When Arizona’s pleasant weather turns hot, it’s time to think about closing up your winter home. Doing it the right way can save you money and stress. Some tips:
- Don’t just turn off unnecessary appliances; unplug them. Televisions, VCRs, cell phone chargers, coffee makers, toasters and microwaves are only a few of the appliances that still use electricity even when they’re turned off—unless you unplug them, too. You also can turn off unneeded circuit breakers. Not only will you protect your home from power surges and fires, you’ll also save money on your electricity bill.
- Set the thermostat higher, but don’t turn the air conditioner completely off. A lack of air circulation can lead to mold problems.
- Turn off your water heater and drain the water out of it. This could save your vacation home from water damage. Likewise, drain as much water as you can from dishwashers and washing machines.
- Shut off the house’s water supply. If the water company can’t shut it off from the street, close your home’s main valve.
- Weatherproof your plumbing by cleaning out sink traps. To clean unreachable traps, such as those in toilets and bathtubs, try adding cold weather-rated windshield washer fluid. Flush each toilet, pour a gallon of fluid into the bowl and flush again. In the case of bathtubs, pour a quart of fluid down the drain. Don’t add windshield fluid to appliances, though; it can damage them. And never add antifreeze in plumbing fixtures. It’s illegal.
All this preventative maintenance may seem like a tedious way to end your vacation. But it’s better to do the chores now than it would be to start your next vacation with the stress and spending that come along with fire and water damage.