects and rodents away. You may also want to unplug your microwave, turn an electric stove off at the circuit breaker, shut off the water for the dishwasher and prop the refrigerator door open if it will be empty.
- Ask a yard service to keep your lawn mowed and the landscape tended during your absence.
- Check all outdoor lights and put them on light sensing switches. Timers for indoor lights will keep your home intermittently illuminated to discourage intruders.
The pros at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions can show you how to winterize a vacant home. We’ve been providing outstanding services for Central Florida homeowners since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about winterization and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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