It’s that time of year when many of you are getting ready to head North and are preparing to leave your home for the summer. Yes, we are talking about “snowbirds” and many of you are getting ready for your annual migration back to a cooler, summer climate. If this is you and if you’re not a seasoned pro, it may seem a little overwhelming. That’s why we have checklists!
In this blog, we will be offering a list of tips to help you get your home ready. Given that there are so many things to do, we find that a check-list is really helpful, especially if you are leaving the hotter areas of Arizona such as Phoenix because there are special precautions that should be taken due to the extreme heat and occasional torrents of summer rain. So, without further ado, here is a basic checklist to help you in preparing to leave your home for the summer. These are listed in no particular order of importance:
- Make sure you have arranged for your mail to be stopped or forwarded to your new address. The same goes for your newspaper.
- Not only should you notify all of your service providers such as cable TV and the electric company of your impending departure. If you live in a gated community or senior living community, you should let them know about your plans as well.
- If you have any valuables that won’t be making the trip with you, you may consider putting them in a safety box at the bank or some other safe location.
- When it comes to the outside of your home, don’t forget to empty and turn off water fountainsand remove any water that could attract mosquitoes. However, do not empty your hot tub as the extreme heat in the summer may damage it.
- Speaking of summer heat, make sure to bring in any outside furniture, chairs or decorations that may be damaged by the extreme heat.
- Make sure to empty your refrigerator! You don’t want to leave food in there all summer long. Speaking of food, if you are leaving non-perishable food in your cupboards, make sure to seal it up well or even put it in ziplock bags to prevent bugs from getting into it and to keep it as fresh as possible.
- Disconnect any car batteries in vehicles that you may be leaving for the summer.
- Do not leave propane tanks or other combustible items in the garage all summer long. That is a fire hazard!
- You may want to arrange for a company you trust to come by and keep your lawn trimmed. While you are at it, if you have a pool, have a company come by to maintain that as well.
- It’s a good idea to provide a key to your home to a trusted neighbor along with your contact information. If they are willing, have them check in on your home from time to time to make sure everything is all right. They can also remove any flier or door menus that may accumulating
- Don’t forget to turn off and unplug all electric appliances from computers to refrigerators. The only thing that could still be kept plugged in would be the air conditioner and that would only be if you need the house to not get over 100 degrees inside in order to protect certain items that may be overly heat sensitive such as artwork.
- If your home has natural gas, then shut it off at the main valve. Do the same for the water.
Of course, these are just some starting point tips. Every house or apartment is different and some people are gone longer than others. Make sure and research the topic for yourself. Here is a link to a web forum where you can ask for advice from others in your situation: http://www.city-data.com/forum/arizona/1186119-what-precautions-take-when-leaving-az.html
And, finally, a note about your water heater…
Yes, we are Water Heaters Only, so we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about your water heater and, specifically, what to do about before your leave for the summer. For starters, you can go to our website for information about shutting down your water heater. Just follow this link: http://www.waterheatersonly.com/emergency-shutdown-instructions
The information is regarding emergency shutdown information, but it still shows you how to turn off the gas and water to your water heater, if you so choose. If you want to leave it on, then we recommend that you set it to the “Vacation” setting. If you have a gas water heater, just locate the thermostat on your water heater (it should be right in front towards the bottom of the water heater) and turn the dial to either the “Vacation” setting or just turn it down to the lowest temperature. If you are going to just turn it off, then turn the dial from “On” to “Off”. Next, for both electric and gas water heaters, turn the water off by following the “Cold” line (which is the one on the right hand-side on top of the water heater) until you see the water shutoff valve. Then just turn it off. For electric water heaters, make sure you either flip the breaker switch that powers the water heater or use the disconnect switch, if you have one, that is located right next to the water heater. Finally, drain your water heater. Again, if you aren’t sure, follow the link above and watch the video or just give us a call 24 hours a day and we will be happy to help you out.
Well, that’s it for this blog entry! Thanks for taking the time to read it and enjoy your summer wherever you may be spending it. And don’t forget you can always call us any time of the day or night with any questions you might have or if you want to set up an appointment.